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You don’t have to leave NJ for property tax relief

A predictable, economical solution for retirees

Created date

February 17th, 2016

Year after year, New Jersey continues to claim the nation’s number one spot for highest property tax rates. For the average homeowner, they’re not going down any time soon. 

In 2014, the average New Jersey residential property tax bill increased 2.2%—the fastest rate since 2011 when it jumped 2.4%. Union County had one of the highest average tax bills at $10,241, a 3.1% increase. 

While the rate of property tax increases have declined in recent years under Gov. Chris Christie, so have the rebates earmarked for older adults.

Jerry Cantrell, president of Common Sense Institute of New Jersey, a nonprofit research and education organization that conducts scholarly research and analysis of New Jersey public policy, says retirees often leave New Jersey because of their property tax bill. 

But, “No one wants to leave Union County,” says Kathy Banks, a 30-year Union County resident and sales counselor for Lantern Hill. “That’s why we built Lantern Hill—so retirees can stay in the area and get the maintenance-free lifestyle they want.”

Relief close to home

Lantern Hill, an Erickson Living community of one- and two-bedroom apartment homes within an amenity-rich, village-type campus opening this year in New Providence, will divide its property tax amount among all residents based on apartment size and days of occupancy. This way, the tax is spread out over the entire year instead of divided into large quarterly payments.

“When you move to Lantern Hill you’re simplifying your life, and that includes financially,” says Banks.

To make life simpler, Lantern Hill combines property taxes and all other home-related costs such as all home maintenance, professional landscaping, round-the-clock security and emergency response, utilities, weekly light housekeeping, 24-hour concierge, select meals at on-site restaurants, and use of all amenities like the indoor pool and fitness center. 

The monthly service package also includes campus snow clearing and year-round transportation to and from local destinations like the grocery store.

While the monthly service package includes all those measurable expenses, it also encompasses something immeasurable—the active, carefree lifestyle.

“Our residents will be paying property taxes only on their apartment home, but they can take advantage of all the amenities at Lantern Hill like the fitness center, indoor pool, cozy living room, restaurants, and activity rooms,” says Banks.

No surprises

“One of the things that appeals to us is the fact that you’ll be able to predict what your expenses are each month, at least a year ahead of time,” says Cal Carver. He and his wife June joined the priority list and reserved a home at Lantern Hill. 

Sales Director Randy Carroll confirms that: “The monthly service fee stays the same all year long, keeping expenses predictable and economical.”

For Cal and June, that’s a major advantage to life at Lantern Hill. Cal says, “Being able to project your finances ahead as to just exactly what they’re going to be at least from a year-to-year basis—I think that’s helpful to most people.”