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Senate Budget Committee Approves Affordability Bills

Singleton-Scutari Measures Would Reduce Property Taxes, Provide Financial Relief to Homeowners & Renters

Trenton – Acting to reduce the property tax burden and provide additional financial relief for renters, the Senate Budget Committee today approved two bills designed to make life more affordable for New Jersey residents.

Sponsored by Senator Troy Singleton and Senate President Nick Scutari, the bills would boost municipal payments from energy tax receipts and substantially increase the tax deduction for renters.

“The measures passed today seek to not only reduce the property tax burden on our families, but provide much needed savings for renters,” said Senator Singleton (D-Burlington). “This is direct tax relief to cities and towns throughout New Jersey that will help ease the burden for homeowners and businesses and the higher deduction will produce real savings for tenants.”

The affordability bills are a legislative priority, Senator Scutari said.

“These bills are the next steps we are taking to make it easier to afford to live, work and raise a family in New Jersey,” said Senator Scutari (D-Union/Middlesex/Somerset). “They will provide immediate and long-term financial relief to homeowners and renters working hard to support themselves and their families.”

The first bill, S-330, would substantially increase the amount of money distributed to municipalities from the Energy Tax fund. Municipalities would be required to use 100 percent of the new funds to reduce their property tax levy.

The phased increase of payments from the “Energy Tax Receipts Property Tax Relief Fund” collected from utilities would reach $331 million annually after a two year phase-in, restoring the amount that has been diverted by the state in recent years.

Also approved by the committee was legislation, S-343, that would increase the tax deduction for renters. The upward adjustment would allow tenants to increase their income tax deduction from 18 percent to 30 percent.

“Housing is one of the most expensive costs of living in New Jersey and the rental market continued an upward climb during the pandemic,” said Senator Singleton, who noted that New Jersey has the fourth most expensive rental market in the country. “This deduction translates into a $130 million tax cut for those who need it most, working people and low-income families.”

There are approximately 1.2 million renter-occupied housing units in New Jersey, according to the latest statistics.

The committee approved both measures with unanimous votes.