TRENTON - Nearly 1.9 million New Jersey households would receive a credit or rebate averaging $1,051 under the property-tax-relief plan on Gov. Corzine's desk, according to data released yesterday by the state treasurer's office.
The plan to cut America's highest property taxes means a break for 95 percent of the state's households - almost 300,000 more than the total that received rebates last year.
The credits are based on income. A 20 percent break, averaging $1,115 depending on property value, would go to 75 percent of New Jersey households - the 1.4 million that make less than $100,000.
A 15 percent break, averaging $960, would go to 300,000 households making between $100,000 and $150,000, and a 10 percent break, averaging $745, would go to 206,000 households making $150,000 to $250,000.
By comparison, rebate checks between $200 and $350 were given out to residents making less than $200,000 last year.
The administration also released the average breaks for households in those income levels for each municipality.
A Cherry Hill household making $80,000 would get an average $1,198 break under the plan. That owner, if younger than 65, would have gotten a $250 rebate check last year.
Corzine, who has indicated he will sign the legislation, used the data this week to wrangle votes out of reluctant senators.
Ten senators and eight Assembly members voted against the plan. The bipartisan group raised concerns about the credits' sustainability and constitutionality, and questioned the effectiveness of a system of local tax caps contained in the legislation.
This year, the state plans to fund the credits with proceeds from last year's sales-tax hike and the money now allocated for rebates. But how it would be funded in the future is unclear.
Who would get what:
Households making $100,000 or less a year would get a 20 percent break, to a maximum of $2,000.
Households making between $100,000 and $150,000 would get a 15 percent break, to a maximum of $1,500.
Households making between $150,000 and $250,000 would get a 10 percent break, to a maximum of $1,000.
Households making more than $250,000 would get no tax relief.
Cost to the state: About
$2.3 billion in 2007.
When the cut could take effect: Possibly in time for summer property-tax bills.
How it could be administered: Officials hope to provide direct credits on tax bills, but for this year may have to send rebate checks.
How it could affect current rebate checks: The credits would replace the rebate program. Under that program:
People who are 65 or older or are disabled and make less than $70,000 get a rebate of $1,000 to $1,200, those making $70,001 to $125,000 get $600 to $800, and those making $125,001 to $200,000 get $500.
People younger than 65, not disabled and making less than $70,000 get a rebate of $350, those making $70,001 to $125,000 get $250, and those making $125,001 to $200,000 get $200.
Seniors and the disabled who now get more than a 20 percent tax break would receive the same level of relief.
How it could affect tenants: The bill proposes doubling the relief earmarked for tenants from $126 million to $252 million.
Property-tax caps: The bill also would prevent local taxing authorities such as towns, counties and school districts from raising taxes by more than 4 percent annually. Exempt from the cap calculation would be several fixed costs, including debt service and some health-care costs. Critics say the caps would not be effective as a result, but proponents say the caps would keep taxes, now rising 7 percent annually, more in check.
For the average proposed property-tax relief for your town, go to http://go.philly.com/njtaxrelief