Stay NJ Task Force Recommends Changes to New Jersey’s Property Tax Relief Programs

 – May 31, 2024
Stay NJ Task Force Recommends Changes to New Jersey’s Property Tax Relief Programs

Recommendations Include One Streamlined Application for ANCHOR, Senior Freeze, and Stay NJ

The Stay NJ Task Force has released its report providing recommendations for the State to implement the new Stay NJ program while simplifying and aligning its property tax relief programs — Stay NJ, ANCHOR, and Senior Freeze — with the goal to make the application process more accessible for New Jersey taxpayers.

The report recommends for the State to create one streamlined application that would be used to determine a taxpayer’s eligibility for all three programs simultaneously. Each program currently has its own application, though some taxpayers may be eligible for multiple programs.

The Task Force recommends for the new streamlined application to be available no later than Feb.1, 2025. This expedited timeline would ensure the application is ready in time for the start of what would be the next Senior Freeze application season. This recommendation also led the Task Force to recommend that legislation is enacted at least 90 days before the application becomes available.

The recommendations also include ensuring the calendar year for benefit determination for all programs will be based on the year immediately preceding the application year — with the exception of the Senior Freeze Program for first time applicants — addressing a common source of confusion for some taxpayers, as well as aligning the way income is calculated across all three programs.

The report was approved unanimously by the six members of the Task Force, which met seven times since December 2023.

The goal of the initial Stay NJ law is to deliver a streamlined annual property tax benefit that shall amount to 50% of the property tax bill on a principal residence for senior homeowners with an annual gross income under $500,000. The Task Force was charged with reviewing all of the existing property tax relief programs and presenting a report to the Governor and the Legislature with recommendations on how to achieve that goal.

The report was issued to Governor Murphy and Legislature, and is available for the public to view online. For more information on the task force’s work, visit the Stay NJ website.