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Property tax relief

Where to find it in the nation’s highest-taxed state

Created date

October 10th, 2014

Last year, New Jersey homeowners paid an average of $7,885 in property taxes, according to the State Department of Community Affairs. While that seems high compared to the national average of around $1,000, some towns tower above that number with average property tax bills of more than $20,000. 

In fact, Money magazine states, “If you don’t want to grind your teeth at night over your property tax bill, steer clear of Manhattan’s New York suburbs and those in northern New Jersey.” 

But a pocket of relief exists in New Jersey. You just have to know where to find it. 

Less than half

Community members at S..., an Erickson Living community in Tinton Falls, N.J., aren’t giving property taxes a second thought. 

“Most people moving to Seabrook are moving from a house where they pay an average of $700 to $1,500 a month in property taxes,” says Seabrook Sales Counselor Susan Coulson. “When they move to Seabrook, they’re paying less than half that amount.”

Seabrook, an Erickson Living community of one- and two-bedroom apartment homes within an amenity-rich, village-type campus, divides its property tax amount among all residents based on apartment size and days of occupancy. By simply moving from a large house to a more manageable living space, residents significantly decrease their property tax bill.

Coulson says that most people move to Seabrook to escape house and yard maintenance in favor of one-level, maintenance-free living. “Moving from a house in New Jersey or New York, you’re generally seeing significant savings,” Coulson says. 

New Jersey and New York, from where most Seabrook community members move, claim the top two property tax rates in the nation.

“Plus,” Coulson continues, “you get to use all the community’s amenities, and you’re only paying property taxes on your apartment home.” Seabrook has a medical center with full-time physicians, a state-of-the-art fitness and aquatics center, two restaurants, a café, community gardens, classrooms, and an auditorium, all on-site. 

In addition to space savings, Seabrook residents qualify for most of the New Jersey rebate programs, including the Homestead rebate. “Because we are a CCRC (continuing care retirement community) and residents are considered ‘homeowners’ on their New Jersey tax return, they can qualify for most of the rebate programs,” says Michelle Lynch, business analyst.

No more big bills

Aside from reducing their property tax amount, Seabrook residents never have to worry about coordinating several monthly or quarterly bills like electric, mortgage, and property taxes. 

All costs, including property taxes but excluding telephone, are bundled in each household’s monthly service package. The package also includes a flexible meal plan and use of all amenities. 

“The monthly service package adds to the level of convenience that we offer,” Coulson says. “Not only does moving to Seabrook simplify your home life by reducing maintenance, it also reduces the amount of time and energy spent on finances. Residents have more time to pursue the things they want to do rather than those things they have to do.”

That’s why Seabrook has more than 120 clubs and activities like a performing arts club, Bible and Torah study groups, arts and crafts groups, and travel opportunities. 

As Coulson says: “At Seabrook, people right-size their life, and they pay less, too.”

 

                                                                                                  

 

Why is my property tax so high?

Your property tax is determined by six basic factors:

1.Market value of the property you own

2.Cost of municipal and county programs and services

3.Costs of your local public schools

4.Availability of other revenues to cover those costs

5.Tax exempt properties in your municipality 

6.Total value of all the taxable properties in your municipality

Reference: njslom.org/tax_brochure

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