Perhaps the most popular post on my website every year is the one about Bergen County tax rates. When choosing an area to buy a home, the two most common questions are, “How good are the schools?,” and “How low are the taxes?” Answers to the first question are somewhat subjective, but the second response is absolute. Here is the complete list of Bergen County tax rates for 2017-2108.
In short, these are the ten areas with the lowest effective property tax rates in Bergen County in 2017-2018.
10 Bergen County Areas With Lowest Effective Property Tax Rates
|Area||Tax Rate||Effective Tax Rate|
Alpine, Saddle River and Rockleigh consistently rank among among the lowest taxed areas in Bergen County. However for the uninitiated, all three have median price points over $1,500,000 and almost no homes under $1,000,000. And Teterboro largely consists of a regional airport – there are very few homes in the borough.
Englewood Cliffs and Edgewater are a bit more affordable. Englewood Cliffs is predominantly higher end homes, while Edgewater has an abundance of river-front townhouses. Paramus is a good option for someone seeking affordable suburban living with 1/4 acre of land.
Both Franklin Lakes and Mahwah offer very strong schools combined with low taxes.
What is the Effective Tax Rate?
The property tax rate alone is not an accurate benchmark for comparison purposes. Since property taxes are based on assessed value, not market value, one must also consider the equalization ratio for each area. The equalization ratio specifies the percentage of the assessed value realtive to the masrket value. One borough may have assessments at 80% of market value, while in another they may be at 100%. So for comparison purposes, you should use the effective tax rate. To arrive at the effective tax rate, simply multiply the equalization ratio by the property tax rate.
FYI, municipalities are re-assessed periodically to bring assessments in line with market values. This typically happens every few years, depending on how much real estate prices have increased or decreased.