Houghtaling, Downey & Mukherji Bill to Make Sure Taxpayers are Aware of Property Tax Relief Programs Advances

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Eric Houghtaling, Joann Downey and Raj Mukherji to help ensure that New Jersey taxpayers are well aware of the property tax relief programs available to them was approved by an Assembly panel on Thursday.

“It’s no secret that New Jersey has one of the highest property tax rates in the country,” said Houghtaling (D-Monmouth). “But what may be a secret to many is that there are a number of tax relief programs that they might be eligible for. This bill will ensure that taxpayers are aware of the relief that is available.”

Specifically, the bill (A-4375) would require each tax bill to include a statement noting that a listing of the various state property tax relief programs and their eligibility requirements is available on the website of the Division of Taxation in the Department of Treasury. The tax bill shall also include links to the websites of the Department of Community Affairs and the Division of Taxation containing this information.

“Through no further cost to the state or local governments, this simple change can help ensure that residents, particularly seniors, are well-informed of the tax relief programs that might go a long way towards offsetting the property tax burden,” said Downey (D-Monmouth).

Current state statute already requires that certain information be included with tax bills, such as a brief tabulation showing the distribution of the amount raised by taxation, along with links to information on the website of the Department of Community Affairs.

The sponsors believe that the information on available tax relief programs could be added to the tax bill without additional cost to municipalities by including it on existing forms, thereby avoiding the constitutional prohibition against unfunded state mandates.

“These tax relief programs were designed to help put more money in the pockets of the average resident,” said Mukherji (D-Hudson). “Seniors, especially, might not be aware that they even exist so we want to ensure that they’re taking advantage of every program available to them to offset the cost of living.”

The bill unanimously passed the Senate last month and now awaits final legislative approval from the full Assembly.