Guess the top 3 counties in New Jersey that will give you the biggest return on your property tax spending.
Bergen County ranked third in a survey conducted by financial advice website SmartAsset, behind Union County in first place and Essex County in second place. Of course, value is relative for homeowners in states with the highest taxes in the country.
The website’s top 10 also included Passaic County at No. 7 and Sussex at No. 10. Morris County did not make the top ten.
To create the list, SmartAsset first collected the number of households, median home price, average property tax rate, and calculated the effective tax rate. (The effective tax rate is the amount paid annually as a percentage of the home value.)
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Numerical calculators then came up with school values. By analyzing math and reading/language proficiency for all school districts in the country, they calculated average scores for each school district and set her scores from 1-10 for each county.
Bergen County achieved the highest marks in the school, scoring 10 out of 10.
You then calculated the change in property values for each county over five years. Researchers speculate that where real estate values have risen the most is where consumers are more likely to buy homes and have positive returns on investment.
Union, Essex and Passaic saw property prices rise by more than 30%, as did counties such as Cape May, Camden, Ocean and Atlantic.
Finally, we created an overall property tax index based on the above criteria. The counties with the highest scores below are those with the highest property tax spending.
New Jersey real estate experts warn that property taxes and their values can vary widely within counties.
For example, in Morris County there is a big difference between Chatham, Butler and Dover. Chatham has some of the best performing schools in the state and hefty property taxes. Butler is more affordable, but the school is less popular.
Mark Perry, real estate agent for RE/MAX Franklin Lakes, said:
He also warned that COVID has changed things, given resale value. For one thing, home sales prices have risen significantly. For a while, many people considered a four-bedroom home a luxury.
High Property Taxes in New Jersey
SmartAsset’s research acknowledges that Garden State municipalities have high property tax burdens, with wide variation.
According to the study, the median home price is $459,200, and the median property tax is the highest in US Census data, five times the national average.
Morris County is close behind, with an annual median property tax of $9,595, nearly four times the national median by the study’s calculations.
Matt Fagan is a local reporter for NorthJersey.com. Subscribe now or activate your digital account for unlimited access to the most important news from your local community.
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