Governor Murphy Wants to Slash Homestead Benefit Program After Campaigning to Increase Rebates
March 31, 2018
the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ,Senator Michael Doherty said that Governor Phil Murphy’s budget proposal for 2019 is looking even worse as more details are revealed, including his plan to cut property tax rebates by more than 50 percent next year.
Sen. Mike Doherty slammed Gov. Phil Murphy’s proposal to cut property tax rebates by more than 50 percent next year. (SenateNJ.com)
“It’s sickening that Governor Murphy wants to reduce property tax rebates further despite promising during his campaign to restore cuts imposed by Democrats in the current budget,” said Doherty (R-23). “With the highest property tax bills in the nation, New Jerseyans need more property tax relief, not less as Governor Murphy has proposed.”
According to the Fiscal Year 2019 Budget in Brief provided by the Murphy Administration (see page 18), the governor has chosen to perpetuate a 50 percent cut to the Homestead Benefit Program in the current year’s budget that was to be fully restored in 2019.
This proposal directly contradicts his campaign pledge of “restoring rebates to low-income, seniors and disabled residents.”
“Not only has Governor Murphy chosen to prevent the restoration of funding to rebates, which would have doubled this important form of property tax relief in 2019, he has proposed cutting another $12.5 million from the Homestead Benefit Program,” Doherty said. “It’s a gut punch to property taxpayers.”
Doherty said the Governor has a constitutional obligation to increase property tax relief, given a projected budget surplus of $800 million to $1.5 billion that’s tied to larger than expected income tax collections.
“The New Jersey Constitution requires income tax revenues collected by the State to be dedicated to property tax relief,” added Doherty. “The Governor is trying to cut Homestead rebates when he should be increasing them. It looks like Governor Murphy has some explaining to do to property taxpayers.”