Property taxation is one of New Jersey’s most pressing public concerns. Within New Jersey, for most residents over their lifetime, property taxation will be their single biggest expense. When you rent, it is there. When the mortgage is paid off, it is there. When nothing has physically changed about your property, it is there and it typically increases year-over-year. The current assessment model has gone remarkably unchanged since the 1960s. Unfortunately, the chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.

It is the goal of the Monmouth County Board of Taxation to create a modern framework that provides for the most cost-effective, transparent and fair mechanism for the annual distribution of the property tax levy. Additionally, the Board seeks out opportunities to have all citizens better understand the critical role of property taxation.

To that end, the Tax Board wishes to educate high school students about one of New Jersey’s most urgent and seemingly intractable challenges. To facilitate the education of our youth the Board is conducting an essay contest focused on examining the property assessment function. Through the contest, participants will be introduced to and explore the frailties of New Jersey’s property taxation system, learn about the function of the public sector and, possibly, bring creative and effective solutions.



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