Are NJ’s Property Taxes Going Up Again? [AUDIO]
New Jersey's property taxes rose 2.4% in 2011, according to data from a state website. Governor Christie says the numbers fail to include property tax credits and the number is closer to 1.7%.
Speaking at a State House press conference Monday, Christie said the increase is well under 2% this year. "The property tax credit was not included…its 1.7%."
Jerry Cantrell, spokesman for the New Jersey Taxpayers Alliance says while Governor Christie and the democratic-controlled legislature should be commended for the new 2% cap on property taxes, it still has a number of exemptions. "If we had a 2% cap with no exceptions this number would be much closer to 2%..and I believe with hard caps going forward, you will actually start to see it coming down even further."
Christie said he had to reduce the property tax rebate program because the state had extraordinarily overspent budgets in the years before he came there. "I will continue to look at ways to reduce property taxes. Senate President Sweeney and I are looking at legislation for towns to share services."
I don't believe we are going to reduce property taxes in the long run by taking income tax money and subsidizing property taxes, Christie said. "The way we are going to do it is by controlling spending at the municipal and county level."
He says the voters have gotten the idea that this doesn't make sense. "If you take money out of their right pocket with the income tax and then put less of it in their left pocket with the rebate tax credit and tell them they are better off...they're not..so we have to get to the bottom line of this problem which is expenditures and that is what we will continue to do in a bipartisan way."
Cantrell says while there has been some improvement with the cap, taxpayers are still feeling the pain. "I think this cap should be 1% or less...with rising gas prices and this new toll hike that recently went into effect...I don't think the average taxpayer has taken a breath and said it could be worse...I think they're still reeling from the burdens that are in place."
Since 2001, property taxes in New Jersey have increased from $4,600 to $7,500 this year.