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The state Senate approved legislation on Thursday that would provide municipalities with more aid from the Energy Tax Receipts Property Tax Relief Fund over the next two years and require that the local property tax levy be adjusted downward accordingly.

Bill S-330, sponsored by Senate President Nicholas Scutari (D-22) and Senator Troy Singleton (D-7), was one of several bills supported by NJBIA before the Senate aimed at making New Jersey more affordable. The bill would increase the amount of money distributed to municipalities by $330 million over two years.

Earlier this week, NJBIA Vice President Christopher Emigholz told the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee, which unanimously advanced the bill on Monday, that high property taxes in New Jersey impact the business community just as much as New Jersey homeowners.

“It’s the biggest tax that the business community pays, especially our small businesses who we all know are hurting more from the pandemic,” Emigholz told the Senate committee. “There’s very few things that the Legislature ever does that are going to cut property taxes by 1 percent.”

Another bill approved by the Senate Thursday would provide taxpayers with an income tax exemption for contributions made to qualified retirement plans. That legislation, S-737, sponsored by Senators Joe Lagana (D-38) and Vin Gopal (D-11),  would only tax these retirement contributions when they are withdrawn.

The legislation would also expand the types of federally recognized retirement savings plans employees would be eligible to contribute to on a tax-exempt basis. These include:

  • A plan established under section 401(a) or section 401(k) of the Internal Revenue Code
  • Amounts paid for annuity contracts under section 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code, allowed to employees of governments and nonprofits
  • A deferred compensation plan established under Section 457 of the Internal Revenue Code, allowed for state and local government and authority employees
  • A federal Thrift Savings Plan
  • A standard Individual Retirement Account, pursuant to Section 408 of the Internal Revenue Code.