: Sticker Shock-How Did They Come Up With My New Jersey Property Taxes?

Sticker Shock-How Did They Come Up With My New Jersey Property Taxes?

I have sticker shock...How did they come up with the property taxes on my New Jersey home?

Welcome to NJ (casinoauthority.com)New Jersey taxes are often questioned, and more often criticized. At the top of the list are questions and criticisms of New Jersey’s property taxes.

Property taxes in New Jersey are based on the value of the land and the 'improvements' which is a different name for your home. The total of land value and improvements gives you the assessed value.

Assessed value is the figure used by a municipality to determine taxes on a particular piece of property. 
New Jersey property taxes are local.  Your taxes pay for your county and municipal governments, school districts, and in some areas fire districts (I’ll refer to all these as taxing authorities).

Your total property tax obligation in New Jersey is based on a combined figure from the taxing authorities once they come up with their individual budget needs.  Property taxes in New Jersey do not support state government.

TaxSo when the taxing authorities determine each of their budget needs, a tax rate is set by combining these figures and dividing it by the total assessed value of the community. It's usually expressed in dollars per $100.00 assessed valuation. Then get out your calculator, multiply that per $100.00 figure from your municipality by your assessed value and you'll have the total tax liability.

New Jersey is a strong 'home rule' state.  States are generally governed either by "Home Rule" giving municipalities autonomy or "Dillon's Rule" which gives states more power.

NJ New Jersey, governed by Home Rule, has 566 municipalities, each with a separate administration and government.  Add to that New Jersey’s 21 counties, 604 school districts (according to NJ DOE) and 187 fire districts, all with taxing authority!  That’s a whole lot of home rule.

This adherence to the concept of home rule, many say, is the reason for New Jersey’s high property tax rates.
New Jersey residents do have a voice in electing representatives to these taxing authorities, and voters can directly vote on school and fire district budgets.  


Comment balloon 8 commentsLaura Giannotta • January 29 2011 08:20AM


Laura, excellent informative post. I'd like to do a similar one for Minot ND but at this time any mention of Minot property taxes could cause a revolt!

Posted by Bob "RealMan" Timm, Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor (Ward County Notary Services) over 9 years ago

Laura, I think this is a great blog.  When my taxes went up another $600 this year, I was so upset.  I'm grieving my taxes with the help of a company that does this sort of work.  I called the tax assessor and he went through exactly how they come up with the tax amount... somewhat similar to what you've described.

The question I'm prepared to answer but always makes my stomach churn is when potential buyers ask me what the taxes are on a property they like.  Our taxes are high in my area.  It often makes a difference between a first home buyer being able to afford the house they want or not.

I often suggest to owners/sellers to grieve their property taxes before or as soon as they put their house on the market.  They'll usually get reduced and the potential buyers find it more palatable if there's a chance they will get a tax break.

Posted by Kimberly A Norgard (Devlin McNiff Halstead Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Laura, Great post. In many communities I see similar homes with taxes that are different because some owners appealed their taxes and reduced the taxes.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) over 9 years ago

The 'Taxing Authority' is an entity that we as citizens need to watch the spending of the money.  2 years ago, we shot down an improvement that did not make any sense for our area roads.  Saved nearly a Million dollars.  It is up to us.

Posted by William Feela, Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No. (WHISPERING PINES REALTY) over 9 years ago

Hi Laura:

I wonder about this every year when I get my tax bill....

Posted by Toula Rosebrock, Broker/Sales Associate, Realtor, Lacey Township, (Diane Turton, Realtors, Forked River, NJ) over 9 years ago

We tell people that taxes and assessments are just the way the municipalities have to make money to continue running....using it as a figure for determining the value of their house...oh not.

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 9 years ago

Sally & David - I have people moving from out of state, and can't figure out the property tax system.

Toula - How did you know that prompted this!

William-That's why the last paragraph is so important.

Posted by Laura Giannotta, Your Realtor Down the Shore! (Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore ) over 9 years ago

Gita-The appeal process is the next one I'm working on!

Kimberly-It is worth looking into.

Bob-It's cetainly a conversation starter! LOL

Posted by Laura Giannotta, Your Realtor Down the Shore! (Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore ) over 9 years ago