How does my town's tax rate compare to the state average? Where does most of my property tax go - the city, the county, or the schools? How much is my town's taxable real estate ("ratables") worth?
These are all reasonable questions and each year, the state publishes data that can answer them. I'm layering simple visualizations on top of the datasets published by the NJ Department of Community Affairs (the raw data is available here -- look for the 2020 "Property Tax Files" file).
The three unique visualizations give insight into NJ's property tax landscape. You can drill into the data by county or town name.
1. Property Tax Viewer for TAX RATES for all of NJ (you can filter by county or municipality, and compare and contrast towns). A note: these are "equalized" rates meaning they are computing using the equalized (or market) value of the tax base. The tax rates are simple numerator / denominator math:
Tax Rate = (A) the "tax levy" for each local government (numerator) divided by (B) the "tax base" for the entire municipality (denominator).
So I'm sharing levy and tax base data too:
2. Property Tax Viewer for TAX LEVIES for all of NJ (you can filter by county or municipality). The "levy" is the amount in property tax used to fund the budget. Each local government (City, Schools, County) has its own budget and, therefore, its own levy.
3. Property Tax Viewer for TAX BASES for all of NJ (you can filter by county or municipality). The tax "base" is all the taxable real estate in the town. The "equalized" value is the same as "market" value.
Enjoy the data digging!