Essex County Has 2nd Highest Property Taxes in U.S.

Yikes. What a claim to fame. With a median property tax of $7,801 — which represents 8.27% of median homeowner income — Essex is situated second on the list of the nation’s 25 counties with the highest taxes, second only to neighboring Passaic. According to Business Insider, 17 of the 25 are in the Garden State.

Here’s the skinny on Essex County:

Taxes as a percentage of income: 8.27%
Median homeowner income: $94,306
Taxes as a percentage of home value: 1.95%
Median Home Value:$400,900
Median Property Taxes Paid: $7,801

The data was compiled from information released by the Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan tax research group based in Washington, D.C. The organization’s most recent compilation of tax information, Facts & Figures Handbook: How Does Your State Compare? compares the 50 states on 32 different measures of taxing and spending, including individual and corporate income tax rates, business tax climates, excise taxes, tax burdens and state spending. You can download it for free here.

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  1. I have no reason to question the numbers, only the label that the Tax Foundation is non-partisan.

    It may have been less than partisan when it was founded in 1937 but a Wikipedia entry states it was acquired by

    Quote from, “In 1989, Citizens for a Sound Economy, a conservative group founded and funded by the owners of Koch Industries, purchased the Tax Foundation, which continued to operate it as a subsidiary until its spin-off into Americans for Prosperity in 2005. After the acquisition, the board of directors was reduced from the former level of more than 30 prominent tax professionals.”

  2. I friend of mine has this interesting spin reg. NJ tax rates, saying that the local mob essentially went into local government.
    The various scandals like the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission etc. make of course interesting conversation points in this context.

    Kidding aside, why does MTC employ more than 60+ people making more than 100k + benefits?

  3. “Kidding aside, why does MTC employ more than 60+ people making more than 100k + benefits?”

    It’s called padding, Butterfly. The same thing a cheap hooker might do with her bra.

  4. They have weastchester county in N.Y. LOWER than here Blmfd & M’Clair and Westchester County is alm ost all ESTATES !!!

  5. Of course, schools, police and fire are essentials…but why in the WORLD do we (West Orange, for ex.) need garbage pick up more than once a week? We are supposed to be learning how to be a “green” society and generating enough trash so that you need 2x a week pickup flies in the face of that. Some towns don’t even have garbage pick up, people have to hire private haulers or haul it to the dump themselves. A bit inconvenient? Maybe, but if it saves me $$$ in property taxes, it’s worth it.

  6. You guys are so negative. the prof is POSITIVE on Wednesday!!

    I look at this info and wonder: What’s a brotha gotta do to be #1?

  7. “I look at this info and wonder: What’s a brotha gotta do to be #1?”

    We gotta get them suckers in Passaic County some big-ass raises so that their percentage of taxes vs. household income goes down.

  8. I’m with you Martha, however, I dont think the political class has the will to do what’s necessary.

  9. A friend of mine lives in Silver Spring, Md. where most services like police, fire and schools are provided on a county level. His trash pickup was through private haulers. A few years ago, the county initiated trash pickup and my friend was ecstatic because garbage trucks would only be coming through his neighborhood one day a week instead of continually through the week depending on what private hauler was picking up his neighbors’ garbage. I guess you have to look at both sides of the coin.

  10. Say what you want, but the 800-pound gorillas here are the outrageous costs of propping up sinking school systems across the state and the gold-plated, genuine, guaranteed-for-life pension and medical benefits plans for municipal employees. Ooops! The unions are starting to gather in front of my mansion with their pitchforks and torches as we chat…

  11. Not an 800-lb. gorilla to me…I’ve known about it for years. At least Gov. Christie acknowledges the problem, unlike his predecessors.

  12. We gotta get them suckers in Passaic County some big-ass raises so that their percentage of taxes vs. household income goes down.

    Sounds like a plan, Conan. I’m a resident of Little Falls; let me know where the line forms.

  13. Not to underplay the obscenely high property taxes in Baristaville, it is not correct to state that Essex County has the “2nd Highest Property Taxes in U.S.” without noting that such ranking is based not on taxes paid but the ratio of taxes paid to income. On an absolute basis, the three highest countries are no surprise (Nassau County, Westchester County and Hunterdon County). Essex County is only the second highest when the median tax is compared to the median household income; in absolute dollar terms it is 6th (yes, very high) and compared to real property values it is 61st. I suspect that one reason Essex County rates so high on the comparative scale is because the county-wide income figures are low due to the very low income levels in Newark, etc.; that may also be why Passaic County, another county with a strong low-income population, is so high on the comparative rankings). The counties that have higher absolute rankings but lower percentage rankings have, I suspect, a more homogonous higher-income population. I would be curious to see the median real property tax number for the Baristanet communities (which is probably at least twice as high) compared to the median household income for those communities and the resulting comparative ranking, which I suspect would be lower.

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