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NJ Town Creates Novel Way To Reduce Property Taxes For Residents Who Shop Locally

A Shopping Center in Marlboro, N.J. (credit: Marlboro Township)

A Shopping Center in Marlboro, N.J. (credit: Marlboro Township)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Everyone loves to hate their property tax bill, but now there’s a reasonable 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 accumulate credits against their property tax bill.

“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 on Thursday. “We’ve had 1,200 of our 40,000 residents sign up and take [Shop Marlboro] cards.”

They have more than 40 businesses participating and have saved more than $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.

LINK: Sign Up For Shop Marlboro

“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.”

The second-term Democrat told CBS 2’s Kristine Johnson that Marlboro is one of the first towns in the country to employ such a program.

Each merchant determines the size of the property tax discount and the amount is printed on each customer’s receipt.

The program is quickly growing in popularity.

“I used to use a dry cleaner somewhere else and now I use one that’s in Marlboro so that I can get the rebate on my taxes,” said Lynn Franco.

Are you taking advantage of this program? You may share your thoughts in our comments section below…