An Intriguing Way to Encourage Local Spending – Property Tax Credit for Dollars Spent Locally by Residents

With recent discussion here about how to keep local dollars in Brattleboro, I’m hoping someone here in Brattleboro might read about this exciting option and run with it!  Apparently this program incents residents to shop locally at participating businesses who provide % credit for purchases (via a card), which is then applied to the purchaser’s property tax bill (renters receive a yearly rebate check instead.)  The program is a win-win — local businesses get increased patronage, residents are rewarded for shopping locally, and as I understand it, the decrease in town revenue from the property tax credit is directly offset by the increase in taxes paid by healthy, thriving local businesses.

I heard about this program at a conference I attended last weekend from a person who participated in getting this program up and running in his own community.  If anyone here is interested, I can put you in touch with him

From Fincorp’s website:


Founded in 2010, Fincredit Inc. is a business solutions company focusing on merchant services and marketing.

In late 2010, our company started the development of the Property Tax Reward ProgramTM 
(PTRP). Under the PTRP, homeowners shopping at local participating
merchants, receive rebates on sales and services in the form of property
tax credits. The more homeowners shop in their town, the more property
tax credits they accumulate.

on, our company realized that the road to developing an effective
property tax reward program for the benefit of the individual resident
and the business owner alike, could not be achieved without the
involvement, in a leadership capacity, of local townships and their
economic development entities.

years townships have been advocating for local spending. The benefits
of a thriving local economy go well beyond the obvious reasons. Lower
vacancies, higher ratables, new jobs, lower property taxes are just a
few reasons for shopping in town. It soon became clear to us that what
prevented townships from developing a strong Shop Local program was lack
of attractive incentives to town residents.

challenge was to create a special business reward program that would be
a true asset to the local business community and, at the same
time, provide a strong motivation for residents to shop in town. For us,
there was only one solution. Property tax credits earned
on purchases of goods and services from local merchants was the best way
to create an ongoing, vialble Shop Local economic program. 

The response of homeowners looking
for ways to lower their out-of-pocket expense of property taxes has
been overwhelming. Add to this, the need of local merchants to increase
their business volume and of townships to keep existing businesses from
leaving while attracting new business initiatives.

us, combining existing and proprietary, patent-pending, software was
the winning formula for creating a sound infrastructure for townships to
build and launch their property tax reward program.

This is a true ‘win-win’ solution for
town residents, local businesses and townships. By using a
township-issued property tax card, residents enjoy a direct relief on
their property tax bills; the business enjoys a higher local
awareness/revenues, and the township benefits from lower vacancies, more
local jobs and happier residents.

More info can be found here from Marlboro, NJ, the first town to participate. The linked page is a chronological list of articles from newest to oldest (click on each article’s title to go to the article). 

Below is the text of an article about Manalapan, NJ’s anticipated program:

Cut Property Taxes by Shopping Local:  Manalapan [New Jersey]’s new Property Tax Program
reduces residential property taxes when you shop at local businesses.

By Katrina Rossos, March 22, 2012

Want to pay less property taxes?
Well, soon your Manalapan property taxes can decrease by simply shopping local.
Manalapan’s Economic Development Council is implementing a
Property Tax Program allowing township residents to receive discounts at
participating business and an equivalent credit to pay down their real estate

The Property
Tax Card
is a patent of Fincredit Inc., a company that has been
approaching municipalities nation-wide to join their new initiative. 
Fincredit has received approval from the state and a number of New Jersey
townships have signed on to this win-win program, which benefits both business
owners and residents, including neighboring Marlboro Township.

Manalapan Mayor Susan Cohen thought the program would be a perfect fit for
Manalapan and introduced Fincredit director Carmine DeFalco to the Economic
Development Council (EDC), according to EDC Chairman Nicholas Campanella.

The company will issue special cards
to the municipality, sponsored by either the municipality or paid for by an
investor. Then, the cards are co-branded by the investors (if that is the case)
and issued to all residents. Each household will be issued two cards.

Currently, Manalapan Township is recruiting local businesses to sign up to
participate in this program and accept the card and offer a certain discount to

So, how does this work?

If a resident shops at a participating local business they will purchase their
goods and also have the cashier swipe their Property Tax card. A specific
percentage of the sale, decided upon by the business, will go towards the
reduction of your property taxes, Campanella explained. Some fees will come out
of that percentage to be paid to Fincredit, but they are minimal.

Fifty days before your quarterly tax payment is due, Fincredit uploads all
payments to the municipality. Then, the township will send you a revised tax
bill minus what you have already contributed, according to Campanella.

For instance, if you go out to a participating restaurant and spend $100 and
the restaurant offers a 10 percent rebate, then $10 will be contributed towards
your property taxes once the merchant swipes your Property Tax card, minus the
fees paid to Fincredit.


Read the rest at

If you are interested in potentially starting a property tax reward program here in Brattleboro, please contact Fincredit at (732) 946-0919 or by email at For more information, see I’m not able to take this on myself, but as a Brattleboro resident, I would be thrilled to see this considered in our town, and it would make me think twice about shopping in MA or NH.

– Amanda

Comments | 9

  • Another link...

    This is to a resident/business information page created by a town that has been successfully using this program – Shop Marlboro! Property Tax Reward Program –

  • Local Spending Incentive

    I do like this idea. In only reading this in a quick read, (i will read this in complete when I have more time) how would this program encourage not only keeping local monies here but also offer incentive for our surrounding town folks benefit by shopping in Brattleboro? Brattleboro’s economy relies heavily on the people of the surrounding towns shopping here.

    This might be another issue, I do see it closely related though. The burden the residence of Brattleboro are placing on its government continues to increase. The town folk might consider to help keep the need for town services and revenue down by offering their time. If in someway tax credits for measurable efforts made to ease the burdens being placed on our government for “expected” services this might help decrease the town’s growing revenue needs. There also be seed planted for the people of our town to take steps towards investing the time to complete task that they would other wise expect for the town to take care of.

    How many times have we thought, said, or hear from someone “oh, I don’t need to do that the town will do this. That is why I pay taxes. I don’t need to worry about it, let the government deal with it.”

    If everyone took 15 minutes a day to take initiative to offer a hand of helping the town out this can only serve to keep town cost down. Shovel away the snow or leaves from sewage drains, away from fire hydrants is one example. If we make an effort to remove some of the burdens we place on our town government then we help to keep our town revenue needs down. If we do not have the money to pay for these services we can at least do them ourselves.
    To have a volunteer program available that offers the same incentive such as this card you present here the two combined will only serve to build a stronger sense of community.

    Oh, by the way I make the effort to spend at least fifty dollars a week on product and services I need at locally owned businesses. I try to buy as much local product I can. I’d love the idea of being rewarded for my efforts.
    Mark Raymond, Brattleboro Vermont

  • shop local property tax card, Irony

    I’m finding it funny that this property tax card program to encourage spending at local businesses is not a local business. Maybe this can be used as a model and one or two of the computer or programming businesses could be used to build such a program for Our Brattleboro area….

    Or do we need to be ironic and solicit a non local business to promote an incentive program for using local businesses….. Hmmmm..

    • If it can be done by locals, it should be done by locals

      And if it can’t, or if it can’t be done reasonably or affordably, then it should be done however it can be done.

      Sometimes it’s best to go with a tried-and-true product rather than take a chance. Sometimes the risk of failure/loss is too high otherwise. I have no idea how that would weigh into this particular project, but how many times have I (and people I know) struggled to reinvent the wheel with a DIY project and ended up spending more money and time than would have been spent with a pre-fabricated solution?

      • Yes, there are times we are

        Yes, there are times we are in need to go outside the circle and is a good thing. It is simply ironic. I guess humor is not in the cards here…..:=(

      • Amanda I am willing to help

        Amanda I am willing to help out this initiative. Feel free to contact me if I can help promote this in anyway.

        • Thank you, Mark!

          I regret that can’t take this on myself, though I wish I could. Would you be willing to run with it and see where it goes?

          Anyone else willing to work with Mark on this? I’d so love to see it thoughtfully considered here. Mark, I’m happy to help spread the word to see if anyone might jump on board. I’d also be glad to connect you with the 1-2 others I met who have firsthand experience with this initiative in their towns.

          Maybe some of you readers/lurkers out there would be willing to post here, or to contact Mark directly, to see how you can help. I think this idea has great potential here.

  • The local as microcosm

    With reductio ad absurdum comes the realization that this would put all of us back to the renaissance farmer man doing everything for himself and I suspect that few of us are up to that standard. Assuming that at least some of you have had Econ 101 you will realize that the benefits here are vastly outweighed by the losses. Remember all the guns and butter stuff. The best system turns out to be that everyone makes the thing at which they are the most efficient and then trades for the other things that they need. Sadly, currently there are a whole bunch of industries which take advantage of another economic anomaly in which corporations externalize costs. Some of the buy local stuff is intended to make up for those costs. I have to say that buying a bottle of water from Fiji seems the best example. There are also monster distortions (just thing WalMart) which are encouraged by our government in terms particularly of agriculture from which I suspect we will be suffering for ages. The only one your suggestion deals with really is the cost of transportation. It turns out that with most agriculture, Vermont (NH as well) has short growing seasons and poor soil and conditions which make the things you would like to get locally, so prohibitive that it is a local joke about how much “organic” crops cost. In my instance, for thirty years I made precision tools which lately, it has occurred to me, mostly had the function of making it possible for a bunch of machine shops to continue in production using antiquated, junk machinery instead of getting modern, and expensive stuff that would make them actually competitive. Lots of fun though.

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