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AARP New Jersey Applauds Governor for Restoring Property Tax Relief Programs in State Budget
Commends NJ Legislature and Governor for Allocating Funds to Support Older New Jerseyans
NEW BRUNSWICK (Sept. 29, 2020) – AARP New Jersey applauds Governor Murphy for signing a state budget today that includes a number of AARP-supported priorities such as, restoring property tax relief for older New Jerseyans, allocating startup funding for the New Jersey Secure Choice Savings Program, ensuring a healthy pension payment, and maintaining Medicaid funding.
AARP New Jersey has been advocating for the state to restore two critical property tax relief programs – the Senior Freeze and Homestead Benefit – since the programs were cut in Spring 2020. We commend the Governor for restoring both programs in the Fiscal Year ’21 budget. The Homestead Benefit Program provides property tax relief to almost 580,000 homeowners, while the Senior Freeze program supports approximately 157,000 of New Jersey’s seniors and residents with disabilities.
New Jerseyans, particularly older residents and those with disabilities living on low-, moderate- and fixed-incomes, have always struggled with New Jersey’s high property taxes. And now, families have been hit especially hard by the health and economic crisis created by the coronavirus pandemic. We are disappointed families will not get back the May 2020 Homestead Benefit payment, which has added to families’ significant financial strain, but we are pleased to see that both the Senior Freeze and Homestead Benefit are restored in the FY’21 budget to support our most vulnerable population during a time of unprecedented financial crises.
We also applaud the New Jersey Legislature and the Governor for including startup funds to support the New Jersey Secure Choice Savings Program. In 2019, Governor Murphy enacted Secure Choice, which is a public-private partnership that will allow many hardworking New Jerseyans to have a retirement savings option that puts them in control of their futures. Workers will have the choice to decide if they want to participate and how much they want to contribute from their paycheck. We are hopeful New Jerseyans will soon be able to take advantage of this program.
The vast majority of New Jerseyans younger than 65 get health insurance through their work. With unemployment rates at record levels during the coronavirus pandemic, hundreds of thousands of New Jerseyans have lost their health insurance. Medicaid (NJ FamilyCare) serves as a crucial safety net for these and thousands of other New Jersey families.
Financial security in retirement is a core component of AARP’s mission to enhance the quality of life for all as we age, including for generations to come. AARP fights at both the federal and state level to ensure that all workers who have paid into their public pension systems over a lifetime of hard work have the economic security that their pensions afford in retirement. We applaud the NJ Legislature and Governor Murphy for ensuring there is a healthy public pension payment in the FY’21 budget.
AARP New Jersey looks forward to our continued work with the Governor and the Legislature to ensure a better New Jersey for everyone.
About AARP New Jersey
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. AARP New Jersey educates and advocates on behalf of those 50 and older on issues that are important to them, their families and to all Garden State residents. The organization works to strengthen New Jersey communities with a focus on health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org/nj or follow @AARPNJ on social media.