New Property Tax Relief From New Jersey Signed Into Law

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New Jersey lawmakers last week approved a new property tax relief program for seniors to help them offset the state’s sky-high property taxes. Under the program, eligible seniors will get up to $6,500 in property tax relief from New Jersey. However, the payout will go out in the first quarter of 2026.

Property Tax Relief From New Jersey: Who Will Get It?

On Friday night, Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law a new property tax relief program for seniors, called StayNJ. Lawmakers in both chambers unanimously approved the program that aims to reduce the property tax bills for seniors.

The bill was approved by the Senate’s budget committee Tuesday, while the Assembly’s budget panel approved it Wednesday afternoon.

Under the program, homeowners 65 and above will get tax credits of up to half of their property tax bills, to a cap of $6,500, provided their annual income is less than $500,000. It must be noted that the cap on the credits will index with property tax bills.

“We have heard from seniors across the state on this issue. We know what a difference this will make for families making difficult decisions,” Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-Middlesex), the bill’s prime sponsor, said.

StayNJ program is estimated to cost the state about $1.3 billion when payouts go out in the first quarter of 2026.

In order to provide immediate assistance to New Jersey seniors, the lawmakers have raised rebates for seniors under the Anchor program in the coming fiscal year. The latest change would raise Anchor awards for senior homeowners and renters by $250.

So, senior homeowners now would get $1,250 or $1,750, depending on their income, while senior renters would get $700.

Further, the StayNJ bill also raises the income limit for the Senior Freeze property tax relief program from $100,000 to $150,000. Also, it lowers the requirement of the number of years a resident must have used a house as their primary residence from 10 years to three years.

Criticisms Against StayNJ Program

With an average annual bill of about $9,500, New Jersey has among the highest property taxes in the country. These property taxes help to pay for local government and schools.

Although the program is well-targeted, questions are being raised if the payouts will ever materialize. As per the provisions of the bill, the property tax relief from New Jersey will stop if the state fails its commitments for pension payments, school aid or two tax deduction programs for seniors and military veterans.

The program will also stop if the state fails to maintain a surplus equal to 12% of annual spending.

Those against the program have also criticized the $500,000 income cap, arguing it would mean a payout for those who need no help paying property taxes. Brian Bergen (R-Morris) sponsored an amendment that would have lowered the income cap to $200,000, but it was rejected.

Also, Republicans have criticized the plan by calling it an election year gimmick to win the votes of seniors. All Legislature seats will be up for election this November.

“Trenton Democrats are trying to buy votes this year with the promise they’ll deliver StayNJ property tax relief starting in 2026,” said state Sen. Joe Pennacchio.