Sunday, October 16, 2005

Passaic property taxes (& Lakewood)

Fascinating discussion in the HERALD NEWS on how property taxes our greatly affected by non-profit orgs. in Passaic. Read the numbers!

The Talmudic Research Center of Northern New Jersey has been an anchor for Orthodox Jews in the 3rd Ward for 30 years, creating a synagogue, library, rabbinical college and pre-K-12 schools that enroll 1,500 students.
But the center pays no property taxes. Even with net assets of $3.4 million, and property valued at $2.6 million, it contributes nothing to the city streets that serve it and the police, fire and sanitation services it receives, all of which are supported by tax dollars. Experts contend tax exemptions force cities such as Passaic to deliver the same services with less and less tax base to pay for it. Nearly two-thirds of a city's budget comes from property taxes.
"They (tax exempts) are destroying our urban areas," said Richard Pomp..
The value of tax-exempt property in Passaic, like that held by the center, represents 32 percent, or $437 million, of the city's total property value.
Were that added back to the tax rolls, the average tax bill of $10,000 would drop to about $7,300...

Some of that growth is the result of work the Talmudic Research Center has done on its holdings. In the past few years, the center has razed some of the buildings on its properties and replaced them with new ones.
The land where its main offices were built at 35 Ascension St. is valued at $25,000. With a new building constructed on the land, the assessment, including land and building, is $1 million.
"When we bought that property, there was an old two-family home on it that wasn't even inhabitable," said Rabbi Moshe Halberstadt, director of the center. "Without us, that home would still be there. Without our tax-exempt status, we would not have made improvements to the properties that we have in this city."
Halberstadt said the center has brought more than 1,000 families into the 3rd Ward. All of them buy homes and pay taxes on them, he said. In addition, they send their children to the center's schools, which are private.
"Our families are paying a good portion of the tax bill without our children using those services," Halberstadt said.
"We're like a win-win for this city."...


Of course if they weren't exempt private schooling tuition would rise.

Where is the examination and discussion on the tremendous amount of properties exempt in Lakewood?!
posted by Yeshiva Orthodoxy
at 12:56 PM

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