News Department

Promises of property tax relief fall short when state agency won’t answer the phone, Assemblywoman Dunn says

NEW JERSEY – Assemblywoman Aura Dunn’s district office in Chester 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 Dec. 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 actually help ensure people get the relief they so desperately need,” Dunn (R-Morris) 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 haven’t proven successful. Why can’t a state agency just pick up the phone?”

Gov. 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 ages 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 Dec. 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.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

Related Articles

Back to top button