The Montclair school district has arranged a meeting for property owners to learn about how to save on their taxes.

On Wednesday, Jan. 4, Montclair Public Schools will host a free presentation by the New Jersey Department of the Treasury about the state’s two tax relief programs, ANCHOR and Senior Freeze. The event will take place at noon in the Wally Choice Community Center, located at 45 Maple Avenue.  

”The catalyst for organizing this is our recognition that the tax increases associated with the $188 million bond referendum will be particularly difficult for some in town (though the bond received 84 percent of the vote),” David Cantor, executive director of communications and community engagement for Montclair Public Schools said in an email. 

The $187.7 million bond referendum, which Cantor refers to, received voter approval to raise money for repairs and upgrades at all the schools. Bonds will be issued by the district in three tranches – in 2023, in 2025 and in 2027. Each bond issue would be paid over a 20-year period, suggesting the repayments will be complete by 2047. 

Based on the average assessment of a Montclair home of $628,952, “the average annual tax impact over the 24-year course of repaying the bonds is expected to be $732, beginning with an expected $258 increase in 2023,” said a referendum Q&A posted to the district website

The second bond impact is estimated to cost $311 and the third to cost $281, Andrea L. Kahn, the district’s bond attorney, said in at an information meeting in September

Cantor said, “We are looking for ways to soften the impact and promoting the state programs should make some difference.” 

ANCHOR, which stands for Affordable New Jersey Communities for Homeowners and Renters (formerly known as the Homestead Benefit Program) offers up to $1,500 in property tax relief for those who owned homes in 2019, depending on their income, and $450 to eligible renters from the same year. Eligible Montclair residents who attend the seminar will be able to apply for ANCHOR benefits on the spot, with the assistance of Treasury representatives. 

Payments will be sent by the late spring, according to the state. The deadline for applying is Jan. 31. 

A Treasury representative will also explain the requirements and benefits of the Senior Freeze program, which reimburses eligible homeowners for annual property tax increases following their first year in the program. People who sign up will be sent application materials when the new application becomes available in February.