From the Record:
The typical North Jersey homeowner will pay about $375 more in property taxes over the next year — and will get less for the money in many cases, as communities scale back services.
Tax bills will rise by 4.1 percent, to $9,053, for the typical home in Bergen County and by 5.6 percent, to $8,190, in Passaic County, according to an analysis by The Record.
Residents are shouldering a larger share of the cost to run schools and local and county governments, due to a significant drop in state aid and other revenue, officials said. At the same time, many communities have laid off employees, instituted hiring freezes or cut programs.
“It’s a double whammy,” said William Dressel, executive director of the New Jersey State League of Municipalities.
Residents in many of the region’s lower-income communities were hit with the largest increases.
In the city of Passaic, where 18 police jobs have been eliminated, residents will see a 12.4 percent spike The typical tax hike in Saddle Brook, which laid off five public works employees, will be 7.2 percent. And in Paterson, which put in place employee furloughs, homeowners will pay 9.7 percent more this year.
Meanwhile, Tenafly, Allendale, Palisades Park, Teaneck and Fairview all kept the median tax bill from growing by more than 2 percent.
Local officials said the rise was largely due to factors out of their control: a drop in state aid and increases in health insurance premiums, energy costs and required contributions to the state pension system.
“This is the most difficult time I’ve seen in local government,” said Stephen LoIacono, city manager in Hackensack. “People are angry. It seems like people are demanding more services. The economy is bad, people are losing jobs, people are losing their homes and this is another piece of the pressure people feel.”