TRENTON, N.J. – Assemblyman Ron Dancer’s bill allowing municipalities to create a property tax reward program for residents who patronize local businesses was signed into law today by Gov. Phil Murphy.
“By encouraging people to shop locally we are helping to rebuild our main streets and small business communities,” said Dancer (R-Ocean). “Reward programs created through this legislation will also provide much-needed relief for our residents who pay the highest property taxes in the nation.”
The bill (A4806) codifies a practice that is already in place in communities like Marlboro, Union Township, Voorhees, Lacey, Toms River and others, but adds more protections for taxpayers. Customers earn cash or property tax rewards by shopping at local businesses that choose to participate in the program.
“Small businesses provide jobs, lend their support to community organizations and causes, and create a robust economy. Unfortunately, they have been disproportionately hurt by coronavirus shutdowns and capacity restrictions,” said Dancer. “We have to save our small businesses and in order to do that, we have to get creative. I’m confident this program will benefit both our small businesses and loyal local customers.”
Customers who register for the program will be given a rewards card to present at local participating businesses. The rewards, which are calculated as a percentage of the total sale, will be paid by the merchant to the program operator. Residents who shop locally earn rewards and receive a lower property tax bill for the year. Those who live out-of-town or are renters can earn rewards such as cash rebates.
The bill unanimously passed both houses of the Legislature earlier this year.