New Jersey Property-Tax Bills Increased 1.7% to Record

The average property-tax bill in New Jersey, which already has the highest in the U.S., rose 1.7 percent last year, Governor Chris Christie said.

More than 80 towns, school boards and other local governments saw their taxes drop, while about 160 had increases of less than 1 percent, according to an e-mail from the governor’s office.

New Jersey’s property taxes, which are collected by local governments, increased about 7 percent annually in 2004, 2005 and 2006 before the rate began to slow. Christie, a second-term Republican, has controlled the growth after enacting a 2 percent annual cap. Still, the tax climbed to a record of more than $8,000 per household, from the previous high of $7,885 in 2012, according to calculations by Bloomberg.

“This is the lowest rate of growth in 24 years in this state,” Christie said yesterday at a town-hall meeting in Mount Laurel.

He called on the Democratic-controlled legislature to renew the state’s interest-arbitration cap, which expires on March 31, as a way to contain future growth. It limits the fees for arbitrators, attorneys and others involved in negotiating public-worker contracts.

“There is no reason for this not to renew,” he said. “A quiet fight” from public-worker unions, he said, was threatening the legislation from passing again.

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