Bill Calls for Property Tax Information to be Posted Online
New Jersey residents could soon obtain property tax information on a state-run website under legislation that was overwhelmingly approved by the Assembly on Sept. 29.
Property tax information used to be available on the state Department of Community Affairs (DCA) website, but the bulk of the data was recently deleted. The legislation would require the DCA to resume annually posting complete property tax data.
The information posted must include the amount of the average property tax bill for each municipality, the amount of the average homestead credit payment credited against the average property tax bill and the net average residential property tax bill.
Data on property tax relief programs would also be required, said bill co-sponsor Assemblywoman Pam Lampitt (D-Voorhees). "They're calling our offices and they're wondering - can they apply for it, when can they apply for it and when will it be administered," Lampitt said. "If they can't find it, they can't use it. They're not aware of what's available to them."
Less information is never better, according to Lampitt and her co-sponsors. Most of the data is available through the state, but some is only accessible upon request.
"I think in 2014, I think people expect to be able to go to a website. They expect to be able to find information. They expect to go to a search engine to be able to type in a few words and they expect the information to come up," Lampitt explained.
"Hiding or deleting vital property tax information is not the right way to govern," said Singleton in an emailed statement on Sept. 29. "The public deserves the right to all relevant information, and this bill will help to inform the public at large, and local property taxpayers individually, about the components of their property tax bills, and to illustrate to the public that local spending decisions directly affect local property taxes."