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Midland Park

Council Eyes Shop Local Tax Rebate Program

09/10/2013 08:42AM ● By Rebecca K. Abma

Midland Park Borough Hall

The benefits of a thriving local business community—lower store vacancies, higher rateables, and reduced property taxes—are obvious. But how do you encourage residents to shop local instead of on the highway? Several New Jersey communities have found a workable solution with the Property Tax Reward program. 

The economic development initiative by Finecredit Inc. rewards residents with property tax credits for shopping locally. Simply shop at local participating merchants, present your Property Tax Card (PTC) along with your payments, and receive rebates in the form of property tax credits. The more you shop in town, the more credits you accumulate to offset your tax bill. 

On Thursday, Sept. 12 at 7:30pm a representative from Finecredit will present the program to borough officials and interested business owners in the Council Chambers at Borough Hall during the work session prior to the council meeting in the hopes of starting the rebate program in Midland Park. Residents and businesses are encouraged to attend and ask questions.

How It Works

Residents enroll in the program and receive a Property Tax Card, that is tied in to their address,  block and lot number. When they shop at participating businesses, the rebate (less the processing and management fee collected by Finecredit) is added to their account and deducted from your tax bill. Renters can also sign up for the program and receive a rebate check at the end of the year.

Businesses who choose to participate pay a $10 monthly fee for the program and determine the rebate rate they choose to offer customers. Finecredit requires the rebate be equal to or greater than the amount you offer as part of a marketing campaign.  

At the completion of a sale, the customer provides their Property Tax Card (PTC), which is either entered into your computer or swiped into a dedicated terminal (similar to a credit card machine). Finecredit collects the rebates from your designated checking account on a weekly basis. The credits are applied to the customer's tax bill at the end of the year. 

The program was launched in Marlboro in 2010 and has spread to other communities. Members of the Community Alliance of Midland Park learned of the program last spring, and presented it to Council President Nancy Peet. After investigating the program and speaking with other communities where the program is thriving, Peet invited a representative from Finecredit to present the program to the council and interested community members.

For more information about the program, visit the Property Tax Card Management website

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