By Assemblymembers Paul Moriarty and Gabriela Mosquera and Senator Fred Madden
In the 4th Legislative District, we have heard from countless residents in need of property tax relief. Families who are unable to afford to save for their kid’s college expenses because their property taxes are exorbitant. Families that have to choose between putting presents under the Christmas tree and preparing to pay taxes next year. The burden is real for millions of taxpayers across the state.
The 2022-2023 state budget, through multiple tax relief bills, makes great strides in alleviating one of the biggest problems we hear of every day from our constituents: property taxes. Gov. Phil Murphy’s new ANCHOR program, approved and expanded by the Legislature, answers the call of many middle-income New Jersey residents and families to make our state more affordable.
A senior citizen couple told us that one of them was forced to return to work to make ends meet, despite being in their 80s. One works in a school and collects unemployment benefits during the summer, while the other could no longer work once early signs of dementia appeared. No one should have to work into their 80s. Thanks to the ANCHOR program, this couple’s property tax burden will be reduced by more than a third. That’s a big deal.
And, recently, our office spoke with a constituent who paid nearly $10,000 in annual property taxes with an income of just $40,000 from Social Security and a modest pension. ANCHOR property tax relief will lessen the burden.
ANCHOR will provide added or new property tax relief for over 1 million homeowners and 900,000 renters, a total of $2 billion. Along with other tax relief incentives — the Back to School Sales Tax Holiday, a new state Child Tax Credit, plus a “fee holiday” for state parks, driver’s licenses, marriage licenses and some professional licenses — we’re reaching more families with real, tangible assistance, putting money back into residents’ pockets and bank accounts.
Under ANCHOR, income-qualified homeowners can receive up to a $1,500 property tax rebate. That’s real money. In our area of New Jersey, $1,500 can be 20 percent of annual real-estate tax bill.
Also, parents of young children will see larger state income tax refunds, up to $500 per child up to age 6 and through the new child tax credit. The professional fee holiday can save a nurse up to $120 because their license renewal charge is waived. The same is true for doctors, social workers, psychologists, and some of dedicated healthcare professionals who helped us get through the pandemic.
Every year, the average family spends upwards of $250 per child on school supplies alone, and teachers spend more than $600 of their own money for classroom supplies. Families that take advantage of the school-item sales tax holiday, Aug. 27-Sept. 5, will see much-deserved savings in their household budgets.
The tax is normally 6.625%. If a parent goes out to buy a $3,000 computer — the maximum price that qualifies — for their kids during the holiday, they will see $198.75 in savings. If a teacher buys $586 of taxable classroom supplies, the bill will stay at $586 and not increase to $624 with sales tax. That’s a huge difference.
As parents, we know just how expensive back-to-school shopping can be. Offering a respite from sales tax counts greatly when it comes to big purchases such as technology, art supplies, and sports equipment. This tax holiday is intended to be a long-term, annual program.
The new budget also appropriates new funds for affordable housing, our child care industry, putting more folks to work, and upgrading software systems at the departments of labor and motor vehicles, so they are more responsive to residents’ needs.
Saving taxpayers’ money on various expenses across the board allows families to do more of what they need to do. That is what matters to New Jersey residents. Real savings. Real tax relief — right where they need it the most and for the long term.
State Sen. Fred H. Madden, and Assembly members Paul Moriarty and Gabriela Mosquera, all Democrats, represent the 4th Legislative District, which includes parts of Camden and Gloucester Counties.