Berkeley Has Lowest Average Property Tax Bills In Ocean County, Study Finds
Cost of rebuilding after Sandy could affect rates, according to Star-Ledger analysis
Berkeley Township has the lowest average overall tax bill in Ocean County, according to a recent Star-Ledger analysis - less than half of the statewide average of $7,870.28.
Berkeley taxpayers pay an average of $3,727.56, slightly less than Manchester Township, where the average bill is $3,742.80, the study found.
"We are very proud of that fact, and will do what we can to keep it as low as possible, especially in light of the devastation by Superstorm Sandy," Mayor Carmen F. Amato Jr. said. "We will continue to pursue all grant opportunities, and seek federal and state assistance to keep the tax impact at minimal levels for our homeowners."
Berkeley's property tax increase in 2012 was 2.1 percent, slightly above the state average of 1.7 percent. The state average was the lowest increase since 1991, according to a Star-Ledger analysis.
The Star-Ledger report noted that property taxes statewide rose 2.4 percent in 2011, the first year Christie’s 2 percent cap was in effect. But the trend of lower increases could be reversed because of Hurricane Sandy, according to the report.
In Manasquan, which suffered some of the worst damage from Sandy, local officials said the cost of rebuilding might drive up tax rates by at least 20 percent, the report said. To top it off, the tax base shrank as properties were washed away, according to the report. Towns are allowed to exceed the 2 percent limit on property tax collections for emergencies such as Sandy.
Mantoloking had the highest average tax bill at $16,140.49, the study found.
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