Largest Tax Increase In Recorded History

Though the records I was able to find only go back to 2014 but it was still a shock in a state that is supposed to have a cap on property tax increases to see a 4.8% increase in my property taxes in one year and a 20% increase since 2014.

The tenement project pushed by campaign donors set me off but this tax bill sealed it. An EDDM to 3,024 Kenilowrth households was dropped off at the Kenilworth Post Office yesterday.

Dear fellow Kenilworth taxpayer:

Your property taxes will be doubling soon and it will not entirely be due to Merck leaving or more services needed by the 165 families who will be living in the four-story tenement to be built behind Access Self Storage.

Since 2016, when we got one-party rule in Kenilworth, accounting, insurance and, most notably, engineering services have been provided by vendors who donate to the political campaigns of the ruling party here.

According the NJ Election Enforcement Commission, in the 2020 election cycle Democrats raised $16,777 in political contributions while Republicans raised $0. Yet the Republicans picked up three council seats due to a fluke as sentiment here, as opposed to most of the rest of New Jersey, ran against Murphy’s pandemic response and for Trump (Trump beat Biden 2,498 to 1,835 votes)  to overcome  the massive spending advantage the Democrats enjoyed.

In 2021 there will be an incumbent Democrat on the ballot who may be backed by the same vested interests. This is not a call to vote against them. I would much prefer no political parties or bosses in this borough but, since that is the system we are forced to live under, then make them work for you and not their campaign donors and egos.

Merck is appealing their taxes even as they are leaving and, having grown up in Irvington, housing developments don’t scare me as much captured government. I expect my taxes, which are estimated to go up from $12,180 to $12,765 in the bill I just got, a 4.8% increase from last year and 20% since 2014, to go much higher. If you can abide such increases  then God bless you. I can’t and this letter is one of my attempts at action. I will not presume to preach to you about what to do. Follow your head, you heart, and your money.

Thank you for reading this.                           

       John Bury

                                                                       Kenilworth, NJ


With these additional tables:

8 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by qpat00 on July 21, 2021 at 1:54 pm

    JB1-that works out to 2.85% per year in growth rate, yes over the 2% cap. But sadly there are so many ploys and loopholes for the govt to avoid the 2% cap and just raise taxes to what they want or need Some:… use the etherial “cap bank” from previous 2 years….the county does not need to place a 2% cap on the taxes each town pays so some towns can get hist with 6% while others would go down to net out to the 2% overall cap….plenty “special” items outside the 2% cap too to raise taxes, debt, health insurance, labor items. At the same time there are other caps like the appropriation cap that is imposed on the local level, i think its 3.5% so that does cap all those “special” items at least. But thanks to gov CC back 10 years ago for at least getting caps imposed, it stopped the exponential property tax rise from the McG/Corz years that was fully funding corruption (again as we all know from reading The Soprano State book). Google and one will find the average tax increase back in 2000 to 2010 was something like 6-7% where these caps at least dropped it down to 2-4%. At least Govt now has to be creative to fund their corruption. (and all this you know especially with union county govt)


  2. Posted by Rex the Wonder Dog!🐶🐶🐶🐾🐾🐾 on July 21, 2021 at 3:36 pm

    Though the records I was able to find only go back to 2014 but it was still a shock in a state that is supposed to have a cap on property tax increases to see a 4.8% increase in my property taxes in one year and a 20% increase since 2014.

    Hahahaha … Bet you Chumps were wishing you had a CA Style Prop 13 in NJ right about now!😺🤸‍♀️😺🤸‍♀️😺

    OK, it did not work out as well as CA had hoped as we capped property, general fund and other “taxes”; but “fees”, “expenses” and everything but the kitchen sink quadrupled, resulting in NO NET TAX LOSS to this F’up Krazee State. Prop 13 shifted the tax burden from property owners to the poor via regressive “fee increases.🤬🤬🤬🤬.
    BTW Where are those Stooges El Guapo, Tough Love (and the rest of our local Klown Krew) at these days ???????????????????


  3. Posted by Denis Bouchard on July 21, 2021 at 3:57 pm

    Murphy said if your looking at your taxes and expect to save …perhaps NJ is not the place for you to live …..perhaps Mississippi .


  4. Posted by Stephen Douglas on July 21, 2021 at 5:46 pm

    “In calendar year 2019 (the latest economic data), state-local tax burdens averaged 10.3 percent of national income.”


    Seriously? Would you move to another state to save one percent of your annual income? It would take ten years just to recoup moving expenses… maybe.

    Look where all the “high tax” states are. They are where the money is, Willie Sutton.

    And likely mostly driven by the urban areas. Again, where the money is.

    Just move out to the sticks. Worked for me.


    • Posted by qpat00 on July 21, 2021 at 6:04 pm

      yeah, i would look forward to 10+ years of unstressed peaceful comfort when i bail out.


    • Posted by Stephen Douglas on July 21, 2021 at 8:48 pm

      Your mileage may vary. Tax Foundation and ITEP are both good data sources, with different leanings. Particularly, ITEP says, (paraphrasing) “low tax states” are often low only for high earners. ITEP prefers more progressive taxation. In California, there is a huge difference between coastal high population density, high income areas as opposed to the Central Valley and mountain areas.

      New Jersey can best be compared to Los Angeles County. Roughly the same land area, same population, same annual budget, and same cost of living.

      The house we bought in 1980 for $25,000, in the Bay Area is now $1.4 million. Somebody else is paying those taxes. And that’s in the cheap seats, Oakland. Gertrude Stein: “There’s no there there.”

      There’s no me there, either. We made a huge profit on that one thirty years ago.


  5. Posted by Rhonda Borelli on July 21, 2021 at 5:49 pm

    wow! $12K in property taxes? I only WISH i could to afford such a place! You’ve done well and your lifestyle reflects that. You should be grateful you achieved such a high standard of living and really, did you work THAT hard to get it?


    • Posted by qpat00 on July 21, 2021 at 6:10 pm

      not speaking for Mr Bury but his property tax burden he posts are just normal numbers nothing extravegant. Union county where he and i live, the 21 towns, the average property tax the townspeople pay is now averaging well over $10,000 even with cape cods. (and lets not get into all those other taxes) You sound like you left NJ long ago when times were good, but sadly our standard of living has been going downhill fast the last 10 years.


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