BERKELEY – Mayor Carmen F. Amato, Jr., today has asked The Township Council to adopt a resolution in support of full funding for the State Homestead property tax credit program to Governor Murphy and Senate and Assembly leaders.
“Nearly 43% of our property taxpayers qualify for the Homestead Benefit Program. Many of our property taxpayers are seniors on fixed incomes and hard working young families who rely on this credit to help make ends meet. The Township respectfully requests full funding of the Homestead Credit, as promised.” Mayor Amato said.
Last year, as part of the State’s 2017-2018 Budget agreement, the state Legislature and former Governor Chris Christie deferred half of the Homestead Property Tax Credit until the start of a new fiscal year, which begins on July 1st.
Unfortunately, the proposed 2018-2019 State Budget provides 12.5 million LESS in funding as the 2017-2018 Budget for the the Homestead Credit program.
SOURCE: FY 2019 Proposed State Budget (page 18)
Under Last year’s budget agreement, this year’s proposed budget should not only fund the second half of last year’s credit, but an additional year of full funding for the program.
“According to the latest State of New Jersey, Department of Community Affairs 2017 Property tax information, Berkeley Township had 9,755 properties that qualified for the Homestead Program. The State average credit is about $400 per home. Those roughly 9,800 property owners represent about 43% of all Berkeley Township property owners. Berkeley Township has the third highest amount of homeowners that qualify behind two other Ocean County towns. Manchester has the largest, followed by Toms River.
SOURCE: 2017 Property Tax Information
“I understand the State’s fiscal difficulties. Although we have made tremendous progress, with the 27th lowest overall average pProperty taxes out of the States 565 municipalities and our recently improved Bond rating to AA-, we are still feeling the financial impact of Super Storm Sandy. This cut would have a negative on our Homeowners.” Mayor Amato said.
SOURCE: NJ DCA & NJ.COM – Town’s With Lowest Property Taxes