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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.

For more information, please click here.

Town CountyAverage County BillAverage Municipal BillAverage School BillAverage Total BillPercent Change from 2011 Berkeley Ocean $780.82 $1,067.47 $1,879.27 $3,727.56

2.1%

john January 14, 2013 at 08:41 PM
tax payers are going to get hit hard if estimates are true of loosing 30 % of the ratables... plus aiding in the cost of clean up..... thinking now, the homes damaged by sandy most likely skate the extra cost s ( if they re successful in getting assesments appealed ) involved in cleaning up the aftermath of sandy in their neighborhoods ... leaving those costs for inland people... something does sound fair already.....
Kelly January 14, 2013 at 09:09 PM
I would like to know how old the data was that they used in their study. I live in the Pinewald section of town and paid $7,853 in 2012.
Chief Wahoo January 14, 2013 at 10:20 PM
oh great , so the 30% increase will only be on average $900.....even though everyone i know has property taxes $6000 and higher you can see the spin already starting...........BOHICA
Patricia A. Miller (Editor) January 15, 2013 at 12:19 AM
The Star-Ledger's analysis focused on average total property tax bills in each community, not the overall tax rates in each municipality
Irina January 15, 2013 at 12:51 AM
Patricia why did you take down my link, I wasd correct and your/ numbers were flawed. http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/lpt/taxrate.shtml
Richard January 15, 2013 at 11:51 AM
what the star ledger failed to make note of is what brings down the average tax bill is the township has approx 50 % senior housing . which most other communities do not have. most of us pay a heck of a lot more
Xavier January 15, 2013 at 12:13 PM
You're comparing the tax "rate" to the tax "bill". You have to factor in assessed values multiplied by the rates in order to compare towns.
Black Sheep January 15, 2013 at 01:00 PM
Not impressed at all. I agree with Richard, half the homes are in retirement communities and on tiny lots with a real estate appraisal value below $200,000. Lets see how they do after they payed out all the overtime for police and public works and the shortfall in tax collection.
brokeninbayville January 15, 2013 at 01:47 PM
the assessment will only be temporary. Once they all rebuild, it will be at the current tax rate for the waterfront, which is higher than you pay normally. Does that seem fair? People choose to live where they want. What about the inland people who prefer to live in the middle of the woods for their privacy. Should they be charged more because they are more prone to fires and trees falling on their houses? Just a thought. The waterfront will be paying their right share as soon as they rebuild.
brokeninbayville January 15, 2013 at 01:48 PM
Good point!!!
Linda Rissel January 15, 2013 at 02:56 PM
Sorry...check your information! We pay almost $8,000 a year...you must have numbers from some other area...
Chief Wahoo January 15, 2013 at 03:04 PM
All this means is you have a large % of senior property that is keeping the figures down , even though it means the other half of people are getting screwed and overpaying , especially in SSP. Bottom line, property taxes are the most regressive tax in the country and yet no one seems to ever want to change them. Status quo baby !!!
stanley zalewski January 15, 2013 at 07:19 PM
live by the ocean enjoy the view pay more taxes why should inland pay for you to rebuild???
brokeninbayville January 15, 2013 at 08:43 PM
inland is also paying to repair the resorts and the businesses. Will you boycot then because you have to pay for them. We pay for the senior communities. We pay for the schools that we don't have any children in. It sucks all the way around.
Mac January 16, 2013 at 07:43 PM
The history of the law firm Amato appointed strongly suggests this lowball figure will soon be a former history for Berkeley taxpayers. Cherish the memories.
Joyce Connelly January 17, 2013 at 04:32 PM
The abatement is only on the building not the land. Peanuts. Its the land on the waterfront or barrier that creates the higher taxes.
foggyworld January 17, 2013 at 07:44 PM
The folks getting a reduction on their houses have been completely displaced do not have homes that human beings can live in. So yes, those houses should be taxed downward while repairs & rebuilding take place. Now if only FEMA flood INSURANCE - which is really a LOAN which will be added to our mortgages - & the various insurance companies who like FEMA swiftly took our money for premiums would begin to pay, we could get started. And for those who do come back there is no doubt in our minds that the town will then return and up our taxes through the sky because now we will have newer homes - many of which will be on pilings which will be paid for either via loans or savings. Right before the current Mayor took office, the previous one had a reassessment of this whole area done but he pocketed it for over a year because he wanted to be re-elected. As soon as the election was over we were nailed not just for living near the water but now we were in a 2 acre zoning situation for new houses that are now part of a so called "preserved area." Look, no one out by the Bay is making one dime off of this disaster and it frankly hurts to hear all the complaining going on because we have received next to nothing in the way of services or support. I think the town should have to present all the bills they are submitting to FEMA to the homeowners involved who can attest to receiving or not receiving the monies attributed to us but never to the Act of God called Sandy.
impeach1 January 18, 2013 at 12:38 PM
Stanley. What? pay your fair share Stanley. Your senior discount(and I am a senior)is because when the township of Berkeley reassessed my house on the island, my taxes went up 50% to protect you and yours. So if this is such a good deal, bring your hammer and nails and come on over and help me rebuild, that, for your information is covered by FLOOD INSURANCE THAT I PAID FOR, NOT YOU. Fool.
impeach1 January 18, 2013 at 01:16 PM
impeach1 7:44 am on Friday, January 18, 2013 "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." Are you also proud of the 50% tax increase you all inherited from Mayor Varano, screwing those who have no kids in school, limited municipal services, a cop "on call", are you kidding me? Holiday City and Silver Ridge, et al are paying $2200 per year(my mother has a house there) before, yes, before the senior citizens discount and veterans discount. Give me a break. Seaside Park has a better tax rate, and soon we will be part of it. And then you can all pay your fair share.

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