Are New Jersey Property Taxes Set To Spike? [AUDIO]
When Chris Christie ran for Governor four years ago, he said property taxes in the Garden State would be stabilized by the end of his first term.
Yesterday during his Budget Address, the Governor said the state's two-percent property tax cap is definitely working.
Some New Jersey residents agree with that statement, while others do not. But no matter what your opinion is, new property tax problems are looming on the horizon, in many communities, for several different reasons.
If the so-called sequester budget cut problems in Washington are not worked out by the end of the week, New Jersey could lose millions of dollars in federal aid, which could deliver a tough blow to towns hard-hit by Sandy that are facing significant clean-up costs, and were counting on federal dollars to help in that effort.
Also, because of lost ratables and lower home values since the Great Recession, "The reality is that towns throughout the state still have tremendous burdens this year that they'll have to meet in their budgets," says New Jersey League of Municipalities President Janice Mironov.
She says the current situation is serious, and further discussion needs to take place between the Administration and the Legislature, to try and soften the property tax blow that some municipalities may soon be facing.
"There's going to be an increase in taxes," she says, and coupled with the Sequester situation, "that's certainly something that is a concern for local officials and something people need to recognize and focus on."
Meanwhile, Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty is taking a wait-and-see approach.
"Every year, property taxes are a concern, and this year is obviously exacerbated because of Hurricane Sandy. We have a loss of ratables in our town just like every town up and down the Jersey Shore," he says.
An Unavoidable Increase?
Doherty points out Belmar has not had a property tax hike in a few years and while the situation is certainly challenging this year.
"Now more than ever we don't want to have a property tax increase."
He says what happens will ultimately depend on how much assistance is received from FEMA, and what kind of Community Development Block Grants are handed out.