The good news — an idea advancing in Trenton would help you reduce your property tax bill by up to $1,000 each year.

The bad news — you'll have to work for it, and the proposal applies only to New Jersey's older residents.

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Advanced by the full Assembly on Thursday, and awaiting action in the Senate, is legislation that would permit municipalities to implement programs in which residents can perform volunteer services to earn property tax credits on their primary residence.

Residents must have lived in their home for at least 15 years to be eligible, and be 60 years of age or older.

"A lot of times we have to think outside the box when it comes to trying to lower property taxes," said Assemblyman Joseph Lagana, D-Bergen, one of the bill's primary sponsors. "Just trying to figure out how we can offer something to our residents, while at the same time offering something back to the community."

The bill states a municipality involved in such a program cannot utilize volunteers for any positions that would otherwise be paid through the municipality's budget. Volunteers would earn tax credits per hour at the same rate of the state's minimum wage, up to $1,000 each year.

"I feel like our seniors really are at the point in their lives where they need the support from the community to try to remain in their homes," Lagana added "They're looking at different ways where they can reduce their burdens."

If the bill were to become law, municipalities would not be required to create such a program.