Gov. Murphy proposes setting aside $2B for taxpayers to offset rising property taxes, rent increases
New Jersey homeowners could see their property tax bills become lighter this year, if Gov. Phil Murphy has any say about it. The governor said on Wednesday that he is doubling his property tax relief plan and wants to spend $2 billion.
“This truly is a historic day. $2 billion – think about that for a second. There’s never been a commitment of that size,” said. state Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin.
Murphy’s announcement that he is beefing up the ANCHOR program comes as the state is experiencing a surplus in funds from tax revenues, borrowing and federal funds.
“Because we’ve done well, the governor, the speaker and I are committed to giving that money back to the taxpayers,” said state Senate President Nick Scutari.
Families who own their homes and make under $150,000 per year would receive a $1,500 credit on their property tax bill. Those earning more would get a $1,000 credit.
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“This is not a one-time deal. We did not come to this day lightly. We did not make this decision lightly. This is keeping a promise,” Murphy said.
Renters would be included in the relief plan for the first time. Renters would get $450 per year to offset rent increases.
“This is no small deal. This is a big part of Democrats giving money back to taxpayers,” Scutari said.
But Republicans like state Sen. Mike Testa called the program “underwhelming.” And progressive groups like New Jersey Policy Perspective said more needs to be done.
“You don’t see the whole picture today because we’re still banging this thing out,” Murphy said.
Scutari says Murphy has agreed to give lawmakers input on how to spend COVID-19 relief funds.
Lawmakers say that the state will have a finished budget by the June 30 deadline, likely avoiding the prospect of a state government shutdown.
The governor originally planned to spend $900 million on the ANCHOR plan, but increased his proposal to $2 billion after the state saw sky-high revenues.