NJ tax rebates: How much relief do you really get? A town-by-town look
TRENTON – The new state budget includes $2 billion for property tax rebates for around 2.1 million households, which is a marked increase from recent years though not a record.
The tax credits and checks on track to be paid next May through what has been rechristened as the ANCHOR program will be the largest ever for some households, as high as $1,500 for homeowners and $450 for renters.
But nearly a half-million fewer homes will see benefits than once did.
At their peak 15 years ago in fiscal 2008, more than 2.55 million homestead rebates were paid:
— 517,778 to senior homeowners, averaging $1,273
— 1.22 million to non-senior homeowners, averaging $965
—100,099 to senior renters, averaging $716
— 716,559 to non-senior renters, averaging $246
In all, $2.235 billion was spent on homestead benefits that year, around 6.6% of a state budget that spent $33.6 billion.
This year’s ANCHOR spending comes to 3.9% of the $50.6 billion spending plan.
Though Gov. Phil Murphy sometimes says renters will receive property tax rebates for the first time, that isn’t the case. Renters were in the program as recently as 2010, and at the peak more than 864,000 tenants got checks.
The chart below provides interactive, town-by-town details on how many rebates were paid in 2009, one year after the program's peak, compared with last year.
The number being delivered in 2023 won't exactly match that past peak, as the population and its income demographics have changed and eligibility rules aren't identical.
The number of people getting property tax rebates dropped partly because renters were excluded, in part because some households became ineligible as their incomes exceeded program limits, and in part because the size of the benefits was reduced. Their size has increased in recent years and will jump notably next year.
The next chart shows the share of the total number of households in a municipality that have been getting rebates – the program's market penetration, so to speak.
And of course, the impact of how much those rebates cut the average bill and total levy varies by town.
Michael Symons is the Statehouse bureau chief for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at email@example.com
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