Lacey’s property tax bills remain among the lowest in the state. But the township had one of the highest increases in 2012.
The data is contained within a Star Ledger analysis that looked at the average bills in all 566 municipalities in the state in 2012, two years after the Legislature and Gov. Chris Christie enacted a hard 2 percent cap on local budget growth.
Lacey had an average $4,822 tax bill in 2012, as compared to the $7,870.28 state average. However, the analysis found that the statewide average growth over 2011 was 1.7 percent, with Lacey’s average bill increasing 3.3 percent.
The analysis shows that 113 municipalities out of 566 had a higher tax increase than Lacey. Manchester and Ship Bottom also had a 3.3 percent tax hike.
It also shows that 477 municipalities out of 566 had a higher total bill than Lacey did in 2012.
The 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.
Average County Bill
Average Municipal Bill
Average School Bill
Average Total Bill
Percent Change from 2011