HADDONFIELD — With its wide range of quaint shops offering everything from prom dresses to portraits, the upscale community of Haddonfield hosts one of New Jersey’s premier business districts.

“Shop Haddonfield” cards are pictured in this Jan. 30, 2017 photo. The program offers tax rewards and other rebates for those who sign up and frequent Haddonfield businesses that have also signed up. (Greg Adomaitis | For NJ.com) 

It should come as a  relief to residents then that a new property tax credit — in a town that recently had the second highest such tax in Camden County — has received its official debut.

“There’s constantly something new to try,” borough Mayor Jeff Kasko said Monday’s official launch of “Shop Haddonfield,” which offers those who frequent downtown stores the tax rebate for doing so.

The program — launched about one month ago and in partnership with Republic Bank and Fincredit Inc. — has attracted roughly 20 businesses and more than 900 Haddonfield residents, renters, property owners and out-of-towners.

Susan Hodges, chairwoman of the Partnership for Haddonfield, said the program was approximately one year in the making. The price of doing business for businesses who’ve opted in is to buy a credit card machine and apply a percentage of each purchase to the cardholder’s account.

The pitch was mailed out to all of Haddonfield’s roughly 11,600 residents across 4,200 households, Kasko said. In exchange for swiping your property tax shopping  card, you’ll either get a credit toward your annual property tax bill or rebate mailed out for non-borough residents.

How Haddonfield business hopes to succeed where others haven’t

Depending on how frequently you shop at enrolled businesses, Kasko said users could see anywhere between $20 or $30 to hundreds of dollars knocked off annual property tax bills. According to figures from the state Department of Community Affairs, Haddonfield residents had Camden County’s second largest tax bill in 2015, coming in at an average of $13,830.

The program is nothing new to some South Jersey towns with a business community worthy of touting. Voorhees, Somerdale, Washington Township and Glassboro are just some of the municipalities already on board with the effort.


Mario Dinatale, director of community and economic development for Voorhees, said his township was the first South Jersey community to launch the program approximately five years ago after reading about it in a trade journal.

“Effort in is the result you get out,” Dinatale said of constantly pitching the program to businesses and letting residents know that its open to them.

In Haddonfield, the trial by fire came right before the Christmas shopping season and, according to Community Bikes and Boards owner Rob Everitt, it’s a much-needed shot in the arm.

“Every city and town in America should do it. It gets people off the computer and shopping in town to save money,” he said. “No one likes paying taxes, so why not save a few bucks on products you’re going to buy anyway,” Everitt questioned.

Remi Fortunato, retail recruiter for the Partnership for Haddonfield, said the “ebb and flow” of downtown businesses means there’s often something new worth walking out to see.

“There’s just some people who don’t want to be in a mall,” she said when asked why people choose to open up shop in a residential area rather than a shopping mecca.

Jordan Spinosi, who has rented a home in Haddonfield for the past two years, said he goes downtown to shop “at least once a week.”

Asking about the significance of having such a variety of stores so close to home, “convenience and supporting your community,” he said.

To learn more about the program, visit www.propertytaxcard.com/shophaddonfield.

Greg Adomaitis may be reached at gadomaitis@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregAdomaitis. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

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