- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 3, 2015

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - New Jersey’s residential property taxes - already the highest in the nation - increased at their fastest rate in three years in 2014, according to data from the state Department of Community Affairs.

Property taxes jumped by 2.2 percent to an average of $8,161 last year, the Department of Community Affairs said Monday.

The hike has some lawmakers calling for shrinking the number of local governments, which levy and collect the taxes.

“I think we need a lot less bureaucracy at a local level,” Democratic state Sen. Loretta Weinberg said.

Weinberg suggested that local governments could bring down their rates by sharing services like schools and police departments.

Republicans, especially those in the Assembly who face re-election this year, are calling for lower taxes across the board, though they have not laid out specific proposals to bring the rates down.

The rate went up despite a cap of 2 percent on property tax increases that officials imposed in 2010. The cap included a number of exemptions, which could result in increases above the rate.

Republican lawmakers and Gov. Chris Christie regularly cite the cap as a signature achievement. Christie, a possible presidential candidate, mentioned the cap in his State of the State address and Minority Leader Jon Bramnick referenced it at a recent event to kick off the 2015 campaign.

Property taxes went up by 1.3 percent in 2013, 1.6 percent in 2012 and 2.4 percent in 2011.

Towns at the shore devastated by Superstorm Sandy were hit with some of the largest tax increases. Mantoloking saw its taxes increase by 20 percent.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide