FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, February 5, 2016


 Data Shows Approximately 62 Communities with Tax Decreases, another 49 with Increases Below 1 Percent, 1.99 Percent Levy Increase Overall and 2.4 Percent Increase for Average Residential Property Taxes

Trenton, NJ – The Christie Administration today released the 2015 property tax data for the state’s 565 municipalities. The figures posted on the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) website show that property taxes decreased in more than 62 communities, increased by less than 1 percent in approximately 49 more, and on average increased by only 2.4 percent last year on the average residential property. When adjusted for inflation, the increase on the average residential property equates to only 2.1 percent.

This property tax increase can largely be attributed to increases in tax levies, which are responsible for 2 percent of the 2.4 percent growth in residential property taxes, exactly equal to the cap. This is the third lowest levy increase since 1999. This shows that levy growth actually decelerated in 2015 for the first time since 2012. The cap, which only affects levies, does not affect tax increases that could come from changes in taxable valuation with offsetting tax rate reductions.

The other 0.4 percent can be attributed to increases in residential assessments and a net loss in property values. The growth in average property taxes falls to just 2 percent when the outlier case of Atlantic City is factored out – a city which faces unique fiscal challenges, including more than $3.7 billion in commercial ratable losses, largely stemming from casino closures and tax appeals. Additionally, a recent revaluation in Paterson reduced the city’s assessed property value by nearly one-third. When this extraordinary event is excluded, the increase falls to just 2.1 percent. When both of these unusual cases are factored out, the increase drops to only 1.7 percent.

Under Governor Christie’s leadership, a bipartisan property tax cap is now in effect, and other reforms initiated by Governor Christie have made it possible for towns to do better than the cap requires. Based on US Census data, property tax increases since the property tax was enacted have consistently lagged neighboring state and regional averages. This is strong evidence that the property tax cap is working to restrain tax growth.

Governor Christie continues to call for reforms that help municipalities lower the cost of government and provide New Jerseyans relief from the burden of high property taxes including:

  • Shared Services and Civil Service Reform
  • Promoting Sensible, Locally-Driven Municipal Consolidation Efforts
  • Sick Time Reform
  • More Pension and Health Benefits Reforms
  • Closing Loopholes in the Property Tax Cap

The Christie Administration led the way in passing pension and health benefits reforms and enacting interest arbitration reform that reduced costs to taxpayers. These efforts are yielding benefits for New Jersey taxpayers with local governments projected to save close to $122 billion in pension and health benefit costs over the course of the next 30 years. It accomplished this with tough, responsible choices that served as a national model for bipartisanship and real reform.

The 2015 property tax data is available on the DCA website here:

Tammori Petty
or Emike Omogbai
(609) 292-6055