Senator Declan O’Scanlon and Senator Joe Pennacchio have reintroduced a crucial piece of legislation aimed at providing relief to New Jersey’s overburdened property taxpayers.
The bill, known as S-2279, seeks to eliminate the current cap of $15,000 and allow taxpayers to deduct the entire amount of property taxes paid on their principal residence from their state income tax.
“When New Jersey residents express concerns about the high cost of living, they often point to our exorbitant property taxes,” emphasized Senator O’Scanlon (R-13). “While there are numerous taxes that contribute to the burden on taxpayers, it is the property taxes, ranking as the highest in the nation, that hit the hardest. There is absolutely no justification for preventing families from deducting every last cent from their income taxes.”
Senator O’Scanlon further highlighted the irony of the situation, as there has been a call at the federal level to reinstate the SALT (state and local tax) deduction cap. However, New Jersey continues to place a cap on what homeowners can deduct, imposing an unfair and burdensome tax on its residents.
According to a national study conducted by WalletHub, property taxes on a median value home in New Jersey were $2,500 higher than those of the next highest state. Over the past two decades, the average property tax bill in the state has nearly doubled, increasing from $4,972 in 2002 to $9,284 in 2021.
“For property owners who exceed the $15,000 cap each year, it’s like being taxed on their taxes,” explained Senator Pennacchio, who previously sponsored legislation in 2018 that raised the cap from $10,000 to its current level. “They pay their property taxes, only to turn around and pay income tax on the same hard-earned money. This needs to stop.”
Pennacchio emphasized the need for taxpayers to receive some relief, particularly in a state where residents constantly face new taxes or innovative ways for the government to obtain their earnings. Removing the cap would provide a rare moment of respite during tax season each spring.
The bill introduced by Senators O’Scanlon and Pennacchio not only addresses homeowners but also extends the uncapping of deductions to renters. Renters would be able to deduct “rent constituting property tax” equivalent to 18 percent of the rent paid.
The fate of this legislation now rests in the hands of New Jersey lawmakers, who have the opportunity to significantly alleviate the burden placed on property taxpayers. By passing S-2279, they would provide much-needed relief and ensure that families can deduct the full amount of property taxes paid from their state income tax, signaling a step toward a fairer and more equitable tax system in the state.