From the Daily Record:
A sharp and continued decline in the value of taxable property in Morris County has sent municipal official scrambling to push back the growing number of tax appeals that have chewed holes in their budgets.
Seventeen Morris County towns have conducted property reassessments or revaluations in the past two years or plan to in 2011 to narrow the gap in assessed values and sale prices. In the last year, 66 of 566 towns in New Jersey have conducted property revaluations, reassessments or re-equalization to balance the tax rolls.
At $1.3 billion, the countywide loss of property values this year was nearly as large as the total of all the taxable property in Morris County in 1961 — $1.6 billion.
From the Daily Journal:
Ask Richard F. Potts about property taxes and he will tell you that the Jersey Shore is becoming unaffordable for the middle class.
Potts, 74, lives in Glen Cove, a blue-collar bastion of lagoon and bayfront homes in this Ocean County community that was hit especially hard by the township’s revaluation this year.
“I’ve been toying with the idea of moving out of this state,” said Potts, who saw his taxes rise $1,978 in one year, to $4,457. “It just doesn’t pay to stay here anymore.”
It is a common angst felt across New Jersey each year by thousands of homeowners as their towns update the tax rolls.
Potts’ neighbor Jerry Bollettieri, a part-time engineer and veteran of the Marines and Navy, said he and his wife, Cathy, can afford to pay the tax increase for now. But he’s concerned about the many seniors in Glen Cove who have no income besides their Social Security payments.
“They are forcing us out,” said Bollettieri, 73, whose property taxes jumped from $5,524 to $8,319 because of the town’s first revaluation in two decades.
From the Daily Record:
Property tax bills that pump $25 billion into the coffers of school districts and local government create an economic hardship for two of every three New Jersey residents, a recent poll found.
The only household expense pegged as harder to pay than property taxes (66 percent) was saving for retirement (70 percent), according to the Monmouth University/Gannett New Jersey Press Media poll.
“Saving for retirement is probably considered discretionary when trying to meet your household budget, so it’s not surprising that most New Jerseyans say this is difficult to keep up with,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, West Long Branch. “Among the bills which must be paid every month, though, nothing comes close to property taxes for inflicting financial hardship.”