Why Prop. 13 is more crucial than ever

Why Prop. 13 is more crucial than ever

Howard JarvisEvery year brings attempts to gut Proposition 13, the 1978 tax limitation measure. It limits yearly increases in property taxes to 2 percent of the assessed value, beginning when the property was purchased. The original rate is 1 percent of assessed value.

Thus, someone buying a $300,000 condo this year would pay $3,000 in taxes this year, but at most $3,060 next year.

New Jersey didn’t have an equivalent until recently. Here’s what’s happening:

The average property-tax bill in New Jersey, which already has the highest in the U.S., rose 1.7 percent last year, Governor Chris Christie said.

More than 80 towns, school boards and other local governments saw their taxes drop, while about 160 had increases of less than 1 percent, according to an e-mail from the governor’s office.

New Jersey’s property taxes, which are collected by local governments, increased about 7 percent annually in 2004, 2005 and 2006 before the rate began to slow. Christie, a second-term Republican, has controlled the growth after enacting a 2 percent annual cap. Still, the tax climbed to a record of more than $8,000 per household, from the previous high of $7,885 in 2012, according to calculations by Bloomberg.

“This is the lowest rate of growth in 24 years in this state,” Christie said yesterday at a town-hall meeting in Mount Laurel.

That’s only because home price increases slowed after the earlier peaks. But the taxes remain sky high. And you’re living in Jersey!

Tags assigned to this article:
John SeilerNew JerseyProp. 13Taxes

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