SOUTH JERSEY (KYW Newsradio) — A budget battle is brewing in Trenton, where top Democrats want to cut property taxes by 50% for most seniors.
The proposed plan, called StayNJ, would cut property taxes in half for most senior citizens in New Jersey, up to $10,000.
Democratic lawmakers in both the state Senate and Assembly have introduced bills to reduce property taxes for seniors, calling the move a gamechanger to keep seniors in their homes — and in the state.
More than 40% of seniors in the U.S. have considered moving out of state because property taxes where they currently live are too high, according to a 2022 poll by AARP.
State Sen. Vin Gopal of Monmouth County said tax cuts are the best use of the state’s $8 billion in surplus funds.
“I’m excited about it,” he said. “I think this is really going to define property tax relief for the next decade.”
But Gov. Phil Murphy has pushed back, claiming it would be too expensive. His office estimates it will cost $1.6 billion just to start, and it would go up every year. A Murphy spokesperson said the plan is well-intentioned but financially unsustainable.
Gopal said he and other legislators will continue negotiating with the governor, and they are confident an agreement will be reached before the budget is due on June 30. Failure to reach an agreement could potentially lead to a government shutdown.