Murphy pushes for charity tax plan; Monroe supports concept

By Christopher Lang, Correspondent, Feb 12, 2018 | MonroeNow

Governor Murphy continues advocating lawmakers to move forward with legislation to help residents impacted by new limits on deductions for state and local taxes under the recently overhauled federal tax plan.

“We have begun working with legislative leadership to protect our residents and prevent this plan from further hurting our taxpayers,” said Governor Murphy last week. “We must eliminate any and all barriers to creating a system that will provide tax relief to property taxpayers who make charitable contributions to their municipality.”

Murphy Tax Submit Marlboro

Governor Murphy speaks with a group of mayors on Feb. 9 in Marlboro about a plan that would give taxpayers a credit on their property tax bill and ideally receive a federal deduction if they made a charitable donation to public entities such as school boards and local government. ‘Let’s protect the pocketbooks of our hardworking families’ said Governor Murphy.  Photo Courtesy of Governor Murphy facebook

Murphy spent late last week at the New Jersey Conference of Mayors’ winter summit and with mayors from Monmouth County supporting possible legislation that allows county, municipal and school districts to accept donations from residents who in turn can claim those deductions and serve as a credit toward paying their property taxes. The hope is that the measure would provide some relief since the federal tax plan caps state and local tax deductions at $10,000.

Related: Monroe collects $17M in prepaid taxes

Monroe Township is one of the many municipalities supporting the charitable plan as a way to ease the pain of an already high-taxed population base. In January, the Township council approved a resolution that supports the concept of legislation.

“We did do that resolution in January calling on the [state] Legislature and governor to come up with a plan to make sure people aren’t penalized because of the new [federal] tax plan,” Borough Administrator Alan Weinberg said on Monday.

However, there are some who concerned that the federal government will not allow these charitable deductions.

“I have no doubt that the Internal Revenue Service of Congress will strike down this concerted effort to evade federal taxes,” wrote state Sen. Joe Pennacchio, R-Essex, on Feb. 9, adding that he agrees with Governor Murphy’s desire to lower property taxes. “We should focus on real solutions that actually lower the cost of government.”

The charitable plan is not unique to New Jersey. New York and California, also high-taxed states are considering similar plans.

“We do support this,” said Mayor Gerald Tamburro on Monday. “And we did send a letter of our support to the governor.”