State lawmakers reach deal to provide property tax relief to NJ senior citizens

Gov. Phil Murphy and the state’s top Democratic lawmakers have announced a deal on property tax relief for senior citizens. That agreement means the state budget is on track to pass the Legislature, just hours before the deadline of June 30 at midnight.
“Keeping people, keeping seniors, in the state of New Jersey is a priority for all of us. And so, we’re going to make sure that we get it done,” says state Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin.
The program is known as STAY NJ. It has support from both Murphy and state leaders, making it very likely the program will be approved by the Democratic-controlled Legislature by the end of the month.
“This agreement says we care about our seniors and making New Jersey affordable for all,” Murphy says.
Senior citizens making up to $500,000 a year will be eligible for more property tax relief.
“We like where we’ve landed,” Murphy says.
But it wasn’t easy getting there. The governor initially threatened to shut down the state over the first draft of the plan but backed off when the plan included payments for seniors who rent their homes.
“There’s a lot to be excited about in this program,” Coughlin says. “If you’re a senior, this is a really big day for you.”
Coughlin pushed STAY NJ. He says he wants it to keep seniors in New Jersey rather than have them move to low-tax states like North Carolina or Florida.
“STAY NJ will dramatically cut property taxes for 97% of New Jersey senior homeowners,” Coughlin says.
The plan is for all seniors this year to get an extra $250 in their ANCHOR property tax relief check. The main benefits won’t pay out until 2026 - when a new governor will be in Trenton.
Until then, senior homeowners can see up to $1,750 in relief depending on income . Renters will get $700 per year, and $6,500 coming in 2026.
But Republicans balked at the plan. State Assembly Republican leader John DiMaio said in a statement, “School taxes are the biggest driver of property taxes. Failing to include school funding in the package means Stay NJ won’t ever deliver sustainable, long-lasting property tax relief.”
Murphy ruled out raising taxes to pay for future years of property tax relief.
“It’s kind of crazy to raise taxes to deliver tax relief,” he says.
The agreement includes a commission that will work out the final details of property tax relief for seniors over the next three years.