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May 20, 2011

RE:      Using Unanticipated Revenues for Property Tax Relief Should Be a Priority

Dear Mayor:

On Tuesday, the Tax Foundation of Washington, D.C. released its latest rankings of the counties with the highest property taxed citizens in the Country. Not surprisingly, in both the rankings of highest total dollar property taxes, and in the ranking of top property taxes as a percentage of personal income, New Jersey counties dominated the lists.

You can access the report at http://www.taxfoundation.org/news/show/27282.html.

On that same day, New Jersey budget makers learned that previously unanticipated income tax revenues – revenues that are Constitutionally dedicated to property tax relief – are available to address priority concerns. (See our letter of May 18 for details at http://www.njslom.org/letters/2011-0518-property-tax.html.)

Ranked by property taxes paid, seven New Jersey counties are in the top 10. Twelve New Jersey counties are in the top 20. Sixteen are in the top 30. We placed eighteen in the top 50. And only Cumberland County (at 106) failed to hold a place in the highest hundred out of the 2,922 ranked counties.

Ranked by property taxes as a percentage of personal income, New Jersey counties comprise six of the top ten; eighteen of the top 30; twenty of the top 45; with Cumberland, again, trailing New Jersey counties at number 54 – but leading over 2,800 other ranked American counties.

You may want to share this information with your State Legislators and with the Administration, as they discuss the highest and best use for the between the $565 million and $913 million that are now available. Our property taxpayers need relief and they need it now.

We urge you to contact the Governor’s Office and your State Legislators. Remind them of recent property tax relief funding cuts (like the $275 million Energy Tax, CMPTRA and Open Space preservation cuts that occurred just last year). And remind them of the needs of your property taxpayers for consistent relief in compliance with state statutes.

If you have any questions, contact Jon Moran at 609-695-3481, ext. 121 or jmoran@njslom.com

Very truly yours,

 

Hon. Chuck Chiarello                                                                          William G. Dressel, Jr.
President, NJLM and                                                                           Executive Director
Mayor, Buena Vista Township

 

 

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