N.J. property tax outpacing income
Posted in the Medford Lakes Forum
#1 Aug 7, 2006
Report: N.J. property tax outpacing income
Monday, August 7, 2006
Property tax increases greatly outpaced personal income growth in the region's suburbs between 2000 and 2004, a turnaround from the 1990s, according to a report published Monday.
Property tax collections throughout New York, New Jersey and Connecticut rose twice as fast as income during the four-year stretch -- and the gap in suburbs was even larger, according to a review of state and federal data by The New York Times.
"People's wealth may be growing if they own a house, but the census data show that their income isn't keeping up with their tax bills," said Gerald Prante, an economist with the Tax Foundation, a Washington-based group that favors lower taxes.
The widest gap in the region was evident in Somerset County, where property taxes jumped 41 percent while income grew only 5 percent.
In Bergen County, property taxes also grew at about three times the rate of income.
The trend was echoed nationally, but to a lesser degree, Census Bureau data shows. Across the United States, property taxes grew 28 percent during the four-year period, while income went up 16 percent.
In 32 states, residents experienced an income boom in the 1990s that outpaced property taxes, followed by a reversal in the years since 2000, the report said.
While home values have soared in many places, the disparity between taxes and real income may force some people out.
Bob Vena, a plumbing contractor in Hazlet, said he does not know how long he will be able to afford the soaring taxes on his home and bungalow, which now total $13,500 yearly.
"Eventually," the 63-year-old said, "I hope to sell everything and just get out of New Jersey."
ttp://www.courierpostonline.co m/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/2 0060807/NEWS01/60807008/1006
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