By Fred Madden, Paul Moriarty and Gabriela Mosquera
In the 4th Legislative District, we’ve heard from countless residents who need property tax breaks. Families who cannot afford to save for their children’s college expenses because their property taxes are exorbitant. Families who must decide between putting gifts under the Christmas tree or preparing to pay taxes next year. The burden is real for millions of taxpayers across the state.
The 2022-2023 state budget is making great strides in alleviating one of the biggest issues we hear about from our constituents every day, through several tax relief laws: 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 couple told us that one of them was forced to go back to work to make ends meet, even though he was in his 80s. One works in a school and receives unemployment benefits in the summer, the other could no longer work at the first sign of dementia. Nobody should have to work past 80. 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 to a constituent who paid nearly $10,000 in annual property taxes on just $40,000 of Social Security income and a modest pension. ANCHOR property tax breaks will ease the burden.
ANCHOR will provide over 1 million homeowners and 900,000 renters a total of $2 billion in additional or new property tax relief. Along with other tax breaks — the “Back to School Sales Tax Holiday,” a new state child tax credit, as well as state park “fee holidays,” driver’s licenses, marriage licenses, and some professional licenses — we’re reaching more families with real, tangible help, money back in their pockets and bring residents’ bank accounts.
Under ANCHOR, qualifying homeowners can receive up to $1,500 in a property tax reduction. This is real money. In our New Jersey area, $1,500 can represent 20 percent of the annual property tax bill.
Additionally, parents of young children will receive larger state income tax refunds of up to $500 per child up to age 6 and through the new Child Tax Credit. Professional fee leave can save a nurse up to $120 by waiving the license renewal fee. The same goes for doctors, social workers, psychologists and some dedicated medical professionals who have helped us get through the pandemic.
Each year, the average family spends more than $250 per child on school supplies alone, and teachers spend more than $600 of their own money on classroom supplies. Families using the school item sales tax holiday from August 27th to September 9th. 5, see well-deserved savings in their household budgets.
The tax is normally 6.625%. If a parent buys a $3,000 computer for their kids during the vacation—the highest price that can be considered—they save $198.75. If a teacher purchases $586 of taxable courseware, the bill remains at $586 and does not increase to $624 with sales tax included. That’s a huge difference.
As parents, we know how expensive back-to-school shopping can be. For large purchases such as technology, art supplies, and sports equipment, it is important to offer a sales tax exemption. This tax exemption is intended to be a long-term annual program.
The new budget also provides new funding for affordable housing, our childcare industry, employing more people, and updating software systems in labor and motor vehicle departments so they can better serve residents’ needs.
Saving taxpayer dollars on various expenses across the board allows families to do more of what they need to do. That’s what matters to New Jersey residents. Real Savings. Real tax breaks – exactly where they are needed most, and for the long term.
State Senator 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.
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