The Senate on Thursday passed legislation, strongly supported by NJBIA, that calls for local governments to share services to reduce costs and achieve some much-needed fiscal discipline in a state with the highest property taxes per capita in the nation.
The legislation, S-1, sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) and Senator Vin Gopal (D-11), was approved by a 34-1 vote. The legislation, is one of the many cost-saving recommendations contained in the “Path to Progress” report issued by New Jersey Fiscal Policy Working Group in 2018.
“These are very challenging fiscal times for New Jersey and our financial problems are deeply systemic,” said NJBIA Vice President of Government Affairs Christopher Emigholz. “New Jersey county and municipal governments need to identify cost-savings wherever that can be found and pass that savings on to property taxpayers. This bill is a step in the right direction.”
Nearly $31 billion in revenue was raised by local property taxes to support spending by county and municipal governments, and school districts across the state in 2020, according to figures released by the Department of Community Affairs in February. Property taxpayers paid an average of $9,112 to support that spending.
In 2021, the Tax Foundation performed an analysis of property taxes in all 50 states and found that New Jersey has the highest per capita property taxes in the nation.
“Reducing the cost of government is important for all New Jersey property taxpayers, including businesses that are struggling to recover from the pandemic and paying the highest local property taxes in the nation,” Emigholz said. “Encouraging shared services agreements at the local level will help ensure that local property tax dollars are being spent most effectively.”