Governor Murphy, Speaker Coughlin, Senate President Scutari Announce Appointments to New Task Force Charged with Aiding Implementation of Stay NJ Property Tax Relief Program

Governor Phil Murphy, Assembly Speaker Craig J. Coughlin, and Senate President Nicholas Scutari today announced the appointment of six highly regarded public servants to a newly created task force charged with putting forth recommendations to implement the new Stay NJ property tax relief program, which is designed to cut property tax bills in half for New Jersey’s seniors.

Under the law, which was sponsored by the Speaker and Senate President and signed by the Governor as part of the Fiscal Year 2024 budget process, the six-member task force will consist of:

  • The State Treasurer, or the State Treasurer’s designee: Deputy State Treasurer Aaron Binder
  • The Commissioner of Community Affairs, or the commissioner’s designee: Dr. Christopher Wheeler, Chief Data Officer, NJDCA
  • One public member appointed by the Governor, who may be an Executive Branch employee: Chief Policy Advisor Dennis Zeveloff, Office of the Governor
  • One public member recommended by the Senate President: Jessica Cohen, former Director of Public Policy for the Senate President
  • One public member recommended by the Assembly Speaker: Woodbridge Mayor and former State Treasurer John E. McCormac
  • One public member jointly recommended by the Senate President and the Assembly Speaker: Plainfield Mayor Adrian O. Mapp

“Dennis Zeveloff has worked to advance my policy agenda since day one of this Administration. Aaron Binder has helped manage a $50 billion budget after years overseeing public policy for the Legislature. Dr. Chris Wheeler is an esteemed research economist for the department tasked with overseeing local property taxes,” said Governor Murphy. “Cumulatively, the members of this task force bring a wealth of public policy experience to the table, particularly when it comes to the impact property taxes have on our local communities. I have no doubt they will serve the State and our residents well as we work together to make New Jersey a more affordable place to not only raise a family, but to age in place surrounded by our loved ones.”

“StayNJ will be transformative for all families planning for the future, with historic property tax relief for seniors,” said Speaker Coughlin. “We need to ensure this program launches smoothly with a seamless application process and system for benefit distribution. That’s why I am pleased to appoint Mayor McCormac to the StayNJ Task Force. His depth of experience will be invaluable. His service as State Treasurer and his 17 years as Mayor— particularly his innovative initiatives for Woodbridge seniors—make him uniquely qualified for this role. Mayor Mapp, the joint legislative appointment, brings even more expertise to the table with his decades of experience in local government, public finance, and his training as a Certified Public Accountant.”

“I am pleased to appoint Jessica Cohen and to join with Speaker Coughlin in appointing Plainfield Mayor Adrian Mapp to the Stay NJ Task Force. Jess has spent most of her career working inside state and local government helping to shape responsible policy for the citizens of New Jersey. She has my full confidence in taking on this important responsibility. Mayor Mapp’s extensive government experience and expertise in public finance will be an invaluable asset. He possesses the skills and good judgement needed to help guide the work of the Task Force in coordinating property tax relief efforts for our residents,” said Senate President Scutari. “The work of the Task Force will help ensure the effective implementation of the Stay NJ program that will reduce property taxes for most senior citizens by 50 percent and the integration of the other tax relief programs will help make the lives of homeowners and renters more affordable.”

Under Stay NJ, eligible seniors with a gross income under $500,000 will receive a credit of 50 percent on the annual property tax bill for their principal residence, up to $6,500.

In order to implement Stay NJ, the task force will review all of the State’s existing property tax relief programs and present a report to the Governor and the Legislature – no later than May 30, 2024 – containing recommendations on how to restructure and consolidate the various programs into one streamlined property tax relief program for seniors through a singular application, with a target implementation date of January 1, 2026.

The Governor also announced today that David Ridolfino – who retired several years ago as Director of the State’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) after serving the Department of the Treasury for more than three decades – will be employed by the task force as Executive Director and assisted by staff from the Treasury Department.

Stay NJ is the latest in a series of initiatives the State has implemented to make New Jersey more affordable for residents, particularly seniors. Seniors are already benefitting from the Senior Freeze and ANCHOR programs, which have proven successful in easing the burden of property taxes. The Fiscal Year 2024 budget allocated funding to expand these programs, offering even greater savings to New Jersey residents. The StayNJ Task Force will also focus on simplifying and aligning the ANCHOR and Senior Freeze programs to deliver property tax relief to senior homeowners and renters.

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