Listen to Phil’s complete answer on property taxes in New Jersey.
Q: New Jersey has some of the highest property taxes in the country. What can be done to lower them? And can you re-evaluate the Homestead Rebate Program and increase the benefits?
Answer in key points:
- Look at your property tax bill and look at how much your bill funds education. The Christie/Guadagno administration has underfunded the public school funding formula to the tune of 9 Billion dollars in 7.5+ years. Corporations got prioritized over kids: kids did not get the education they deserved and your property tax bills increased [in order to pay for schools].
- Homestead: property tax is blind to your income. When you hit the sweet spot in life, you buy a home in NJ because you can afford your mortgage and your property tax bill. But when you retire or lose your job, your house is still worth the same, your property tax bill is the same. But your earnings went down, and your property taxes which was once reasonable and affordable (even if you didn’t like it), is now unaffordable and you either have to sell it or go into poverty. The Christie/Guadagno administration stripped that “cushioning” away from the Homestead rebate.
- The 565 communities [municipalities] in this state give us a real chance to share common services across communities. We can’t make two communities want to do this but we can [encourage them] by giving them incentives.
- Lastly, we have to grow our economy that is stronger and fairer for NJ working families.