Contrary to National Trend, Curve of Foreclosures in New Jersey Points Up

“New Jersey officials estimate 50,000 to 100,000 previous cases are still pending.”

NJ Spotlight | Foreclosures in New Jersey in a Troublesome State of Flux.

Of course there are a number of reasons for such a sorry condition. However, two causes that stand out are:

1. Our huge property taxes which in many instances amount to the equivalent of second mortgages and:

2: The New Jersey economy is more stagnant than the national economy – in spite of the “New Jersey Comeback” fairy tale.

The potential consequences of this housing trend in our state are to be measured in both human and fiscal terms. In the first, we will have more homeless families, more broken homes, more children living in poverty, etc.

In the fiscal area, as more homes are foreclosed, property values tend to decrease, bringing more homeowners to give up on their de-valued homes, when their pre-recession mortgages sink deeper under water.

To a degree, the approaching wave of foreclosures could have a snowball effect on the economy of New Jersey. That is foreclosures trigger more foreclosures and additional economic strains: Less consumption, more pressure on social services, less tax revenue, etc

With housing one of the main residual industries in the state, this phenomenon will stall any significant growth that other niches of the economy may achieve.

Abolishing property taxes for primary residences and some commercial property in New Jersey, as I propose (please refer to Pages for details) is almost a matter of survival for our state. Zero property tax would have a lifting effect on property values almost immediately.

I am not proposing such drastic reforms as I have been doing for 2 years because I want to make a mess of things: They are desperately needed. That is the only reason.

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N.J. Property Taxes Are the Worst Enemy of Senior Citizens

NJ Spotlight | Assembly Bill Would Help Neighbors Grow Old Together.

The bill, although not bad in concept, is a miserable band-aid on the gaping wound that property taxes open on family budgets. And among the most vulnerable and often financially stressed households, those led by seniors are at the forefront.

The reality is that seniors in New Jersey are often forced from their homes by property taxes that surpass – and outlive – their mortgages. Unlike mortgages, which eventually are paid off, property taxes never go away and continue to increase year after year. If we add the actual direct increase in property taxes during the first two years of the Christie administration and the indirect increases caused by the elimination of the State property tax rebates, we arrive at the massive increase of 20% in 2 years. That is scandalous and it has had the effect of pushing numerous seniors out of their homes, or at the very least under the poverty line – in terms of disposable income.

Then governor Christie has the nerve to climb on a podium and claim that he has balanced two consecutive budgets without increasing taxes!

The most effective way of helping all New Jersey seniors to remain in their homes is by abolishing property taxes for the primary residence of all New Jersey taxpayers. I will be the only gubernatorial candidate who will propose such a reform of our tax system in 2013. The elimination of property taxes for most will also have the desirable effect of raising property values and increasing demand for homes. Property taxes are suffocating our economy,

Simultaneously, I offer a well thought and balanced alternative to fund education and municipal governments. Local services would not be touched. County governments would be abolished although many of their departments and their schools would remain. County governments account for over 20% of the total property tax levy in New Jersey. A large portion of that money goes toward consulting and brokerage firms which in turn are heavy contributors to election campaigns. That is one of the pillars of political control.

These changes I propose would involve one or more amendments to the State Constitution and would undoubtedly meet strong resistance in the New Jersey Legislature.