TOWNSHIP OF OCEAN – No one ever argues about the concept of property tax relief.  At the most recent Township Committee meeting, Township leaders took first steps towards offering homeowners a tax savings. The Committee unanimously consented to a program that rewards property owners for shopping locally.

Municipal Cards, LLC is a Texas entity that prides itself on its Proprietary Tax Savings and Economic Development Program. “We exist as a company to help lessen the burden of property tax, while supporting the local economy, ultimately creating sustainability and growth,” shared the organization’s leaders in a recent presentation.

Township taxpayers will soon have the opportunity to sign up for a prepaid debit rewards card known as an Estate Card. Participants then use the card to shop or dine with qualifying businesses within the community.

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What happens next? As homeowners swipe their cards to make a purchase, they accrue rewards based on a percentage of the money they spend. Subsequently, Municipal Cards advises the Township how much credit taxpayers have earned. The next step results in a tax credit to the homeowner’s property taxes.

Ocean Estate cardholders earn a base reward of .25% on all transactions. However, they can also add on as much as 30% at participating local and online merchants.

Like any other bank card, Estate Cardholders can manage their accounts using a mobile application. In addition to local businesses, some online merchants also qualify as part of the rewards program.

“We are in the process of sending letters to businesses within the community,” shared Diane B. Ambrosio, Ocean Township’s Administrator/Municipal Clerk. “Since the resolution passed, that’s the next step to make this happen.”

The letter from the Mayor and Township Committee encourages business owners to participate in the Ocean Estate Card tax-saving program for residents. There are no costs or new equipment requirements for companies that sign up to offer rewards.

“It’s a great program to be able to reach new customers and incentivize them to patronize your business,” says the letter.

The Township of Ocean joins other Ocean County communities in offering tax credits for keeping business local. Brick, Lacey Township, Point Pleasant Borough and Point Pleasant Beach, South Toms River and Toms River all offer residents an opportunity to earn rewards for their shopping and dining experiences.

Stephanie A. Faughnan is a local journalist and Director of Writefully Inspired, a professional writing and resume service. Feel free to contact her at sfaughnan@tapinto.net.