Is New Jersey's property tax situation improving or getting worse? 

Bartlomiej Szewczyk, ThinkStock

During a recent Assembly Budget Committee hearing in Trenton, New Jersey Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Richard Constable said things are headed in the right direction, but Assemblyman John Burzichelli (D-West Deptford) didn't agree.

"By any measure, this administration's property tax reforms which took effect in calendar year 2011 have helped stem the tide of skyrocketing property taxes," said Constable. "Over the last three years the total property tax levy increased at historically low rates."

In 2011 the total property tax levy in New Jersey increased by 2.5 percent Constable said. In 2012 the statewide increase was 1.6 percent.  Last year's increase was 1.7 percent.

"We had credits to people by way of (property tax) rebates in excess of $1,000 reaching almost a million households in 2010. In 2014 we're looking at average payment of $450," Burzichelli said.

According to Burzichelli, property taxes have actually gone up for some by about 20 percent under Gov. Chris Christie.

"Even though the growth of property taxes has been bridled the actual amount paid by the resident has in fact increased by double-digits because of the inability to deliver the revenues necessary to fund the major tax relief program which is a rebate or a tax credit," Burzichelli explained.

Constable said true success would obviously be annual decreases in property taxes or at least seeing them remain stagnant. He explained that last year the total property tax levy decreased in about 80 towns, and in another 80 the increase was less than one percent.