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Clark and Garwood Property Taxes Higher Than State Average But Lower Than County Average

Both towns also saw a higher percentage tax increase for 2012 than the state average.

Homeowners in Clark and Garwood are paying higher property taxes than the statewide average but slightly lower property taxes than the Union County average, according to a statewide chart published by the Star-Ledger.

The average total Clark tax bill comes in at $9,209.86, compared with the statewide average of $7,870.28, ranking it the 150 highest out of 566 municipalities, or in the top 27 percent. 

The average total Garwood bill comes in slightly lower than Clark's at $8,749.30. Garwood ranks 171 highest out of 566 municipalities, or in the top 30 percent.

While the statewide average property tax increase was 1.7 percent for 2012, the smallest bump in more than two decades, Clark residents saw a 3.5 percent tax increase for 2012 and Garwood residents a 4.3 percent increase. Across Union County, the average percent increase for 2012 was 2.1 percent. Mountainside had the highest percentage increase for 2012 (5.6 percent), while Winfield had the biggest decrease for 2012 (-0.8 percent).

Compared to the rest of Union County, both Clark and Garwood had a slightly lower total bill than the county average. Clark ranked 10 out of 21 for total highest bill in the county, while Garwood ranked 12 of 21. Clark pays a lower municipal bill than the county average, but a higher school bill. Garwood pays a higher municipal bill than the county average, but a lower school bill.

Residents in Summit (1), Westfield (2) and New Providence (3) paid the highest average total tax bill in the county, while residents in Winfield (21), Kenilworth (20) and Plainfield (19) paid the lowest.

The Star-Ledger noted that property taxes statewide rose 2.4 percent in 2011, the first year Christie’s two percent cap was in effect. But the trend of lower increases could be reversed because of Hurricane Sandy, according to the report.

In Manasquan, which suffered some of the worst damage from Sandy, local officials said the cost of rebuilding might drive up tax rates by at least 20 percent, the report said. To top it off, the tax base shrank as properties were washed away, according to the report. Towns are allowed to exceed the two percent limit on property tax collections for emergencies such as Sandy.

TownAverage County BillAverage Municipal BillAverage School BillAverage Total BillRank of Total Bill in StatePercent Change from 2011 Clark
$1,942.70$2,474.34$4,792.82$9,209.86150 highest  of 5663.5% Garwood$1,710.53$3,077.43$3,961.33$8,749.30171 highest of 5664.3% County Average$1,828.06$2,954.38$4,732.66$9,515.092.1% Statewide Average
$1,425.45$2,324.66$4,120.16$7,870.281.7%

UNION COUNTY     

Average County Bill

Average Municipal Bill

Average School Bill

Average Total Bill

Rank of Total Bill in County

Percent Change from 2011

Berkeley Heights

$2,580.35

$2,050.60

$6,474.40

$11,105.36

5

0.7%

Clark

$1,942.70 $2,474.34 $4,792.82 $9,209.86 10

3.5%

Cranford

$2,060.72 $2,472.99 $5,369.98 $9,903.70 9 3.6% Elizabeth $1,231.09 $4,743.14 $1,871.93 $7,846.16 17 -0.5% Fanwood $1,937.83 $2,218.57 $6,280.15 $10,436.55 6 1.2% Garwood $1,710.53 $3,077.43 $3,961.33 $8,749.30 12 4.3% Hillside $1,167.12 $3,989.62 $3,513.51 $8,670.25 13 1.8% Kenilworth $1,520.31 $2,269.26 $3,548.28 $7,337.85 20 4.4% Linden $1,284.72 $2,621.57 $3,967.24 $7,873.53 15 1.7% Mountainside $2,677.69 $2,768.10 $4,743.20 $10,188.99 7 5.6% New Providence $2,560.99 $2,684.54 $7,066.03 $12,311.56 3 2.5% Plainfield $1,141.75 $4,579.09 $2,094.72 $7,815.57 19 -0.4% Rahway $1,303.43 $3,057.40 $3,465.96 $7,826.79 18 1.1% Roselle $1,042.55 $4,416.74 $3,597.64 $9,056.93 11 -0.6% Roselle Park $1,303.45 $2,815.30 $4,486.97 $8,605.73 14 1.5% Scotch Plains $2,248.72 $1,966.49 $7,304.99 $11,520.19 4 2.4% Springfield $1,876.85 $3,220.94 $4,910.17 $10,007.95 8 2.5% Summit $4,132.33 $3,643.99 $8,274.22 $16,050.53 1 3.4% Union $1,378.43 $2,878.21 $3,604.53 $7,861.16 16 3.3% Westfield $3,204.80 $2,657.55 $8,466.72 $14,329.07 2 3.1% Winfield $82.83 $1,436.10 $1,591.03 $3,109.97 21 -0.8% COUNTY AVERAGE $1,828.06 $2,954.38 $4,732.66 $9,515.09     –  2.1%

The data above, which divides property tax bills by municipal, county and public education costs, was compiled from numbers released by the state Department of Treasury and county boards of taxation.

For more information, please click here.

KJS January 15, 2013 at 03:04 AM
I have lived in Clark for 4 yrs and my prop taxes have gone up about $1,100. It's getting ridiculous......
Former NJan January 15, 2013 at 12:49 PM
Garwood raises taxes 4.3%? Who living there got a 4.3% increase in their income to be able to pay it. It's a nice town. A shame that NJ and county/local taxes are driving people away.

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