On Lowering New Jersey Property Taxes
Property taxes in New Jersey exceed $18 billion. Choose whatever percentage you’d like to reduce your property taxes, multiply by that $18 billion, and you’ll have the number of billions by which the state would need to raise taxes to reduce property taxes. Raising state taxes to reduce local property taxes is a losing proposition. (See History of New Jersey Property Tax Relief)
Now consider the facts:
New Jersey spends 57 percent more per public student than the national average.
New Jersey’s 31* Abbott school districts spend 30 percent more per student as compared to the rest of state. Average per-pupil spending in New Jersey school districts is $11,056. Abbott districts average $14,287, led by Asbury Park's $18,893.
In 1998, the Abbott* average cost per pupil was $8,438, the state’s average cost per student was $7,979. By 2006, the average Abbott cost had grown 69 percent, to $14,287.
Abbott districts have spent at these high levels without any requirement to raise their local levy [property taxes] beyond the amount raised in 1998. That has resulted in significant increases in per pupil spending in Abbott districts without any corresponding increase in local property taxes [in the Abbott districts].The 31* Abbott school districts will receive over 56% of property tax relief (state aid) for public schools in 2007 and yet make up only 25 percent of New Jersey’s public school enrollment.
Without cost containment and an equitable distribution of state property tax relief, taxes will continue to soar.
* Thirty-one of the state’s 566 municipalities are designated as “Abbott” for the purposes of “property tax relief” related to education aid and “needy” for the purposes of “property tax relief” related to all other municipal aid. The 31 municipalities designated as “Abbott” and “needy” were not subjected to the zero growth in state “property tax relief”, as other had the rest of the state for the past four years.