EDISON, N.J. – On Saturday morning, the New Jersey Department of the Treasury invited residents of Middlesex County to James Monroe Elementary School to seek guidance on completing their applications for the Affordable New Jersey Communities for Homeowners and Renters (ANCHOR) Program – an initiative to provide property tax relief in a rebate of up to $1,500.
Those eligible include anyone who rented or owned their current principal residence as of Oct. 1, 2019, and they must submit their tax filings, property tax included, for that same year. Homeowners who made up to $150,000 can receive the maximum rebate, while those who made up to $250,000 can receive $1,000. Renters, according to the District 18 press release, can also receive $450 in aid to tackle the rising cost of rent.
Sen. Patrick J. Diegnan, Jr. (D) and Assemblyman Robert J. Karabinchak (D) of District 18, who were present to advise residents as well, were eager to take the opportunity to meet locals and clear up any confusion they may have had in approaching the application process.
“[So far] Less than half the people that are eligible renters have applied,” said Sen. Patrick J. Diegnan, Jr. (D-18), who . “It’s up to $150,000 for renters and $250,000 for married couples, so that means most people would qualify.”
The ANCHOR Program was proposed to replace and improve upon the former Homestead Benefit Program by not only offering a larger financial return, but also by making the credit more accessible to a greater number of New Jersey citizens including those living in mobile homes, continuing care communities, condos, co-ops, and tax-exempt, subsidized, and campus housing.
Also, in recognition of the volatility of life, the program also offers separate checks for those who may have experienced a change in marital status, and an opportunity for some to file in the estate of a deceased applicant with whom they had lived.
“The legislature and the governor want to be able to help all the constituents in New Jersey, with some level of tax relief,” Karabinchak said. “The purpose of doing it in person – we have the Treasury helping individuals – it helps some of the questions get resolved right here and in not even 15 minutes… [the application] it’s done.”
Those unable to make it to the event over the weekend have been urged to reach out to the Treasury, should they have any lingering questions about filing.
“These are challenging economic times and anything we can do to get relief, let’s do it,” Diegnan said.