Why Are We Selling Ourselves?

for saleBy Chaim Yonatan. For months, I looked into whether buying a house was really such a bargain. The real estate brokers ran ads everywhere. They said “capitalizing on today’s low interest rates is a no brainer”. They also said that my monthly mortgage would be even lower than my rent. It seemed logical. It was logical. So I bought.
But I was sold. Calculating the mortgage and interest is only part of the story. The other chapter being my property taxes.
Now a lot of you are probably scratching your heads saying “is this guy for real”? Does he even have a clue? The answer is yes, I do know a thing or two about taxes, but then again so does everyone else.
There is almost no one out there with a half of a business sense that wouldn’t recommend you to buy a house if you have a down payment. All the experts agree that buying a house is an essential step in achieving financial security.
The problem is, that in our democery (aka democracy), there are a bunch of fat cats that feel like they are entitled to our money. First they take some when we get paid. Then some more when we shop. Wait, before I forget, they even take our money when we die. Of course  if we are lucky enough to make it through the year alive, then we earn the right to give them some more to celebrate the years end. The last thing we need is for them to drill us with excessive property taxes as the cherry on top. Does this make sense?         
What many of you don’t know, is that the property taxes in the state of New Jersey are on average the highest in the nation! Property taxes are given a cap by the state government, but each county decides exactly what percent to collect. The moneys go to support local education, police/fire protection, local governments, some free medical services, and most of other local infrastructure.
In other words, I am paying the local government money every month in order to ensure that the underprivileged receive free medical care. I am setting aside my money so that the men waving their hands for work on Clifton Avenue can go to the emergency room with their children for free. I am budgeting to support the public school system which benefits me ZERO. Why are the property taxes in New Jersey, a rather small state in the spectrum, the HIGHEST in the entire United States? And they just keep rising.
As a resident of Ocean County, an average of 6.66% of all income goes towards property taxes, while the average in New York is 5.02%. The national average is only 3%!  Why are my property taxes so high?
I know this sounds callous, but let me ask you a question. With all the construction and new buildings sprouting, with all the rezoning, with the commonplace demolition of four small houses in order to build a 24 house development… why is it that our property taxes are forever on the rise? The county is receiving more and more revenue each month from the property taxes received from land that was never productive. Where is it going? Is there any doubt that hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of it is used for wasteful spending?  Does the  Township Committee even know the meaning of lower taxes and responsible spending?
Understandably, the police and sanitation workers have to get paid. The public schools  do need to be funded. But Ocean County’s (especially Lakewood’s)  housing is growing by leaps and bounds. Take a drive through any neighborhood and you will see at least 10 houses being built.  At a time when the economy is so tough and people are having a hard time affording necessities, how can the county justify the high property taxes? How can a local government get away with, year after year, doing very little (if anything) to stop the upward trend. Where is that same tightening of the belt that the average tax payer has to abide by?
I work hard to earn a living. Supporting my family is my honorable mission. But it hurts to give away so much for a cause that continuously bleeds away my hard work . Please, just give me a break already. Get your hands off my money.

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  1. You have told us the obvoius: I have one answer for you. UNIONS UNIONS UNIONS Its the unions that blackmale the taxpayer into payong them full benefits, vacation pay, and when they retire Every govt worker in NJ gets their salary in FULL for the rest of their lives. Someone has to pay for that. It’s the Unions and illegal aliens that are robbing us blind and Obama is in cahoots with both of them This story will never end until we get rid of the bloaated govt packages that’s a side from all the wasteful spending . For Example why does the BOE administrator get 156,000.00 plus benefits to start? can’t we find someone qualified for 80? How can a govt worker have two govt jobs and get double pensions? You can cry all u want but this is NJ, Christy is working on this but its way too slow. Another reason why taxes are so high, is we have so many townships: Take Freehold for example thay have Freehold Township and Freehold Boro each with its own Govt Why? or look at Deal, Ther are so many surrounding very small citiesm why can’t they merge and form one Govt. You are saying good but unfortunatley this is NJ and everyone is in on the deal cause if you can’t beat ’em , they join ’em.

  2. Wow, u were doing great up until u blamed the township commitee. Only a 3rd of your total tax bill is controlled by the Township Commitee. The rest is county, school and state. So if as your editorial suggests, you’re ok with the police, fire, and public works getting paid then you have no problem with the Township Commitee. Your frustration should be focused elsewhere. On a sidenote, the mayor is trying to cut the expenditures of the township and is being attacked for doing so. By recognizing the township commitee’s current efforts in this regard we will get to see the township tax portion lowered.

  3. Hey Mr. Yonatan, If you don’t like it, why don’t ya run and do something about it? Everyone kvetches, but noone actually wants to do something. Get involved and you can make a difference

  4. did you not do even the basic research to find out what your tax bill would be before you purchased? you make yourself sound like a victim but you are a fool for not knowing your tax bill would probably add another 5-800 a month on top of your mortgage

  5. langert is the ONLY politician in Lakewood who is making tough decisions to cut the budget.
    Lets rally behind him and not get blinded by the childish, petty attacks of his rivals.
    He is taking on the unions and getting things done.

  6. You don’t have to run for office to do something. Stop electing and re-electing liberal Tax & Free Spending Democrats to office. Elect only those that can show fiscal restraint. If we all asked why the elected do what they do maybe they would only do what is right for US not them.

  7. #3 Government workers put money into a pension plan each pay check and do not get their salaries in full when they retire. There is a formula that is used to determine their benefits.

  8. The only way to get rid of this nonsense is to get gov. out of the police, sanitation, education etc… business. everyone should higher their own sanitation co. every neighborhood should higher their own security co. etc.. and watch gov.. shrivel up its a fact that gov. fails at everything it does one canot point to anything in history and say “that was a success” the people must rise up clean house and fire gov. which in a small town like lakewood shouldnt be that hard we just have to stop being sheeple and a little civil disobedience will go along way. i’m saying this for a long time if most of lakewood stops paying property taxes until things are fixed out way there is nothing they can do,except fix it our way

  9. This is what it is. If you don’t like it leave NJ. You and everyone else who complains has a choice. If you choose to stay then stop complaining.

  10. Many valid questions, in fact I feel the same way where is all the tax money going? No its not the unions as someone else claims.
    What we need here in Lakewood is an independant audit that will give us the facts ,does anyone think that would be a bad idea? It is the only way for us to really see the real facts that we all want answers to .
    Unless we can have the facts before us its all a guessing game and pointing fingers of blame without facts to back up your accusations is meaningless.

  11. Understandably revenue rises with every new unit built in town. Township expenses rise as well for every unit: there are the basic serrvices they provide and in addition many families buying properties use free township bussing.
    Depending on the amount of children you send to scholl, Lakewood may not be making so much money off you after all.

  12. if this town was all frum our taxes would be less, no more public schools no more public school teachers salary and pensions. we could bus our own children to their schools, we could cut the police dept. and only have a small security force. keep only a few police to
    enforce traffic& secular laws.

  13. Incorrect to state that you get zero benefit from the budget for public schools when the state of NJ pays for private school bussing and other education services. Less, perhaps. Zero, incorrect.

  14. to # 3

    “when they retire Every govt worker in NJ gets their salary in FULL for the rest of their lives” …. not true, on average, police get around 44% and state employees around 32%. Either you’re lying or your ignorant. Please choose one.

    “Obama is in cahoots” ….of course. He meets monthly at Winklemens. They enter via a secret door in the back.

    “BOE administrator get 156,000.00 plus benefits to start? can’t we find someone qualified for 80?”’’ who in their right mind would want to work for the Lakewood BOE for even 300K ?

    “How can a govt worker have two govt jobs and get double pensins?” …if youou work 2 jobs you should get paid for it.

    “why can’t they merge and form one Govt.” can you imagine if Lakewood want to merge with some next door town. They would be road blocks on 88 and County line road. Its only the towns with messes that want to merge. Nobody wants another town’s mess. If I lived in Deal, you think I want anything to do with Asbury. ?

    Please continue to post, you entertain me

  15. #4 You are so right the Unions are really killing our country , thankfully we have a govenor who is standing up to them and trying his best to get rid of the bankrupt pension plans that they have , the inflated insurance premiums, and so much other waste that these unions bring to the table. This is why GM and so many other Union shops are in dier financial straits. We can be thankful to the forginer work force or alot of other local busniess would be forced to close as well .

  16. Only the small people pay taxes. The big shots get farmland assessments. You’re not going to balance the budget on the backs of the working man. The bankers need to pay their fair share. After all they have the most to lose.

  17. Its all our fault
    we keep on voting in Politicians who are not doing anything get lower taxes
    we belive there bluff that they will bring down taxes, once they are in office they do nothing, execpt to raise the taxes.
    when we wake up, then there will be change
    P.S. I don’t vote anymore till someone will represent my interests, i.e. lower the taxes.
    why give your vote to someone who will not help?

  18. Hey bubbeleh, why’d you start out blaming your Realtor? You knew that you had to pay property taxes. Your Broker told you, your mortgage company told you, and your attorney told you,. You were not sold, you have Americanititis: “Everything is someone else’s fault”. Quit whining

  19. To blahblah blah
    “This is what it is. If you don’t like it leave NJ. You and everyone else who complains has a choice. If you choose to stay then stop complaining.”
    since when do you have to accept things when they are corrupt ?
    What a negative attitude , you can always fight to make things better for all
    The freedoms of this country did not come “free” they came after many fought injustices . leaving is not the answer changing things for the better is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. Its me again! Sounds like you’re probably a govt worker , Let me be clear. Union demands bankrupt our state. 2. It is nontax paying illegals who drain our resources 3 and yes there are very qualified people who would work for BOE for 80 K it is a lot of fun after all 4 and Obama is in line with the Unions and immigrants , can you spell GM?

  21. You make a few points here. You start by seemingly attacking your mortgage broker and Realtor. Quite strange since you sound like such an educated individual. Did you not know the taxes were high in NJ BEFORE you bought?! Guess what; the cost of a home is also high around here!! If you wish,it’s cheaper in many out-of town communities.
    You then seem to be mocking our tax system in general-you don’t even differentiate between federal and state.Since you are such an educated individual you must realize that any great country must have an effective tax system to function properly. Yes; that includes tremendous amounts of money spent on the underpriveleged. I’m glad that you are self-sufficient but many are not and need government help. It is from the fundamentals of Democracy to assist these people(whatever race,religion or color they may be). I think we as Frum people who went through over two thousand years of persecution wherever we were should be grateful that we live in such a wonderful country. Is everything perfect here? No. If you wish,you can try Iran,Syria,Iraq,Lebanon….taxes may be lower there. Please let us know how it’s going out there after a couple of months. Something tells me you won’t even be able to read TLS! As far as property taxes go,it is not anyone else’s problem that we CHOOSE to not benefit from the PS system. B’H we have amazing yeshivas/schools to educate our children in the proper Torah ways but how dare we complain about others benefiting from OUR taxes?!! Until you’re in a hermetically sealed community don’t expect to always benefit from every one of your tax dollars. And believe me we don’t want to be in a hermetically sealed community. The last time we were there was in the 1930-40-‘s. As an aside how many tax dollars do you think are spent on your very own brothers learning in Kollel??? STOP COMPLAINING!!

  22. I guess this is President Obama fault too as well as everything else that goes wrong in all communities, because everything was going great before he took office !!!

  23. If you’re renting you’re paying taxes through your rent. Your landlord has to cover his costs and he pays taxes so if his taxes go up he’s going to charge higher rent.

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