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Senator Declan O'Scanlon Senator Declan O'Scanlon (R-13)
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Contact: Robbie Kenney / (609) 847-3600
April 8, 2022
O’Scanlon: Murphy’s ANCHOR/Rebate Changes Cut Renters’ Rebates

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Murphy’s Claim of Helping Renters is Bogus

Senator Declan O’Scanlon is warning that Governor Murphy’s proposal to replace two tax rebate programs (the longstanding Homestead Rebate Program and the “middle class rebate program” created last year) with a new “ANCHOR” rebate will reduce existing renters’ rebates by up to 50 percent, meaninglessly increase total funding for rebates, and won’t be distributed for 13 months (until May of 2023).

Sen. Declan O’Scanlon said renters would have their rebates cut in half under Gov. Phil Murphy’s budget plans. (Pixabay)

Governor Murphy has been touting his new proposal which replaces and renames two existing rebate programs as his grand tax relief proposal after being ridiculed for raising $5 billion of taxes over four years. Murphy has promoted his new ANCHOR proposal as the main tax relief in his record-spending $49 billion budget.

Murphy’s proposed budget commits $900 million to the new ANCHOR rebate, but it also eliminates $650 million for the other two rebate programs.

“This bait and switch was spun as grand tax relief in a state where affordability is a myth,” said O’Scanlon (R-13). “But the man behind the curtain is telling half-truths and trying to baffle taxpayers with bull from the front office.”

Murphy has bizarrely claimed his ANCHOR program will newly help renters by giving them up to $250 rebates – even though the “middle class rebate program” he is canceling already makes tenants eligible for rebates up to $500.

“The ANCHOR program is appropriately named because it throws an anchor to drowning renters whose rebates are being cut. I’m not sure what you would call that, but it certainly isn’t tax relief,” O’Scanlon said.

The Middle Class Tax Rebate, set to be supplanted by the ANCHOR plan, was created by Murphy’s enactment of the so-called Millionaires Tax. Qualifying taxpayers who will receive up to a $500 tax rebate this year will lose that benefit under Murphy’s FY 2023 budget, which also eliminates the popular Homestead Rebate.

“He’s raised taxes by $5 billion and his claim of having embraced tax relief amounts to little more than putting lipstick on a pig.”

In contrast, Republicans have proposed a pair of “Give It Back” tax credits that would provide $4.5 billion of immediate tax relief to New Jerseyans. The first proposal would return $3 billion of tax over-collections to families through a $1,000 tax credit. The second proposal would provide an additional $500 tax credit to families for inflation and gas price relief. The tax credits would be returned as direct payments to New Jersey families when the legislation is enacted.

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