Although the average property tax bill for New Jersey residents rose considerably in 2015, NJ Governor Chris Christie said that the state “could do even better.”
After several years of trending downward, property taxes began to go in the opposite direction two years ago. The average NJ property tax bill was 1.6 percent in 2012, 1.3 percent in 2013, 2.2 percent in 2014, and 2.1 percent in 2015. Last year, the average property tax bill for NJ homeowners topped $8,300 for the first time ever, according to data released by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. The increase from $8,161 in 2014 to $8,353 in 2015 might not seem like a big deal, but it actually represents the fastest rate increase since 2011.
In South Jersey, property taxes are rising at historic rates. For instance, the average property tax bill in Burlington County rose 3.8 percent, the largest hike in the entire state. Meanwhile, Gloucester County saw the second-highest rise in property taxes last year, going from $6,232 to $6,465.
Many NJ property owners are incredibly concerned about their high real estate taxes, especially in light of the fact that New Jersey already has the highest real estate taxes in the entire nation. (The 10 counties with the highest property taxes in the nation are all in New Jersey and New York.) The latest Monmouth University/NJ Press Media Poll found that the most pressing issue for NJ residents right now is reducing property taxes. Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, said that “New Jerseyans seem to agree that prioritizing cuts to the state’s highest-in-the-nation property taxes would benefit everyone, whether they directly pay those taxes or not.” This is confirmed by the survey results, which indicate that prioritizing property tax cuts is a major priority for both homeowners and renters in New Jersey.
Despite the rise in property taxes last year, Governor Christie touted his administration’s record when it comes to tightening the cap on local property tax hikes. In 2011, the state instituted reforms to cut the average tax bill for NJ homeowners. The NJ Department of Community Affairs recently issued a statement that specifically referenced those reforms, observing that “a bipartisan property tax cap is now in effect, and other reforms initiated by Governor Christie have made it possible for towns to do better than the cap requires.”
To learn more about New Jersey property taxes, view the NJ.com article, “Here’s How Much Property Taxes Went up (Again) in N.J. Last Year.”
If you are thinking about buying a home or selling a home in New Jersey, Joel R. Spivack, Esq. is a knowledgeable and experienced real estate lawyer who can help you get the best deal possible. Contact Mr. Spivack today to schedule a free consultation and discuss your options.