An act to stimulate philanthropic giving through rebranded property taxes.

  • Posted on: 23 March 2018
  • By: Benjamin Mathew
Primary Chamber: 
Secondary Sponsor: 
Justin Zhao
Stimulating Philanthropic Giving By Rebranding Property Tax
Enactment Clause: 
Be it enacted by the Youth Model Legislature of the State of New Jersey that taxpayers are given the option to pay property tax or give to social causes outlined by the state.
Section I: Defines Philanthropic Giving - the act of the taxpayer financially supporting groups that advocate for causes that he/she believes in Property Tax - the tax levied on real estate based on the county which the real estate is in Social Causes - initiatives that are intended to have a positive impact on New Jerseyans; these causes must be related to what property tax is normally used for: repairing roads, building schools, and snow removal, or other similar services. For Example, paving a sidewalk on County Road 601 for students to walk to Montgomery High School Wealthy States - states with a GDP per capita of at least $47,639
Section II: After voting within town meetings, each town will submit one social cause and a monetary amount needed to fund this cause. These causes will be reviewed by the Department of Taxation for legitimacy. Given that there are 21 towns in New Jersey, 21 causes will be compiled by the Department of Taxation and printed onto tax forms so that taxpayers know the causes that they can give toward.
Section III: Yearly property tax will include social causes for taxpayers to donate to. Taxpayers can choose to donate to these causes, pay their property tax, or a combination of both. Twenty-one (21) causes will be presented every year. These 21 causes will be on tax forms. Next to the causes, there will be a space for taxpayers to pledge their taxes to them. The amount of money pledged to social causes and property tax must sum to the total property tax amount. If the taxpayer chooses to pay their property tax in full, his/her taxes will be collected as it was precedently. If the taxpayer chooses to give to a social cause, his/her money will be collected by the Department of Taxation and redistributed to the towns where these causes exist. If the taxpayer would like to do a combination of both, his/her money will be collected and distributed accordingly.
Section IV: While completing their tax forms, if interested, taxpayers will indicate three (3) social causes that they are interested in giving toward in an order of preference. If these causes are already funded, the their taxes will be distributed equally among the other social causes. Once all causes are fully-funded, taxes will feed into the property tax repository for state-intended usage.
Effective Date: 
Effective Date: This bill shall take effect on July 1st, 2019.
Statement of Intent: 
Statement of Intent: According to WalletHub’s Charity Calculator, New Jersey ranked 27th overall in charitable giving. However, when compared to wealthy states, New Jersey ranks last in percentage income donated to charity. This bill works in conjunction to property tax because the social causes are related to what property tax is normally used for. By passing this bill, New Jerseyans will be given more explicit opportunities to philanthropically give to causes that they care about, progressively making them willing to support more social causes and charities in the future.
Author's Note: 
Author's Note: Psychologically, people are more receptive to something if they are given a choice of how they pursue it. This bill ensures that by giving taxpayers a choice of how to pay their property tax, they will be more receptive to funneling their taxes into social causes rather than blindly giving them to New Jersey government. As taxpayers become accustomed to giving through their taxes, donating to nonprofits and other initiatives will become habitual.
Fund Summary: 
Fund Summary: The funds necessary for the implementation of this bill will be covered by the New Jersey Department of Taxation. The only funds necessary are those to print tax forms with social causes on them and an area for taxpayers to pledge.
Speedpass Consideration: