Murphy unveils property tax relief program for homeowners, tenants

Gov. Phil Murphy on Thursday announced a massive property tax relief program that will provide New Jersey homeowners and tenants with hundreds of dollars in rebates.

Details: The program, called the ANCHOR Property Tax Relief Program, is replacing and expanding the current Homestead Rebate Program, which serves 470,000 homeowners and provides average rebates of more than $600. The new program will provide rebates to nearly 1.8 million New Jerseyans, administration officials said.

Under the program, which Murphy will present as part of his budget proposal to the Legislature on Tuesday, homeowners making up to $250,000 per year could be eligible to receive an average $700 rebate in Fiscal Year 2023 to offset property tax costs, while renters making up to $100,000 per year could receive up to $250.

The administration has repeatedly said that under Murphy, New Jersey has seen the lowest cumulative average property tax increase on record. Still, New Jersey has the highest property taxes in the country, with the average annual bill totaling more than $9,200.

“This program will provide direct property tax relief to households regardless of whether they own or rent,” Murphy said in a statement ahead of his formal announcement at an event in Fair Lawn. “While the state does not set property taxes, we believe that we must take action to offset costs and make life in New Jersey more affordable. Through the ANCHOR Property Tax Relief Program, we can provide real support for families and seniors, helping them stay in the homes and communities they love.”

ANCHOR will mimic the Homestead Rebate Program, in which homeowners are credited a percentage of their property tax bill, up to $10,000. Renters are not eligible for the Homestead rebate.

Ramp-up: Murphy will include the rebate program as part of his budget proposal for the fiscal year that begins July 1. He’s pitching a three-year ramp-up: For FY 2023, the state could spend up to $900 million in property tax relief, and by FY 2025 the property tax relief program would expand to $1.5 billion annually. According to the administration, average rebates could average $1,150 by FY 2025.

The politics: In a call with reporters ahead of the announcement, an administration official said legislative leaders have been briefed on the proposal and the initial feedback they got was positive.

The tax rebate program is part of a larger trend that’s playing out across the country. Many states, including New Jersey, are flush with cash from better than expected tax revenues and coronavirus relief aid from the federal government. In turn, they are considering a long list of tax cuts: in personal income taxes and corporate levies, in property taxes and grocery taxes.

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published this page in News and Politics 2022-03-04 03:31:09 -0800