NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Everyone loves to hate their property tax bill, but now there’s a novel way to reduce it.
Some towns are considering offering shop local cards. People can get the card, buy from shops in their hometown, and then they get to accumulate credits against their property tax bill.
There’s a township in New Jersey that may be the first in the country to have done this.
“We rolled out the program after two years of development in September of last year,” Marlboro Mayor Jonathan Hornik told WCBS 880’s Wayne Cabot. “We’ve had 1,200 of our 40,000 residents sign up and take [Shop Marlboro] cards.”
They have over 40 businesses participating and have saved over $10,000 in tax savings for those 1,200 participants.
“[Let’s say you had] a $100 bill with 10 percent going towards your property taxes. You’ll go in, you’ll pay your bill, you’ll pay the $100 and the retailer or the service provider will automatically put on your credit card the $10 that gets picked up by the township and gets applied to your tax bill,” he said.
Hornik has already accumulated $250.
“The only way we help the local economy is if we spend our local tax dollars,” Hornik said.
“Of course, the local businesses get a cut in their margin a little bit. But do they make up for it in repeat business?” asked Cabot.
“That is correct – volume. New people are trying new stores in town, new restaurants, new service providers, and it’s an incentive to walk in and in the front of these stores, you see our Shop Marlboro logo there and people know that it’s a Shop Marlboro-friendly location and they can use their credit program there,” Hornik answered.
Bayonne may be considering a similar program.
“Do it,” Hornik recommended. “It’s a great program. It makes sense for the local economies. We all have to do our job to get out of this terrible recession and this is just one part.”