State Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) appears to be the rare New Jersey politician who, like Rep. Tom MacArthur (R, NJ-03), is willing to point out that an equitable tax reform effort’s greatest stumbling block isn’t Washington but Trenton.

The Morris County dentist struck out with a proactive plan this week, calling on Governor-elect Phil Murphy to support Pennacchio-sponsored legislation permitting New Jersey homeowners to fully deduct their property tax payments, effectively removing the existing $10,000 limit on New Jersey’s state property tax deduction under the New Jersey Gross Income Tax.

“Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) speaking during a Senate session on December 10, 2009.”
via SenateNJ.com

“Governor-elect Murphy and many state lawmakers of both parties have vocally opposed federal tax reforms that would limit the federal deductibility of property taxes to $10,000,” said Pennacchio in a statement. “At the same time, few have discussed the negative impact of New Jersey’s long-standing $10,000 limit on our state’s property tax deduction. Rather than simply criticizing officials in Washington, Governor-elect Murphy should see this as an opportunity to work with lawmakers in Trenton to fix something that we have the power to fix to make New Jersey more affordable.”

Back on October 5th, Pennacchio voted in favor of a State Senate resolution (SR-139) which opposed the complete repeal of the federal deduction for property taxes; since that time, Congress has restored a $10,000 limit which matches New Jersey’s own

New Jersey’s average property tax bill hit $8,549 in 2016, with rates ranging lower in South Jersey and higher in both wealthier and Northern neighborhoods.

Looking ahead? Pennacchio, through his office’s statement, called it disingenuous to complain about the federal deduction being limited to $10,000 without acting on the state deduction with the exact same limit.

“If we’re going to say that having no limit for property tax deductions is the right policy, then let’s change our New Jersey laws to match our rhetoric,” added Pennacchio.

Incoming Governor Murphy did not run on a specific property tax relief proposal.

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