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Promises of Property Tax Relief Fall Short When State Agency Won’t Answer The Phone

MORRIS COUNTY — Assemblywoman Aura Dunn’s district office has been fielding dozens of calls from constituents desperate for help filing for property tax relief under the state’s new Anchor program by the December 29 deadline. The lawmaker says neither the residents nor her staff have been able to make direct contact with the Division of Taxation’s Anchor hotline agents.

“The residents of New Jersey deserve better. Promises of property tax relief by politicians up for reelection fall short when there is no one to help ensure people get the relief they so desperately need,” Dunn said. “Much like the Labor Department’s unemployment debacle, calls to the Anchor hotline go unanswered, and receiving live help through the Division of Taxation or Department of Treasury hasn’t proven successful. Why can’t a state agency just pick up the phone?”

Governor Phil Murphy and legislative Democrats agreed to boost the benefits for senior homeowners and renters by $250 this year, which means homeowners ages 65 and older making up to $150,000 annually are eligible to receive $1,750. Senior homeowners making between $150,000 and $250,000 annually can receive $1,250. Renters age 65 and older making up to $150,000 can get checks of $700.

“Seniors on fixed incomes need to be able to call a number and reach a live person, not a recorded message and a dead end,” Dunn said.

For homeowners under 65, benefits remain $1,500 for those making up to $150,000 annually, and $1,000 for those making up to $250,000 annually. Renters under 65 making up to $150,000 annually remain eligible for a $450 benefit.

“When a taxpayer can’t get taxpayer-funded services there is a big problem. My staff and I are frustrated and my constituents are at their wits’ end,” Dunn added.

Dunn’s office has received about 25 Anchor complaints and eligibility questions since the beginning of December. The state’s Treasury Department has relayed the office’s inquiries to the Anchor unit for review, but to date, nothing has been resolved.
“All of us working in government are here to serve the public, but this administration has been failing them when they’re needed the most. Out of a job and money? It seems like you are out of luck when you reach out to one of the governor’s state agencies,” Dunn said. “It’s completely unacceptable and needs to be rectified so that everyone gets the money they are entitled to receive.”

The Murphy administration set December 29 as the deadline to file applications to receive checks through the Anchor program. The Treasury’s Division of Taxation website says applications can be filed online, by phone or mail, or in person at one of the field offices.

Click here for more information.

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Frank L. Cahill
Frank L. Cahill
Publisher of Parsippany Focus since 1989 and Morris Focus since 2019, both covering a wide range of events. Mr. Cahill serves as the Executive Board Member of the Parsippany Area Chamber of Commerce, President of Kiwanis Club of Tri-Town and Chairman of Parsippany-Troy Hills Economic Development Advisory Board.
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