DePhillips asks speaker to support bill helping renters make ends meet

DePhillips asks speaker to support bill helping renters make ends meet

Christopher P. DePhillips

TRENTON, N.J. – Assemblyman Christopher DePhillips sent a letter to Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin yesterday asking him to post a bill that increases the property tax deduction for tenants to 30% of rent from 18%.

“Helping renters, often among the working poor and middle class, is a bipartisan initiative,” wrote DePhillips (R-Bergen). “Passing this legislation would make the property tax deduction equal with the income standard for poverty-level housing costs.”

The bill (A3928/S3603) unanimously passed the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee Monday. Sen. Troy Singleton is the Senate sponsor.

The next Assembly session is Dec. 16. The bill has not yet been considered in an Assembly committee.

Poverty-level housings costs are considered 30% of income. Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle is also a sponsor of the Assembly bill, which could save renters up to $5,600 for a family in a two-bedroom apartment based on average fair market rent.

“The income tax is dedicated to property tax relief; this bill fulfills that constitutional mission while providing greater relief that is permanent rather than temporary,” DePhillips’ letter continued. “Eviction can be prevented long term by decreasing the burden of rent on tenants.”

An Office of Legislative Services fiscal estimate says its maximum cost is $130.5 million, which, if enacted this year, would only be roughly three-quarters of a percent of income-tax revenue.