HOWELL – The Howell Township Council recently discussed the possibility of using a shop local property tax reward program for the town.
At the January 26 council meeting, Deputy Mayor Thomas Russo proposed the idea of the program. Russo, who is also a part of Howell’s Business Recovery Task Force, mentioned how Brick Township and Marlboro have been successful, partnering with the company Fincredit for the property tax rewards program.
Stated on Fincredit’s website, “in late 2010, the company started the development of the Property Tax Reward Program (PTRP). Under the PTRP, homeowners shopping at local participating merchants, receive rebates on sales and services in the form of property tax credits. The more homeowners shop in their town, the more property tax credits they accumulate.”
Brick Township has been implementing their program ‘Buy In Brick’ for about seven years, and Marlboro has been using their property tax reward program for about 10 years. Several other municipalities like Manalapan and Ocean Township have also carried out comparable programs.
“The Business Recovery Task Force have been talking for a while about a shop local property tax reward program. Brick Township does it, Marlboro and Manalapan as well and they’ve all had great success with this program,” Russo said
“I talked about it a couple years ago. It’s a great program,” Mayor Theresa Berger said.
The council discussed how they will talk about the details offline. It was suggested that a representative from Fincredit will join the next council meeting and hold a presentation about the program followed by a Q & A session.
“This is COVID times. Brick and Marlboro, they joined years ago. The fees might be a little high, maybe we have to work with this company to get the fees down,” Councilman John Bonevich questioned.
“These programs though, according to the representative, have been through this difficult time, they’ve continued the program which is a good sign that it’s working,” Russo said. “There’s really no long-term commitment. To my knowledge, you can leave whenever you want with a few months’ notice. The fact that they have this program is a good sign that that’s working through this pandemic.”
“We’re at a point now where the task force wants to bring it to the council and see if it would be something the council would like to adopt,” Russo said.
In addition to the shop local property tax reward program, Russo mentioned plans for a possible restaurant week in Howell. He stated how the plan is in its earliest stages and more information will become available in the coming months.