Local Government Tax Shell-acking Game
Property taxpayers paid $20.9 billion of the total tab for local government, of which $15.4 billion was picked up by homeowners. State taxpayers contributed $13.3 billion and other local and state revenue sources funded the remaining $4 billion.
This means homeowners paid 40.3 percent of the cost of local government in 2006 before receiving direct property tax relief of $1.7 billion in the form of property tax rebate checks and credits. Of course state taxpayers paid for this property tax relief program too while the cost of local government remained unchanged at $38.2 billion.
The system for financing local government in New Jersey is one very complicated shell game. The object of the game is to spend as much as you dare while getting the other guy to pay for it. We’ll show you how the Local Government Tax Shell-acking game is played in future posts.