— By Jen A. Miller Mary Keashen, 95, of Cherry Hill, lives on a fixed income in a two-story Cape Cod that she and her husband bought in 1957. When the Homestead Benefit Program was cut by the state legislature for the 2011 fiscal year, her budget was hit. Benefits under the program for the average taxpayer were cut by more than half. So instead of a $1,000 reduction on her $6,400 property tax bill, Keashen got a $510 break. “I …

— Many older or disabled New Jerseyans who are struggling with high property tax bills can seek relief through two state programs. Earlier this year, state officials extended the deadline to apply for the Property Tax Reimbursement (or “Senior Freeze”) program to Sept. 16. Last year, the average reimbursement was $1,173. And, while the Homestead Benefit program was scaled back in 2010, it still offers tax credits averaging $469. The state will mail applications for the Homestead Benefit to eligible homeowners, …