AARP NJ Applauds Governor Murphy’s Fiscal Year 2025 State Budget Proposal to Help Older New Jerseyans Stay in their Homes and Communities

AARP supports critical property tax relief for older adults, funding to expand affordable housing options and efforts to increase financial security in retirement

TRENTON, N.J. (Feb. 27, 2024) – AARP New Jersey State Director, Chris Widelo, provided the following statement in response to Governor Murphy’s Fiscal Year 2025 state budget address:

“We applaud Governor Murphy for including a number of AARP New Jersey’s priorities in his Fiscal Year 2025 state budget proposal – like significant property tax relief, funding for affordable housing options, funding for RetireReady NJ and a full pension payment – which will help older adults remain in their homes and communities.

“AARP’s mission is to empower people to choose how they live as they age, and an important part of choosing how we live is being able to choose where we live. Seventy-seven percent of people 50 and older want to age in their own homes; however, New Jersey’s high cost of living, including the highest property taxes in the nation, has made it unaffordable for far too many.

“Last year, with the support of the NJ Legislature, Governor Murphy, Speaker Coughlin and Senate President Scutari took historic steps to keep property taxes more affordable by enacting the StayNJ property tax relief program, increasing the ANCHOR refund for older homeowners and renters, and increasing the income eligibility limits for the Senior Freeze property tax relief program. With New Jersey’s highest in the nation property taxes now averaging $9,800, which is up more than 3% from the previous year, the promise of significant property tax relief is more important than ever.

“StayNJ, which will go into effect in 2026, will provide the kind of bold and transformational relief that so many New Jerseyans need to stay in the Garden State. We applaud the Governor’s proposal to follow through on his commitment to fully fund critical property tax relief programs like StayNJ, ANCHOR and Senior Freeze. Older New Jersey residents are counting on and planning for this property tax relief.

“AARP also supports the Governor’s proposal to fund affordable housing options like accessory dwelling units (ADUs). ADUs, which are independent housing units typically created on single-family lots, provide an affordable, accessible housing option for people of all ages. According to AARP’s 2021 Home and Community Preferences survey, most respondents would consider building an ADU to provide a home for a loved one in need of care.

“AARP applauds the Governor’s proposal to make a full pension payment for the fourth year in a row. This payment will significantly strengthen the financial health of these systems, which is critical to the retirement security of hundreds of thousands of New Jersey retirees and their families, as well as save all taxpayers money by reducing the state’s unfunded liability.

“AARP has long advocated for expanding access to retirement savings to improve financial security. There are currently 1.7 million private-sector, hardworking New Jerseyans who do not have a way to save for retirement through their employer. We are pleased the Governor’s state budget proposal includes funding for RetireReady NJ, which is a public-private partnership that will allow private-sector workers an affordable, voluntary and portable retirement savings program at work. RetireReady NJ will launch a pilot program this Spring.

“Financial security in retirement is crucial to helping people remain in their homes and communities and is a core component of our mission to enhance the quality of life for all as we age, including for generations to come.

“In addition to high property taxes, too many people are struggling to afford things like groceries, gas and medication. AARP commends the Governor’s proposal to continue to support two pharmaceutical assistance programs, Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged & Disabled (PAAD) and Senior Gold, which have helped tens of thousands of seniors afford their prescription drugs.

“On behalf of AARP New Jersey’s more than 1 million Garden State members and all older New Jerseyans, we look forward to working with the Governor and the NJ Legislature in the coming months to finalize a budget that includes AARP New Jersey’s priorities to help ensure health and financial security for all.”

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About AARP New Jersey
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. AARP New Jersey educates and advocates on behalf of those 50 and older on issues that are important to them, their families and to all Garden State residents. The organization works to strengthen New Jersey communities with a focus on health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org/nj or follow @AARPNJ on social media.

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