From the Times of Trenton:
Susan Bluth owns a two-bedroom condo in the Wyckoff’s Mill development of Hightstown.
Her property taxes jumped last year as a result of a county-mandated revaluation, and this year, she’s bracing for more of the same.
“Taxes were bad enough before that, but last year we saw a $1,000 increase and now we’re probably getting another $800 increase when all is said and done,” said Bluth, president of the Wyckoff’s Mill Condominium Association.
When it comes to rising municipal tax bills, Bluth’s not alone.
Far from it.
Tax appeals, rising costs for health care and pension contributions, plummeting revenue and loss of state aid have all weighed heavily on municipal budgets.
And while layoffs, furloughs and wage freezes have been enacted in some towns, in many cases it won’t be enough to keep taxpayers from feeling the pinch when they open their tax bills.
Leading the pack?
Trenton, Robbinsville and Hightstown.
On the surface, the three don’t seem to have much in common — one’s a densely populated city, one a suburb and one a tiny, square-mile borough.
But residents in these three municipalities will see, on average, some of the highest municipal tax increases in the Mercer County area.
In Robbinsville, under the recently approved budget for 2010, the municipal tax rate has jumped 12.4 cents, to 52.8 cents per $100 assessed value.
For the average Robbinsville home assessed at $375,000, that means an average municipal tax bill of $1,980, a whopping $465 increase from last year.
For the average Trenton home assessed at about $67,000, the city portion of annual property taxes increased $395 to $2,231. The entire increase was tacked onto the quarterly bill due in April, causing consternation among homeowners.
Many senior citizens on fixed incomes went to the City Hall tax office in tears, saying they would not be able to afford their taxes and mortgages for much longer.