StayNJ Task Force Report Fails To Fix Regressive Proposal

StayNJ would overwhelmingly go to the highest-income households and neglect senior renters who are most at risk of losing their homes.

Published on May 30, 2024 in Tax and Budget

Earlier today, the StayNJ Task Force released a new report with recommendations on how to implement the StayNJ property tax credit for senior homeowners. This report focuses on the challenges of implementing another complex property tax credit on top of existing credits, but does not comment on the overall structure of the proposal or how the state could pay for it. In response to the new report, New Jersey Policy Perspective (NJPP) issues the following statement.

Peter Chen, Senior Policy Analyst, NJPP:

“The task force report does not change any of the underlying problems with the original StayNJ proposal, namely that it directs the biggest benefits to wealthy homeowners while providing little support for lower-income households and renters struggling to stay in their homes. The report also does not address how the state can realistically pay for the $2 billion program without cutting funding for other essential services and infrastructure.

“The data clearly shows that StayNJ would overwhelmingly go to the highest-income households, sending billions of dollars the state doesn’t have to the residents who need it the least. Because existing property tax relief programs count against the StayNJ benefits, the largest payments would go to homeowners with more than $250,000 in income who make too much to qualify for ANCHOR or the Senior Freeze. This kind of regressive spending program would widen the racial wealth gap and, ironically, make the state less affordable for many lower and middle-income families.

“However the program is administered, StayNJ’s stated goal of helping seniors stay in their homes is still undermined by its disproportionate benefits for high-income homeowners and its neglect of senior renters who are at higher risk of losing their homes.”

Read NJPP’s most recent report on StayNJ here.

Read NJPP’s testimony to the StayNJ Task Force here.

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