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How Can I Apply for ANCHOR, New Property Tax Relief Program?

by Karin Price Mueller, for

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Q. I understand the ANCHOR program is replacing the New Jersey Homestead Rebate program, which we always had to apply for. Can you tell me if an application will be sent out? Or is it automatic? If there is an application, do you know when it will be mailed out to us? —Homeowner

A. You’re correct that the ANCHOR program will be replacing the Homestead Rebate. That’s short for the Affordable New Jersey Communities for Homeowners and Renters, and is supposed to provide rebates for up to two million taxpayers with an average payout of $971. It includes homeowners and tenants.

The program will provide credits of up to $1,500 to taxpayers with 2019 gross incomes up to $150,000, and $1,000 for those with gross incomes between $150,000 and $250,000. Tenants also can qualify for $450 with gross income up to $150,000. Benefits are expected to be paid out by May 2023, she said.

The applications will soon be available.

“ANCHOR applications will be mailed on a rolling basis between September 12 and 30 and will be available online in the coming weeks,” said a spokeswoman for the state Treasury Department.

She said those who received the Homestead rebate will be mailed an application or sent an email if they requested one last year. When the time comes, you can file electronically or by phone at 877)-658-2972 unless you are required to file a paper application.

You must file a paper application if you shared ownership of your main home with someone who was not your spouse/civil union partner and your percentage of ownership is not preprinted on your worksheet, or if your main home was a unit in a multi-unit property that you owned.

You will also have to file by paper if you received an ANCHOR mailer for the correct property, but the name on the mailer is not yours or needs to be changed due to marriage, death or another reason.

Those who are a widow(er) or surviving civil union partner will have to file by paper if your deed lists both your name and the name of your deceased spouse.

You’ll also need to do it by paper if you’re an executor filing on behalf of a deceased homeowner, you didn’t receive a mailer because you have moved into new construction or if you’re filing on behalf of a trust.

The filing deadline for tax year 2019 is December 30, 2022.