TRENTON, N.J. – Assembly Republican Leader John DiMaio blasted the joint announcement of a bigger ANCHOR rebate program by Gov. Phil Murphy, Senate President Nick Scutari and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin today.
“Injecting steroids into Murphy’s recycled rebate program won’t get anyone more excited about it than when Murphy announced it in February,” said DiMaio (R-Warren). “It doesn’t deliver meaningful changes in fiscal policy and will be the first program to get cut when money is tight.”
Murphy’s plan would offset roughly 16% of the property tax bill, and would be funded by the income tax – which is constitutionally dedicated to property tax relief. It is expected to affect around two million households.
“Today, Governor Murphy called cutting taxes a gimmick,” continued DiMaio. “But his plan is the latest version of a big-government gimmick repeated over and over since the 1970s with no long-term results.”
DiMaio and Assemblyman Hal Wirths (R-Sussex), the Republican budget officer, proposed an income tax cut for low-income and middle-class families, lowering property taxes by stopping the state from stealing municipal revenue – known as energy tax receipts – and fully funding schools, including returning aid that has been cut. They also support rebates to provide immediate relief.
“It’s bribing people with their own money,” continued DiMaio. “Some of that money is going to administrative costs. It is easier to cut taxes by $2 billion so people get all of it.”
Checks of $1,500 would go to households earning up to $150,000, $1,000 checks for households with incomes between $150,000 and $250,000, and renters would receive checks up to $450 to offset rent increases.
Rent for a one-bedroom unit has increased by 33% to $2,396 per month from $1,803 in the past year, and a two-bedroom unit has increased 38.5% to $3,061 from $2,210, according to a report by rent.com. National average rent increases were 26.5% and 25.7%, respectively.
Assembly Republicans support a bill sponsored by Asm. Chris DePhillips and Brian Bergen that would increase the property tax deduction for renters to 30% of income from 18%; saving the average renter of a one-bedroom unit $3,450 this year and two-bedroom unit renters an average $4,408. The tax cut would only cost up to $135.5 million by the Office of Legislative Services’ highest estimate while providing far greater help to renters.