"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance

 and a people who mean to be their own governors

 must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."

Monday, July 24, 2006

New Jersey Property Tax Reform

Let’s say I live in West Orange, have an income of $100,000 and have a retired neighbor making $50,000. My home and my neighbor’s have the same property tax valuation. Our town receives $1,078 per homeowner in property tax relief from the state, producing a property tax bill of $10,000 for both of us. The average cost per student in West Orange is $10,980.

My retired neighbor pays $875 in state income taxes for New Jersey’s “property tax relief fund” and I pay $5,250 into the fund. My neighbor is eligible for a senior citizen property tax rebate of $1,200. I am eligible for a rebate of $250.

My neighbor pays a net total tax of $9,675 and I pay a total of $15,000. I’m paying about 55 percent more for the two taxes than my neighbor.

My neighbor has a friend living in Newark who is also retired with an income of $50,000. Newark receives $23,737 per homeowner in property tax relief from the state, producing a property tax bill of $3,200 for my neighbor’s friend.

My neighbor’s friend pays $875 in state income taxes for the “property tax relief fund” and receives a senior citizen property tax rebate of $1,200. The friend’s net total tax is $2,285.

My neighbor pays 423 percent more in taxes than his friend and I pay 656 percent more than the friend in Newark.

The average cost per student in Newark is $15,796. Newark's per capita cost for local government is $5,197 and for West Orange it's $3,338. School taxes in Newark have not been increased since 1998 and as Newark’s mayor Sharpe James bragged, the city’s property tax rate is the lowest since Newark adopted its present form of mayor/council government in 1954.

So to recap, Newark spends 44 percent more per student and 56 percent more per person for all local government services than West Orange. I am paying 55 percent more in taxes than my neighbor and 656 percent more than the friend in Newark. My neighbor is paying 423 percent more than the friend. I am paying 15 percent of my income for property taxes and property tax relief. My neighbor is paying 19 percent of his income and the friend is paying almost 5 percent of his income for the two taxes.

Now along come the property tax reformers claiming I’m not paying ”my fair share” in taxes. To reduce property taxes, income taxes must be increased and my town of West Orange should consolidate schools and services with other Essex County municipalities to save money.

Of course you never hear exactly how much more in total income and property taxes a “rich” person like me should be paying in order to achieve the distinction of paying my “fair share”. Perhaps the reformers can show us the new “fair share” income tax rate table.

You also never hear how consolidating schools and services such as police will save money. If two or more towns merge, will there be a need for fewer schools, classrooms or teachers? Yes, if you’re willing to increase the number of students per classroom, but school consolidation isn’t necessary to increase the number of students per classroom.

Does school consolidation reduce the number of text books and other supplies needed per student? How about the number of school administrators and support personnel per student, would that change with consolidation? So where exactly are the “savings” to come from – the elimination of a school superintendent or two from the consolidated towns?

The same with merging police departments, how are the savings achieved? Fewer police per resident, larger patrol areas per officer? Consolation isn’t necessary to put fewer police to work in a community.

Perhaps there are some really big savings we’re missing with the consolidation idea and the reformers will be able to give us the actual details using West Orange as an example. With which municipality or municipalities would West Orange merge? What would be the total savings by municipality and what would each homeowner’s property tax bill be, before and after consolidation?

Perhaps the reformers can also explain why Newark and similar municipalities with far higher costs per capita for the delivery of local government services are being left out of the cost cutting initiatives?

Oh, who cares, right? It’s only your money and goodness knows, politicians have proven they can be trusted to spend it wisely and do what’s best for “the common good.” Besides, why not do away with property taxes completely? Just triple the state income tax rates and ta-da, 100% property tax relief.


At 7:25 PM, Anonymous Jim - PRS said...

This so damned depressing.

At 7:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the Soviet Union: "It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma."

-Winston Churchill

Who would've thought that this would apply to New Jersey someday as well?

At 10:31 AM, Anonymous Thomas Pfau said...

They'll finally enact real reform after they've driven enough of the real taxpayers out of the state to greener pastures. I am making plans to move out next year barring some real progress on the tax issues.

At 10:52 AM, Anonymous njcons said...

Once the poorer and larger cities realized that they could control the treasury, it was only a matter of time until the legal redistribution of wealth would occur. There will never be any change because the cities have more population than the rest of the State.

At 7:21 PM, Anonymous persiflage said...

In a Republic of laws, the minority (even a hated minority like "the rich") would be under the same protection of constitution and law as the poor, and could not be financially enslaved by any majority. But a conspiracy of forces have "democratized" our once beautiful republic (purposely, for political power and control) and turned it into a simple majoritarian kleptocracy. Sad. I fear nothing but revolt will derail this juggernaut and restore the republic.

At 9:02 AM, Anonymous njcons said...

"...a little revolution now and then is a good thing."

If it was good enough for Jefferson than it's good enough for me.

Where do the new Sons of Liberty meet?

At 9:45 AM, Blogger KingDrudge said...

The Sons of Liberty are meeting at the local UHAUL office to purchase a truck to move down south.

At 10:09 PM, Blogger downinjersey said...

To solve the budget deficit the lawmakers have decided to convene four committees, thus giving themselves at least 4X the chance that nothing will change before next year’s budget crisis. To ensure the status quo, the committees were given only reporting power. That means they’ll tell the lawmakers what the citizens of NJ have been telling them for the last months: reduce corruption, cronyism, and cynicism among the elected; make pension plans response to real economic indicators, and---. But why repeat all the things that have been already repeated in dozens of newspaper, chat rooms, blogs, and barbershops. The refrain: Throw the bums out.

At 10:46 PM, Blogger Copa said...

Agreed on all counts. I am selling y home, moving the family of 4 to pa....I just hope I can find the right sucker to buy my home. There will only be the poor and super rich left in NJ. I am sick of paying for everything and everyone else. I work to hard!


Post a Comment

<< Home

 Contact Us

  • Email Us
  • Blog Roll Us!



  • Atom Feed
  • Bloglines
  • Feedburner
  • Feedster
  • Add to Google
  • Add to My MSN
  • Add to My Yahoo
  • News Is Free

    Recent Posts

  • Carnival of the New Jersey Bloggers # 61
  • There’s Got To Be A Better Way
  • Federal Tax Cuts Have Not Caused New Jersey Taxes ...
  • Corzine Comes Up With Another Property Tax Relief ...
  • Federal Funding To New Jersey Has Increased 43 Per...
  • Bob Menendez Misrepresents The Facts About Homelan...
  • Where Do New Jersey Democrats Stand On Stem Cell R...
  • Linda Stender Wants To Raise Federal Taxes
  • Another Property Tax Relief Shell Game
  • Carnival of the New Jersey Bloggers # 60


  • November 2004
  • December 2004
  • January 2005
  • February 2005
  • March 2005
  • April 2005
  • May 2005
  • June 2005
  • July 2005
  • August 2005
  • September 2005
  • October 2005
  • November 2005
  • December 2005
  • January 2006
  • February 2006
  • March 2006
  • April 2006
  • May 2006
  • June 2006
  • July 2006
  • August 2006
  • September 2006
  • October 2006
  • November 2006
  • December 2006
  • January 2007
  • February 2007
  • March 2007
  • April 2007
  • May 2007
  • June 2007
  • August 2007
  • September 2007
  • October 2007
  • November 2007
  • December 2007
  • January 2008
  • February 2008
  • April 2008
  • November 2008
  • January 2009
  • August 2009
  • September 2009
  • February 2012

    Online Journals

  • National Review

  • Opinion Journal

  • Real Clear Politics

  • Weekly Standard

  • Blog Roll

  • A Blog For All
  • Althouse
  • Ankle Biting Pundits
  • Barista of Bloomfield Avenue
  • Betsy's Page
  • Blue Crab Boulevard
  • Blogs For Condi
  • Bob the Corgi
  • Brainster's Blog
  • BuzzMachine
  • Captain's Quarter's
  • Cinnaman
  • Coalition of the Swilling
  • CWA-NJ
  • Dino's Forum
  • Daily Mail
  • Don Surber
  • DynamoBuzz
  • eCache
  • Exit 4
  • Fausta's Blog
  • GOP Bloggers
  • Instapundit
  • Joe's Journal
  • Kate Spot
  • Kausfiles.com
  • Little Green Footballs
  • Michelle Malkin
  • More Mnmouth Musings
  • Parkway Rest Stop
  • Patrick Ruffini
  • Polipundit
  • Power Line
  • Right Wing News
  • Roger L. Simon
  • The Blue State Conservatives
  • Riehl World View
  • Red Jersey
  • Right, Wing-Nut!
  • Sid in the City
  • Tiger Hawk
  • The Truth Laid Bear
  • Tim Blair
  • Wizbang

  • Sid in the City

    Majority Accountability Project


    New Jersey Blogs


  • 11th and Washington

  • A Blog For All
  • A Planet Where Apes Evolved From Man?!?
  • Armies of Liberation
  • Atlantic Highland Muse
  • Attack of the 15.24 Mete

  • Barista of Bloomfield Avenue
  • BeLow Me
  • Big Windbag
  • Blanton's and Ashton's
  • Blue State Conservatives
  • Burning Feathers
  • BuzzMachine

  • Clifton Blogs
  • Coalition of the Swilling
  • Cobweb Studios
  • CoffeeGrounds
  • Constitutional Conservative
  • Confessions of a Jersey Goddess
  • Corzine Watch
  • Crazy Jackie
  • Cresting Acrocorinthus
  • Cripes, Suzette!

  • Daniella's Misadventures
  • Did I Say That Out Loud
  • Dojo Mojo
  • Dossy's Blog
  • Down the Shore
  • DynamoBuzz

  • eCache
  • Enlighten-NewJersey
  • Eye On Hoboken
  • Exit 4
  • Exit Zero
  • Extreme-Psychosis

  • Fausta's Blog
  • Fausti's Book Quest
  • Fractals of Change
  • Frenchtown NJ Blog

  • GiggleChick
  • Gregg Gethard's Amazing Personal Journey
  • goethe re scape

  • Hoboken Rock City

  • IamBillPower
  • If this is paradise, I wish I had a lawn-mower
  • Imaginary Therapy
  • Inadmissible Evidence

  • Jersey Beat
  • Jersey Perspective
  • Jersey Side
  • Jersey Style
  • Jersey Writers
  • Joe's Journal

  • Karl's Corner
  • Kate Spot

  • Laughing At The Pieces
  • Likelihood of Confusion
  • Liss Is More

  • Mamacita
  • Mary's Lame Attempt at Fame
  • Media in Trouble
  • Michael Carroll
  • Mister Snitch!
  • MucknMire
  • My Life as a Rabid Blog
  • My New Jersey

  • New Jersey Eminent Domain Law
  • NJ Conservative
  • NJ Fiscal Folly
  • New Jersey For Change
  • New Jersey Weblogs
  • NJ Spoken Word
  • Northeast Corridor

  • Parkway Rest Stop
  • Philly2Hoboken.com
  • Poetic Leanings
  • Poor Impulse Control
  • Professor Kim's News Notes
  • Property Tax NJ

  • Rain Angel
  • Riehl World View

  • Shamrocketship
  • Shipwrecks
  • SloppyDawg
  • Sluggo Needs a Nap
  • SmadaNeK
  • Static Silence

  • Tami,The One True
  • Tammany on the Hudson
  • Tequila Shots For The Soul
  • The Art of Getting By
  • The Center of New Jersey Life
  • The Daily Fry
  • The Duc Pond
  • The Jersey Shore Real Estate Bubble
  • The Joy of Soup
  • The Mark(ings) of Zorro
  • The New Wisdom
  • The Nightfly
  • The Opinion Mill
  • The Pink Panther
  • The Political Dogs
  • The Rix Mix
  • This Full House
  • Tiger Hawk
  • Tomato Nation
  • Toxiclabrat
  • Twisty

  • Unbillable Hours
  • Usdin.Net

  • Where Is The Remote
  • Wine Goddess

  • Xpatriated Texan

  • Links

  • NJ Governor
  • NJ Legislature
  • Bob Menendez Information

  • Blog Rings

  • Blog Explosion
  • Blog Directory
  • Blogsnow
  • Blogwise
  • Blogstreet
  • Blogshares
  • Blogarama
  • Blog Digger
  • Daypop
  • Globe of Blogs
  • Blog Search Engine

  • Ecosystem Status

  • Who Links Here