Your question is valid, and perhaps I can contribute to the discussion.
First, if you see or use real estate websites that do not have tax information listed with their active listings do not use those sites. Tax rates and amounts are public information.
Taxes will remain high in New Jersey until 2 things happen. First, governments figure out a way to spend less money. Second, here in NJ we need to allocate money more fairly.
The county governments and the state both redistribute tax dollars around the state as they see fit. Abbott school districts get far more state funding than the districts that they serve contribute in tax dollars. In Passaic County the county government spends far less in the northern part of the county than they do in the southern part of the county. So the northern part of the county has to make up for the lost revenue through higher local taxes.
I wish Realtors had the clout and ability to affect property tax reform; it would help our industry immensely. Property taxes are local since almost two-thirds of the property tax bill goes to the local school district and town government. Realtors cannot fix the property tax problem. Local residents and individuals can have a major impact on property taxes.
The Founding Fathers did not believe in property taxes. They felt that it was unlawful and unjust to tax what a person owned or what they used to make a living (most people back then were farmers). The word Liberty meant the ability to freely own and use real property (land). A person had the right to his own Life, Liberty (use and possession of land), and the Pursuit of Happiness. Sounds like a nice place to live doesn't it?
Our property taxes in NJ are high, and many REALTORS are homeowners, too.
The market correction is behind us now....though we are not forecast to return to the value of '05/'06 anytime soon, a steady but gradual upward climb is forecast in most NJ markets....and certainly Summit will be among those that will perform better than many.
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Thanks for responding! Very helpful! In the subject line I used "sole reason" to grab some attention to the discussion. I do understand that many of the people that have, or are in the process of foreclosing simply bit off more than they can chew. Many that got into bidding wars are inherent impulse buyers; when the banks gave the green light, they wanted to win the bidding war and didn't hesitate to assess how much was too much to pay for the property; many are assessing those mistakes now however. I remember when I applied for my first mortgage in 2000; the amount I qualified for was obscene (too much) considering my salary at the time. I was smart enough to take them up on only about half of the amount. Nonetheless tax reform would help the market immensely; I can tell you first hand that Property Taxes are keeping me cautiously on the sidelines. Even though we would still make some profit on the home despite the decline in value, from a buyerâ€™s perspective we are paying the price as well for those past mistakes by others. I've heard that this is a buyer's market - and thatâ€™s true, to an extent. When you see a listing that seems overpriced and you look deeper at the Price History, in most cases they are asking somewhere near the (higher) price they paid a few years ago. As I complain about taxes I canâ€™t fault those that donâ€™t want to lose money. The market is out-of-whack right now. Those homes tend to sit on the market longer -while the fairly priced homes go rather quickly.
Thanks for your time and insight!!!
The decline of the housing market is the direct result of the banks loosening their lending standards (the government coerced them to do so partly by telling them the riskier loans they made were "backed" by the government hence the bailout). States and counties and municipalities have lower taxes than NJ and their housing markets also saw major losses 5 years ago. North Jersey's high taxes are not the sole reason for the decline; however, they are not helping the recovery.
Thanks for the good question. I'm glad to engage in a discussion with you on the housing market in NJ. If you want more of an explanation or want to discuss other issues, post your question here or email me.