New State Legislation to Encourage Residents to Spend Locally.
Governor Murphy recently signed a bill that allows local governments to give residents a property tax deduction for spending locally (shop local). The program is designed to reduce the property tax burden on residents while promoting regional business development.
The new law will allow localities to create incentive programs to encourage residents to patronize their local businesses with a property tax deduction. Under the program, local governments will provide a shopping card for residents to use when spending money at local stores, with a percentage of the amount used as a tax credit; out-of-state shoppers will also receive their rewards in the form of a rebate check.
The average property tax in the state is $9,112, the highest in the nation. Residents are dissatisfied with the state government’s results in controlling property taxes, and according to a new Monmouth University Poll, only 14 percent of respondents believe the situation has improved.
The bill was passed unanimously by the New State House and Senate. State Rep. Nicholas Chiaravalloti, the bill’s sponsor, said the plan would encourage residents to support local businesses and lower property taxes, a win-win situation; residents would lower their land tax bills for every dollar they spend locally.
The program is not original, including Marlboro (Marlboro), Union Township (Union Township), Brick (Brick), Old Bridge (Old Bridge), West Orange (West Orange), East Brunswick (East Brunswick) and other places have previously opened similar programs and achieved results.
Fatimah Raymond, director of the Special Improvement District, said that residents of the city who hold the card have accumulated $4,350 in property tax reductions in six months. Marlboro Mayor Jonathan Hornik said that within five years of opening the program in 2012, residents have received $230,000 in property tax relief and generated more than $4 million in revenue for businesses.