The 10 towns with the highest and lowest taxes in all of NJ
Everyone knows New Jersey property taxes are high. But did you know they were this high?
According to state data released Friday, property taxes statewide jumped again in 2015 — another 2.4 percent, to an average payment of $8,353. That's a bigger jump than in three years, despite a state law that restricts year-over-year increases to the tax rate to just 2 percent (allowing for some workarounds).
In an announcement of the data release, the state Department of Community Affairs emphasized just how large the year-over-year increase wasn't.
"This is the third lowest levy increase since 1999," it said. "This shows that levy growth actually decelerated in 2015 for the first time since 2012. The cap, which only affects levies, does not affect tax increases that could come from changes in taxable valuation with offsetting tax rate reductions."
In other words, taxes are increasing, but not at the 7-ish percent they used to (and rising valuations play a role). And the DCA wants you to know you can thank Gov. Chris Christie's property tax cap for that.
Take Atlantic City's $3.7 billion in commercial ratable losses out of the equation, the state says, and the 2.4 percent increase drops to 2 percent. Increases in property tax assessments also play a part.
"The figures posted on the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) website show that property taxes decreased in more than 62 communities, increased by less than 1 percent in approximately 49 more, and on average increased by only 2.4 percent last year on the average residential property," the Christie administration wrote. "When adjusted for inflation, the increase on the average residential property equates to only 2.1 percent."
So where do you get hit the hardest with property taxes, if you're a New Jersey resident?
(Well, the pocketbook ... but that's not what we meant).
If money is no object, try living in Tavistock, in Camden County. Average taxes top $30,000 a year — the only place in New Jersey where they do. But Tavistock is an unusual case. with a tiny tax base of just 17166302 — the 2010 Census counted just 5 people living there (in four homes). The average assessed residential property value is over $1.7 million — the fourth highest in the state. Residents there pay a tax rate of $1.786 per $100 of assessed valuation.
(Tavistock was formed back in 1921 for golfers who wanted to avoid blue laws that prevented sporting on Sundays, and to get around an alcohol sale ban. It's just .3 square miles, including the four houses a clubhouse.)
So Millburn in Essex County might give you more realistic of a sense of what it's like to be a big-spender at the tax office. There, the average tax payment is still nearly $23,000, against an average assessed property tax value of $1.08 million. It's a rich town (stlll in the state's top 20), but not so mcuh more so than many other places in New Jersey (most of the top 40 have average assessments topping $700,000). The tax rate is higher than in richy-rich Tavistock, at $2.105 per $100 of assessed valuation
So who's not paying much? The average Camden City taxpayer puts in $1,533 — but then again, that's against an average assessed value of just $55.651, the fifth lowest in the state. And the tax rate is pretty big — a high (but not state-chart-topping) $2.754 per $100 of assessed valuation.
Top-10 Highest Average Property Taxes, By Municipality:
- Tavistock Borough (Camden County): $30,722
- Millburn Township (Essex County): $22,734
- Loch Arbour Village (Monmouth County): $21,662
- Alpine Borough (Bergen County): $20,887
- Mountain Lakes Borough (Morris County): $19,336
- Tenafly Borough (Bergen County): $19,253
- Rumson Borough (Monmouth County): $18,959
- Essex Fells Township (Essex County): $18,718
- Glen Ridge Borough (Essex County): $18,569
- Mendham Township (Morris County): $18,434
Lowest 10 Average Property Taxes, By Municipality:
- Downe Township (Cumberland County): $3,069
- Bridgeton City (Cumberland County): $2,994
- Dennis Township (Cape May County): $2,792
- Commercial Township (Cumberland County): $2,443
- Audubon Park Borough (Camden County): $2,192
- Teterboro Borough (Bergen County): $1,960
- Lower Alloways Creek Township (Salem County): $1,863
- Walpack Township (Sussex County): $1,822
- Woodbine Borough (Cape May County): $1,690
- Camden City (Camden County): $1,533