Citing the need to find lower taxes, 41% of New Jersey voters age 50 and older say they've considered fleeing the Garden State over the past year, according to a new poll from AARP New Jersey.

Of that group, more than 80% say they are likely to actually leave.

The poll, and 9-page report, focused specifically on the impact of property taxes on New Jersey's older residents. The property tax tab for an average home rose to $9,284 in 2021.

"Fifty-and-older homeowners say property taxes are their most difficult expense to pay each month, even more than utilities, grocery bills, and health insurance," said Katie York, associate state director of advocacy for AARP New Jersey.

In the poll of more than 1,000 50-plus voters between Jan. 24 and Feb. 7, more than a quarter of homeowners said their mortgage payment is at least 40% of their monthly income before taxes. The burden is even greater for renters — 43% put out at least 40% of their monthly income before taxes on rent payments.

Solutions to property tax burden


Nealy 80% of poll respondents said lowering property taxes should be a top priority in New Jersey. This view received majority support among all income brackets and across the political aisle.

"It is clear that people are hungry for change," said Evelyn Liebman, director of advocacy for AARP New Jersey. "With the clear blueprint voters 50 and older have laid out, we will be fighting to pass legislation that provides real relief now for those who need it the most to ensure people can remain in their homes and communities."

When prompted with potential steps to alleviate the burden of property taxes, 80% of respondents said they support the proposal to shift New Jersey's Senior Freeze program from a reimbursement to a credit, so that participants can save money upfront instead of receiving a refund on the back end. Legislation to do exactly that has been introduced but hasn't seen any action.

Close to 80% of voters 50 and older also expressed support for an expansion of eligibility within New Jersey's Homestead Benefit program. Gov. Phil Murphy in March announced plans to increase benefits over three years, stretching the income threshold and offering the perk to certain renters as well.

According to AARP New Jersey, the majority of 50-plus New Jersey voters are not familiar with existing property tax relief programs. Sixteen percent of respondents said their mortgage statement or property tax bill has information about how to access relief programs, and 85% said that information should be included on those documents.

Dino Flammia is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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2021 NJ property taxes: See how your town compares

Find your municipality in this alphabetical list to see how its average property tax bill for 2021 compares to others. You can also see how much the average bill changed from 2020. For an interactive map version, click here. And for the full analysis by New Jersey 101.5, read this story.

Every NJ city and town's municipal tax bill, ranked

A little less than 30 cents of every $1 in property taxes charged in New Jersey support municipal services provided by cities, towns, townships, boroughs and villages. Statewide, the average municipal-only tax bill in 2021 was $2,725, but that varied widely from more than $13,000 in Tavistock to nothing in three townships. In addition to $9.22 billion in municipal purpose taxes, special taxing districts that in some places provide municipal services such as fire protection, garbage collection or economic development levied $323.8 million in 2021.

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