It doesn’t matter which group is doing the counting, anytime there’s a survey of property taxes, New Jersey comes out on top.

The most recent report is from the Tax Foundation and also determined that New Jersey pays the most in property taxes.

Let this sink in; according to the Tax Foundation, the average property tax nationwide is $1,682. The average bill in New Jersey is closer to $9,000.

Sara Robinson
Sara Robinson

New Jersey’s effective tax rate is 2.23%; by comparison, Hawaii’s is 0.32%. For a home that’s worth the U.S. median of $416,100, that means New Jersey homeowners would pay $9,279 in property taxes. In Hawaii, the tax bill for the same home would only be $1,332.

Illinois is the only other state to have an effective property tax over 2%.

According to CNBC, In New Jersey, there’s a strong emphasis on local control of public services, particularly education. Those education costs are amongst the highest in the nation, and they’re mostly paid through property taxes.

New Jersey has six of the eleven counties in the country which have a median property tax of over $10,000; those counties are Bergen, Essex, Hunterdon, Morris, Passaic, and Union.

Now if you’re steaming over the injustice of it all, the Tax Foundation also points out that it’s not all bad, “….property taxes are largely rooted in the benefit principle of taxation: the people paying the property tax bills are most often the ones benefiting from the services (think K-12 education or local parks). As argued by Joan Youngman in her book A Good Tax, the well-designed property tax, despite being the target of frequent political attacks, can be considered a good tax since it is usually visible, transparent, simple, and stable, satisfying most of the principles of sound tax policy."

So, now you know, according to some experts consider your sky-high property taxes are a “good” tax. Does that make you feel better? I didn’t think so.

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Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle only.

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