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AARP AARP States New Jersey

2024 AARP New Jersey Priorities: Financial Security

Property Tax Relief, Full Pension Payments and Affordable Utilities

AARP Supports:

Full Funding for Property Tax Relief Programs (ANCHOR, Senior Freeze, StayNJ)
AARP’s mission is to empower people to choose how they live as they age, and an important part of choosing how we live is being able to choose where we live. Seventy-seven percent of people 50 and older want to age in their own homes; however, New Jersey’s high cost of living – including the highest property taxes in the nation – has made it unaffordable for far too many.

New Jersey’s affordability crisis has hit older residents who live on low, moderate and fixed incomes particularly hard. Forty-one percent of New Jerseyans age 50 and older have considered leaving New Jersey, with 83% of these residents saying they are likely to do so in search of lower taxes and a lower cost of living.
AARP supports full funding for the Affordable New Jersey Communities for Homeowners and Renters (ANCHOR) and STAY NJ programs. Programs like ANCHOR are vital to keeping taxes manageable and fostering housing stability and affordability for both homeowners and renters. ANCHOR is critical to help residents remain in their homes and communities.

Expanding Senior Freeze
S1756/A110 (Moriarty/Guardian)
Under the current Senior Freeze property tax reimbursement program, if an eligible individual moves to another home in New Jersey, they must wait an additional year to become eligible again for Senior Freeze in their new home. AARP supports S1756/A110 which would eliminate the additional year waiting period, which would make property tax relief more accessible for older New Jerseyans.

Full Funding for Pension Payments
Financial security in retirement is crucial to helping people remain in their homes and communities and it’s a core component of enhancing the quality of life as we age, including for generations to come. AARP supports the state making full pension payments to support hundreds of thousands of New Jersey retirees and their families, as well as save all taxpayers’ money by reducing the state’s unfunded liability.

Ensuring Utilities are Affordable and Reliable
Access to affordable and reliable water and sewer services is crucial to our health and economic well-being. Nevertheless, too many households face challenges paying their monthly utility bills. In an AARP New Jersey poll of older voters, residents reported that utility expenses are the second most difficult monthly expense after property taxes.

Increased utility costs cause higher expenses that pose a challenge for older adults, particularly those living on low or fixed incomes, leading them to make tradeoffs that directly impact their health and well-being.

AARP New Jersey advocates for older adults’ access to affordable and reliable utilities, including gas, electric, water and high-speed internet services. We fight to ensure rates and policies are fair and affordable, services are reliable, and we work to combat efforts that try to reduce oversight from consumer advocates or unjustly increase prices, including new or higher fees or surcharges.

AARP supports protecting New Jersey residents 50 and older from utility shut-offs. Many older adults depend on utilities for employment, education, medical services, social connection and access to emergency services. We support expanding existing and establishing new utility bill payment assistance programs, including flexible payment arrangements. AARP also supports increasing efforts to ensure customers are educated about and directed to available utility assistance programs.

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