Over $2.1 billion was distributed to more than 1.8 million New Jersey homeowners and renters during the most recent ANCHOR program, making it the single largest property tax relief program in State history.
The most recent filing season for the Affordable Communities for Homeowners and Renters program – or ANCHOR – covered the 2020 tax year. To date, more than 1.2 million homeowners received benefits totaling over $1.8 billion, and around 579,000 renters received benefits totaling over $278 million. Benefits ranged from $450 to $1,750 depending on income and age, among other factors; qualifying homeowners and renters over age 65 were eligible for an additional $250.
Compared to the first ANCHOR season covering the 2019 tax year, over 200,000 more taxpayers received a benefit for the 2020 season, breaking down to more than 60,000 homeowners and more than 141,000 renters.
The amount of benefits paid out through 2020 ANCHOR season surpassed the 2008 Homestead Rebate program, which previously held the record for most dollars distributed through a property tax relief program ($2.08 billion).
ANCHOR is administered by the Department of the Treasury’s Division of Taxation. The Division worked diligently to make the program more convenient and accessible this season, including implementing an automatic filing initiative to distribute payments to most eligible residents who previously received benefits, as well as mailing applications to two million residences with the goal of reaching additional homeowners and renters than the previous filing season.
The Division of Taxation expedited the benefit distribution process this season, reviewing and approving applications and distributing benefits to a majority of eligible residents within 90 days.
Additionally, new this season, the Administration employed a new strategy to deliver benefits to residents across the state. The ANCHOR Outreach Team, comprised of 300 canvassing professionals daily, knocked on doors in neighborhoods across New Jersey for three months to deliver in-person ANCHOR services. In addition to door-to-door outreach, canvassers also attended 119 community events to maximize outreach to New Jersey residents. Team members confirmed eligibility for ANCHOR and provided information in the filer’s native language, assisted in filing applications, checked benefit statuses, and answered commonly asked questions.
The Division of Taxation encourages anyone who hasn’t received their benefit or experienced issues with their application to call the ANCHOR hotline (609-826-4282 or 1-888-238-1233) or get in-person assistance at a Regional Information Center: https://www.nj.gov/treasury/taxation/contact-office.shtml