Gov. Phil Murphy and top Democratic legislative leaders announced an expansion of the Affordable New Jersey Communities for Homeowners and Renters property, or ANCHOR, tax relief program that would provide $2 billion in tax relief to New Jersey households.
Together at the South Brunswick Municipal Building, Murphy, Senate President Nick Scutari (D-22) and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-19) announced the expansion on June 15.
“In New Jersey that tax relief starts by delivering on past promises of lessening the impact of local property taxes. As it has been reported, state revenues have put us in a strong fiscal position to do both of those steps,” Murphy said. “Today we are providing truly historic tax relief. We are keeping our promise to make New Jersey more affordable for our middle class and working families.”
He further said, “$2 billion in direct property tax relief to more than 2 million New Jersey households … both owners and the first time ever renters.”
According to the proposal, 870,000 homeowners with a household income of under $150,000 annually would receive $1,500 annually in tax relief.
For more than 290,000 homeowners with a household income between $150,000 and $250,000 would receive a $1,000 annual rebate.
More than 900,000 renters with incomes of up to $150,000 would receive $450 per year to help offset the rent increases caused by rising property taxes.
“This unprecedented economic growth we have seen in New Jersey has increased state revenues to historic levels. We have an obligation to give that money back,” Scutari said. “Two million households are going to see real sustainable property tax relief and this is no small deal. It is extremely important to ensure that these programs are sustainable and any additional tax cuts or investments continue beyond this fiscal year.
“I know I have that commitment from leaders to do that,” he said, adding “they are not there yet on a finalized state budget.” “We have a great first step today. It is in fact, the biggest step that we have. We [have] some more work to be done.”
ANCHOR was first introduced by Murphy in the beginning of March when the governor outlined a spending proposal for the fiscal year of 2023.
With the updated ANCHOR program, Murphy stressed that the tax relief is not a one-time deal.
“We know we are able to deliver this relief consistently, this year and the years to come,” Murphy said.
The state budget will be passed before July 1, Murphy said. According to the New Jersey Constitution, the budget must be signed by the governor before July 1.
“You are only seeing an element of the budget today, so you bear with us over the next two weeks, you will get a fuller picture. I will be surprised if we do not have a budget that is historic in its surplus, historic in debt avoidance and gets our balance sheet in really good shape.”
Coughlin reiterated that property taxes are the number one issue when surveys are conducted.
“We are working through a budget that will reflect our values, not just in terms of property tax relief, but in assisting people throughout the state of New Jersey,” he said. “This gets at the heart of pushing that back.”
State Senator Andrew Zwicker (D-16) further said while in the local supermarket in South Brunswick, “the number one thing people want to talk about is property tax.”
“This not a one-year gimmick. This is a sustainable program meant to be there for the working families of New Jersey, year-in and year-out,” he said. “I certainly call on everyone in Trenton on both sides of the aisle to support this program.”