Sunday, October 1, 2023

Tax Rates: Middle High, Stone Harbor Low

By Rick Racela

COURT HOUSE — Recent revaluations and reassessments have shaken up the tax rate ranking of the county’s 16 towns, according to the Abstract of Ratables published by the county Tax Board.
The total rates include county, county library, county open space, school and local purpose (municipal).
Stone Harbor, with a total property tax rate of 45 cents per $100 of assessed value, has edged neighbor Avalon, at 46 cents, for the lowest rate. Teeth are gnashing.
Cape May Point, usually among the three lowest, has dropped to fourth with its 75-cent rate, replaced by Sea Isle City with a total rate of 57 cents.
(Point properties are assessed on average at 60 percent of true value, forcing rates up.) Wildwood, almost always with the county’s highest total tax rate, is sixth highest now thanks to last year’s revaluation that more than tripled its assessed value. Its total rate is $1.42.
Highest now is Middle Township, at $2.81, followed by Lower Township, $2.73; North Wildwood, $2.56; and Upper Township, $2.55. All four are in various stages of revalua-tions which will lower their rates in the next two years.
But to confuse you, the actual tax rate isn’t what hits you in the wallet. What counts is the “effective tax rate” because that takes into consideration the ratio of your assessed value to actual value.
Translation: If your tax rate is high but your assessment is low, you could still be better off than the neighboring town where the tax rate is low, but assessments are high.
Using that formula, Avalon, Cape May Point and Stone Harbor, as usual, have the lowest effective tax rates: 46 cents, 53 cents and 54 cents, respectively. It never hurts to have lots of million-dollar houses and not many kids in school.
Following list gives the municipalities in order of lowest effective tax rate to highest, giv-ing the actual tax rate followed by the effective tax rate, all per $100 of assessed value.
Ã…valon, 46 cents, 46 cents; Cape May Point, 75 cents, 53 cents; Stone Harbor, 45 cents, 54 cents; Sea Isle City, 57 cents, 58 cents; Ocean City, 96 cents, 79 cents; Cape May, 76 cents, 82 cents; Wildwood Crest, $1.25, $1.04; West Cape May, $1.18, $1.09.
North Wildwood, $2.56, $1.21; Dennis Township, $2.27, $1.39; Lower Township, $2.73, $1.40; Woodbine, $2.40, $1.44; Upper Township, $2.55, $1.55; West Wildwood, $1.39, $1.58; Middle Township, $2.81, $1.63; Wildwood, $1.42, $1.88.
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