We’ll know tax reform when we see it

From the Asbury Park Press:

Five tests to determine real property tax reform

We’ll know real property tax reform when we see it. We’ve been closely following the Legislature’s special session. And we haven’t seen it yet. But we’ll know it when we see it, because it will meet five tests.

First, real property tax reform will reduce property taxes as a share of overall public revenue. New Jersey’s heavy reliance on property taxes to fund governmental programs and services needs to be reduced from the current 46 percent, as a share of total tax revenue, to near the national average of 30 percent.

Second, real reform will eliminate inequities in the current system of raising revenues, especially as those inequities affect low- and moderate-income residents. Households with incomes in the lowest 20 percent pay 9.2 percent of their earnings in property taxes, while the wealthiest 20 percent pay 3.6 percent of their income through this assessment. An equitable system would not ask those with the least to shoulder a disproportionate share of the burden.

Third, real property tax reform would provide relief from the property tax burden on primary residences, whether rented or owned. It would reduce the New Jersey per capita property tax burden, which amounted to $1,887 in 2002, closer to the national average of $979. In that year, New Jersey property taxes equaled 5 percent, as a percentage of personal income — almost two points above the national average of 3.2 percent.

Fourth, it would provide alternatives that lessen the dependence of school districts and local government on property taxes.

And fifth, real property tax reform would provide the means to ensure that reductions in property taxes would be sustained over time. This can occur only if the governor and the Legislature agree to address the principal drivers of local government spending.

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16 Responses to We’ll know tax reform when we see it

  1. njrebear says:

    I haven’t yet recieved Rich In NJ’s email. I have sometime today to do the graphs. Can you please forwards me those numbers?

  2. James Bednar says:

    Still waiting for the email from Rich.


  3. njrebear says:

    ok. Thanks :)

  4. mifune says:

    Its interesting that none of the five test is to reduce spending.

  5. James Bednar says:

    There were a few questions on mortgage rates in one of the threads yesterday that went unanswered. I’ll start it off with the most recent data from Freddie..

    From the Freddie Mac data:

    30 Year Fixed
    This week: 6.18%
    This week last year: 6.22%

    15 Year Fixed
    This week: 5.93%
    This week last year: 5.76%

    5 Year Adjustable
    This week: 5.98%
    This week last year: 5.79%

    1 Year Adjustable
    This week: 5.47%
    This week last year: 5.15%

  6. njrebear says:

    about bonuses making its way into RE

    NPR interviewed like 5 wall streeters expected to get bonuses this year. Not one of them planned to invest in RE.

    How odd, the number ‘5’ sounds familiar :)

  7. pesche22 says:

    spoke to a union member recently. He said,”they
    will burn the state house down before any
    reduction in bennies for the state employees”

    They feel the Pols waste money elsewhere,therefore why should they take less.
    Besides they are protected by laws.

    And he indicated his dept is understaffed.

    What a mess. Property tax relief, forget it.

    Watch em try to raise taxes, unless Corzine
    does the one shot ,, Sell the turnpike and

    Of course we now have needle exchange, something
    the property owners really need.

  8. Zac says:

    What I cannot understand is this: I’m looking in a town that has a mix of multi-million dollar mansions on the same streets as more modest homes asking in the 5-hundred range. I found this the other day. A house asking 1.35 million has taxes of 10k a year; while another house asking 550k has taxes of almost 15k a year. I’ve have seen many more examples of this. Why such a disparity???? The local realtors are not able (or do not want) to answer this question. Can anyone here?

  9. James Bednar says:

    Ritholtz takes a look at the “bottom”..



  10. RentinginNJ says:

    They feel the Pols waste money elsewhere, therefore why should they take less.

    Personnel and personnel-related expenses account for 70% of the cost of NJ government. While I’m sure additional efficiencies can be wrought from the 30% not related to personnel, you can’t address overspending in this state without addressing the lavish handouts to the unions.

    Besides they are protected by laws.

    True. Which is why we need a constitutional convention. When a company emerges from bankruptcy, it restructures. NJ needs to restructure.

    Of course we now have needle exchange, something the property owners really need.

    And don’t forget the $270 million NJ will be borrowing to fund stem cell research. Regardless of your position on stem cell research; how can we be spending this kind of money at a time like this?

  11. pesche22 says:

    they spend it because it is the pc thing to do.

    Corzine caters to the bottom fishers

  12. Clotpoll says:

    I won’t need a needle exchange for the time when I’ve finally had enough and cook myself up a hot shot of battery acid.

  13. RentinginNJ says:

    New Jersey Government A ‘Tax-and-Spend’ Joke!
    By Gordon Bishop (12/27/06)

    New Jersey state government is broke!

  14. Rich In NNJ says:

    NJREBear and JB,

    Sorry, I missed JB’s post yesterday. Sent an email with what I have. Wish I had more time to collect more data but I gotta hit the vacuum, cram stuff into closets and dust off the liquor bottles.

    Who am I kidding, there is NO dust on the liquor bottles.

    Later, Rich

  15. StephenS says:


    In response to #8-

    Maybe the $550K house is new construction built in 2005 at an assessment of $700K, and the $1.35M house was assessed at $500K in 1997 when the town last did a full assessment.

  16. Zac says:

    The 550k house is a 2-story colonial built in 1967 on a half-acre lot. The 1.35 mil house is a 3-story tudor mansion, almost full acre, built in the 1920’s. They are very near each other.

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