7 counties top $10,000 mark for average property tax for 2020

The good news — LOL — is that only seven of New Jersey’s 21 counties have a property tax average of more than $10,000.

So, if you’re in Monmouth County, where the average rate is $9,658, you should feel pretty good.

At least better than the not-so-lucky seven:

  • Essex: $12,736;
  • Bergen: $12,192;
  • Union: $12,075;
  • Morris: $10,870;
  • Somerset: $10,272;
  • Passaic: $10,247;
  • Hunterdon: $10,176.

Don’t be confused, this is not the number that is used for the so-called SALT cap that Gov. Phil Murphy, U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-5th Dist.) and pretty much every elected official in the state wants to eliminate.

That figure — $10,000 — is a combination of your property tax AND either your income or your sales tax, meaning far more of the state is over the $10,000 threshold. (See an explanation here.)

But it’s a reason why Murphy is working so hard to get that cap eliminated.

Speaking in a joint appearance with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week, Murphy argued that the cap was politically motivated.

“We’re already over disproportionately giving more to Washington than we get back from Washington to begin with,” he said then. “We’re happy to do that, if it’s a fair deal. But this deduction cap made that deal a very unfair deal — double-taxation — prioritizing other parts of the country ahead of our region, prioritizing the very wealthy and the biggest corporations over working families.

“So, it is high time that this thing gets taken off the books; the longer it stays on, the more people are going to get hurt. I think in New Jersey alone, it’s $3 billion out of the pockets of our homeowners.”

Still, the state’s property taxes are the item that gets the most attention when New Jersey is compared to others.

Depending on how you define them, New Jersey has the highest property taxes, according to a recent WalletHub study.

New Jersey has the highest real-estate tax rate, so it’s not surprising that it has the highest taxes on a home valued at $205,000 (at $5,064).

New Jersey, however, also has the highest property tax on a home valued at the median price in the state. For New Jersey, that’s $8,104 on a home valued at $327,900.

In California, where the median home is $475,900, the taxes on that property are $3,617.

In Massachusetts, it’s $4,508 on a home valued at $366,800.

In Colorado, where the median home value is $313,600 — or just $14,000 less than New Jersey — the taxes on that home are $1,647, or $6,500 less than the rough equivalent of a home in New Jersey.

Let’s be fair. States figure property taxes in different way. Some of the things that go to our property taxes are taxed in different ways in other stats. Still, the numbers are the numbers.

That’s life in New Jersey, where, even in Cumberland County — which has the lowest average property taxes in the state — the average bill is $4,536. That’s higher than the tax rate on the average priced house in every state but four (New York, New Hampshire, Connecticut and … New Jersey).