New Jersey Towns Raise Local Property Taxes Above Christie's Proposed Cap

By Dunstan McNichol, Bloomberg

Robbinsville, the central New Jersey town where Governor Chris Christie appeared last week to promote his plan to cap annual property-tax increases at 2.5 percent, won approval yesterday to raise its tax bills by 29 percent.

The $2.3 million increase will boost the average homeowner’s municipal tax bill to $2,000 from about $1,600, Mayor David Fried said during a hearing before the state’s Local Finance Board in Trenton. It is the result of a 2007 reassessment that prompted warehouse owners such as closely held Matrix Development Group to file successful appeals that are costing the community more than $1 million, Fried said.

Fried was among 57 mayors Christie listed on a May 26 press release as supporting his plan to impose a 2.5 percent limit on annual property-tax increases. Christie was in Robbinsville June 3 for the fourth of several town hall meetings he is holding to talk about his proposal, aimed at controlling growth in New Jersey’s property taxes, which are the highest in the nation.

“We have done everything we possibly can,” Fried said during testimony on his tax increase. “It’s a very good question how we’re going to get to 2.5 percent.”

New Jersey’s property-tax bills averaged $7,281 per household last year, according to the state Department of Community Affairs. The levy has climbed 72 percent since they averaged $4,239 in 1999.

Over The Limit

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