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Property tax relief

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

Created date

October 10th, 2014
Lantern Hill, developed by Erickson Living, is on schedule to open next fall in New Providence, N.J.
Lantern Hill, developed by Erickson Living, is on

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 northern New Jersey. You just have to know where to find it. 

Less than half

People who have reserved a home or joined the priority list at Hill, a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) slated to open in New Providence, N.J., next fall, are counting down the days until they can shed that burden.

“Most people moving to Lantern Hill are moving from a house where they pay an average of $700 to $1,500 a month in property taxes,” says Kathy Banks, Lantern Hill’s sales counselor. “When they move to Lantern Hill, they’ll be paying less than half that amount.”

Lantern Hill, a distinctive retirement community of deluxe 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.

Banks says that most people are moving to Lantern Hill to escape house and yard maintenance in favor of one-level, maintenance-free living. But they don’t want to move from the quaint, close-knit communities of New Providence, Summit, or Berkeley Heights, where they’ve built their lives.

“Moving from a house in this area to Lantern Hill, most people will see significant savings,” Banks points out. 

New Jersey and New York, where most priority list members live, claim the top two property tax rates in the nation.

“Plus,” Banks continues, “you get to use all the community’s amenities, and you’re only paying property taxes on your apartment home.” Lantern Hill will open with a medical center and pharmacy, fitness center, indoor swimming pool, salon, marketplace, library, theater, classrooms, three restaurants, and more, all on-site.

Lantern Hill residents will qualify for most of the New Jersey rebate programs, including the Homestead rebate. “Because it’s a CCRC 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, Lantern Hill residents will never have to worry about coordinating several monthly or quarterly bills like electric, mortgage, and property taxes. 

All costs, including property taxes, will be bundled in each household’s monthly service package. The package also includes a flexible meal plan, a full-time maintenance staff, professional landscaping, underground parking, round-the-clock security, housekeeping services, and use of all amenities. 

“The monthly service package adds to the level of convenience we offer,” Banks says. “Not only does moving to Lantern Hill 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.”



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