Pou, Singleton Bill to Establish Rebate Program Aimed to Grow Local Businesses Advances

Under the bill, S-3188, municipalities would be permitted to create and operate a property tax reward program. A property tax reward program created under the bill would provide cash rewards to municipal residents, municipal employees, people who are employed in the municipality, and residents of other municipalities who choose to participate in the program, when they purchase goods or services from businesses located in the municipality that agree to provide cash rewards under the property tax reward program.

“This program will benefit both local businesses and their communities as a whole,” said Senator Pou (D-Bergen/Passaic). “It will allow homeowners to lower their property tax payments while supporting local businesses and growing their local economy.”

Under this bill, homeowners would be permitted to apply credit from their rewards program towards property tax payments.

The program authorized by the bill is structured as a local merchant loyalty program and marketed as an economic development tool to encourage people who live in and around the municipality to shop at local businesses.

“It is always important to look for new and creative ways to support our local businesses, and right now they need our help more than ever before,” said Senator Singleton (D-Burlington). “Through this program, dollars spent locally at a participating business would be dollars credited toward their property taxes. As we come out of this pandemic, and work to revive our economy, we must continue to incentivize people to shop local."

The bill would allow for local businesses to benefit from increased business generated by program participants who patronize their services and goods in order to earn reward dollars.

Marlboro Township is credited with establishing the first property tax reward program in 2012, but other townships have since begun implementing their own respective programs.

The bill was released from committee with a vote of 5-0.