Sunday, January 07, 2007

NJ-Property taxes balloon despite push to reform

The effort by Gov. Corzine and the NJ legislature to give New Jersey property taxpayers some small amount of property tax relief is a fascinating study in political power. This is a state where much of the political power is held by very powerful public employee unions who have managed to drive the property tax burden to the highest in the country. Even after a $1.4 billion sales tax increase in 2006, much of which was earmarked for property tax relief, it is still difficult to muster the votes to give even a small tax break to property owners. All the while property taxes continues to escalate.


As lawmakers scrambled to enact a property tax reform plan last year, the problem grew by a record $1.4 billion, a Star-Ledger analysis has found.

Local government agencies hit landowners with a $20.9 billion levy in 2006, of which $15.4 billion was billed to homeowners. That pushed the average residential tax bill up 6.8 percent to $6,170 -- an increase of $390.