DCA Issues 2010 Property Tax Data and Statewide Spending Summary

Data Shows Decreases in Local Government for the

First Time in Recent New Jersey History


TRENTON, NJ – The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) today issued the 2010 Property Tax Data and Statewide Spending Summary. For the first time in recent New Jersey history, local government spending decreased year over year.

"The reduction in spending at the local government level shows the Christie Administration's efforts to reform the way municipalities, school districts and counties operate are leading to quantifiable results," said DCA Commissioner Lori Grifa. "We are slowly, but capably laying a foundation for an affordable and prosperous New Jersey."  

According to the 2010 Property Tax Data, total local appropriations decreased $190 million between 2009 and 2010, which represents a reduction of 0.4 percent. Other major findings include:

  • Taxable value of an average residential property increased from $290,502 in 2009 to $298,057 in 2010, a 2.6 percent increase;

  • Total (local, school, county) property tax levy increased 4 percent from 2009; and

  • Average residential property tax rose from $7,281 in 2009 to $7,576 in 2010, or 4.1 percent.

The 2010 data does not reflect the new 2 percent cap on property tax levy increases that Governor Christie signed into law, or the tool kit reforms the Christie administration has made to give local governments more control over spending.

The 2 percent cap takes effect this year for local government budgets. If a local government wants to exceed the cap, it must be done with voter approval.

Last year, the Christie Administration promoted better, more effective ways to operate local governments through its Best Practices Initiative program. The Governor also signed legislation that requires all government workers to contribute a greater share of their salaries toward health care costs; caps the amount of unused sick and vacation time workers can cash out at retirement; prohibits part-time workers from enrolling in the state pension system; bars workers from having more than one pension-eligible job at a time; and reforms the state’s arbitration system.

"While local spending was reduced, municipalities had to also contend with declining revenues such as construction permitting fees and other fees tied to the economy," Commissioner Grifa said. "Municipalities need to shape budgets that are reflective of today's economic reality and they need the tools to do it. It is imperative that we push the Legislature to pass pension and benefit and civil service reforms that help municipal governments live within their means."

To help local governments maintain their budgets, Governor Christie's Fiscal Year 2012 Budget proposal increases education aid to every school district in New Jersey by a total of $250 million and secures stable municipal state aid at fiscal year 2011 levels. The DCA released state municipal aid figures of $1,453,800,000 for fiscal year 2012 last month.

The data and statewide spending summary is conducted annually by the DCA's Division of Local Government Services.

The 2010 Property Tax Data and Statewide Spending Summary are available on the DCA’s website at: http://www.nj.gov/dca/lgs/taxes/taxmenu.shtml.