NJ Township Offers Property Tax Credits For Shopping Locally

Shop Marlboro offers township residents the chance to earn property tax credits by patronizing local businesses.

Shop Marlboro offers township residents the chance to earn property tax credits by patronizing local businesses.

Last fall, Marlboro Township, NJ, announced what it believes is the first program in the country that encourages residents to shop at local businesses by offering deductions on annual property tax bills.

It’s basically no different than a lot of loyalty rewards programs. Residents sign up for the program for free. They receive a card which can be swiped at a number of area businesses (the township says it’s currently around 40). But rather than save money at the business, the resident earns credits (based on a percentage of the amount purchased) toward their tax invoice.

So if you spend $100 at a restaurant that has a corresponding tax credit of 10%, your taxes will be $10 less when the bill comes (or is sent to your mortgage servicer).

The township’s mayor says that, since September, 1,200 of Marlboro’s 40,000 residents have signed on to the program. The total savings has only been around $10,000, though the mayor claims to have saved $250 already on his own property taxes.

For homeowners, the reward is obvious — lower tax bills. The mayor tells WCBS radio that he hopes more businesses will sign with the program in order to gain repeat customers.

WCBS reports that nearby Bayonne, NJ, is considering giving this rewards program a try.