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The Highest Property Taxes in the U.S. Are Rising Again

Row of Townhouses on Suburban StreetRow of Townhouses on Suburban Street
Some homeowners could owe much more property tax in 2018.Getty Images

Residents of New Jersey, the state with the nation’s highest property taxes, paid a record average of $8,690 in 2017, state data show.

That marks a 1.6 percent increase, according to figures released by the community affairs department. The statewide rise is down from 2.3 percent a year earlier and was restrained by Atlantic City, which overhauled property taxes for casinos as part of a plan to arrest a financial crisis.

School costs drove more than half the 2017 increase, while county costs were the second biggest driver.

Former Republican Governor Chris Christie in his first term enacted a 2 percent cap on annual property-tax increases, excluding coverage for debt payments and other liabilities. Phil Murphy, the Democrat who replaced him on Jan. 16, hasn’t supported renewing a limit on interest arbitration awards to police and firefighters, a Christie initiative that’s been credited with saving taxpayers almost $3 billion.