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NJ leaders devise ways to save residents money in wake of tax reform

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Some of New Jersey’s leaders are working on ways to save their residents money in the wake of the recently passed federal tax reform bill.

The overhaul limits the amount of state and local taxes that homeowners can deduct to $10,000. But many New Jersey homeowners pay a lot more than the limit.

At least three New Jersey towns have devised a way to gain back some of the money that residents can no longer deduct. Paramus, Fair Lawn and Park Ridge will each create a new charity, to which homeowners can make a tax deductible contribution.

The charity would then pass that money to the town and schools. Homeowners can deduct the donation from their federal taxes and the towns will reduce their property tax bill by the amount that they contributed.

But some are skeptical of the plan and think that lawmakers should be doing more.

“If that is all they can come up with for tax reform and tax relief in New Jersey, I think it's pretty sad,” says Gina Genovese with the property tax advocacy group Courage to Connect. “We have an expense problem and we're not addressing that.”

Supporters of the plan says that there is legal precedent in 22 other states.

“This is creative. It’s within the guidelines of precedent that’s been set within the law and we want to pursue this aggressively,” says Gov. Phil Murphy.

Other New Jersey towns are also interested in similar plans. Fair Lawn Mayor Lisa Swain tells News 12 New Jersey that she recently had a conference call with 21 other mayors from around the state who are interested in getting on board.

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