Gov. Phil Murphy came to North Jersey to give a preview of his budget address next week with the announcement of a new property tax relief program.
Murphy in Fair Lawn on March 3 unveiled the ANCHOR Property Tax Relief Program, a new initiative that according to Murphy will distribute $900 million in property tax relief to nearly 1.8 million homeowners and renters across the state during Fiscal Year 2023.
The governor said ANCHOR, which stands for Affordable New Jersey Communities for Homeowners and Renters, will be a part of his FY2023 Budget Proposal on March 8.
“This program will provide direct property tax relief to households regardless of whether they own or rent,” said Murphy. “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.”
Murphy detailed that the property tax relief program would provide homeowners making up to $250,000 per year are eligible to receive an average $700 rebate in FY2023 to offset property tax costs, lowering the effective average property tax cost back to 2016 levels for many households that were previously ineligible for property tax relief.
Additionally, renters making up to $100,000 per year are eligible for a rebate up to $250 to help defray the cost of rent increases due to property taxes.
Murphy said the ANCHOR would replace and expand the Homestead Rebate Program, put in place 45 years ago by then Gov. Brendan Byrne. The Homestead programs currently serves 470,000 homeowners annually and provides an average benefit of $626. Renters are not eligible for the current Homestead program.
“But over the ensuing years, inconsistent funding and consistent changing rules have lead many to never fully know if they qualified for a rebate, how much it would be or when it would arrive,” said Murphy. “The time has come to recognize that continuing to rewrite and rewrite the Homestead program redners its meaning to families meaningless. Continuing along this path is no longer tenable.”
According to lawmakers projections, ANCHOR will make nearly four times more New Jerseyans eligible to receive a property tax rebate, when compared with Homestead.
“Our Administration pledged to help working-class people first and that is what we’re doing with this ANCHOR tax relief program,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs. “Those extra dollars back in the pockets of New Jerseyans will go a long way toward supporting affordability and improving quality of life.”
Three Year Ramp
The Governor is proposing a three-year ramp up for ANCHOR. By FY2025, property tax rebates provided as part of the program would increase to $1,150 on average per eligible household, with the annual State investment in the program up to $1.5 billion annually.
“This administration is making good on the promise made to hardworking New Jerseyans years ago by significantly expanding property tax relief to reflect today’s reality,” said State Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio. “Building upon and improving the current Homestead Benefit, the ANCHOR program will provide crucial tax relief at a time when many families need it most.”
Murphy added “we don’t want property taxes to force people out of great communities like (Fair Lawn)…I’m excited to start this next chapter of property tax relief. Homestead has had a good run but it is time for more families to drop anchor in their homes and communities.”
Until NJ can cut rates by 40 percent or more, it’s just “chicken feed”.