NJ Spotlight: Gov. Murphy’s Budget Is On Target To Increase Municipal Taxes

New Jersey already has the highest property taxes in the nation and they may be rising, writes Colleen O'Dea. If Gov. Murphy moves ahead with his proposed freeze on aid to municipalities and removal of the cap on labor union wage settlements, taxpayers can expect higher local property taxes as a result of the moves in Trenton.

Murphy’s budget freezes aid to cities and towns at $1.4 billion. Only nine municipalities, including Atlantic City and Camden, can count on more aid than they got in 2007.

“This will be the eighth year of flat funding, following three years during which municipal property-tax relief funding was reduced by a total of $320 million,” Jon Moran, senior legislative analyst with the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, told NJ Spotlight. Inflation has risen 15% in the past 8 years.

A contributing factor in expected property tax hikes is the expiration of the 2% cap on raises that fire and police union members can receive through arbitration in contract disputes with municipalities. The cap, which first took effect in 2011 under Gov. Christie, reported saved homeowners $530 million.

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