State Sen. Michael J. Doherty (R-Washington) has proposed a sweeping property tax reform plan he said will benefit New Jersey businesses.
Doherty, a potential U.S. Senate contender, said the plan would relieve the strain on businesses that own commercial property in the majority of towns that pay more into the system than they receive.
Doherty would change the system, which currently pays more to districts with greater numbers of low-income students, so that districts would receive an equal amount of $7,481 per student.
“Businesses pay property taxes, and when our suburban and rural towns get less in school aid, the difference has to be made up in increasing the property tax,” Doherty said.
However, one group of businesses could pay more under the plan — those that receive agreements from municipalities to make payments in lieu of taxes, which Doherty criticized.
He pointed to a report by state Comptroller Matthew Boxer that found that cities like Jersey City had reduced their tax base by offering the deals.
– Andrew Kitchenman