Property Tax Reform in New Jersey, Texas

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New Jersey continues to struggle with property tax reform. A task force has signaled that it will call for a July special legislative session to deal with the state's growing homeowner property taxes. One lawmaker has proposed paying for major homeowner tax cuts with an income tax hike, while others think consolidating school districts is a necessary first step.

Meanwhile, Texas lawmakers are wrapping their special session up after finally figuring out a way to cut school property taxes -- but a lot of people are unhappy with the outcome. The new law reduces school property tax rates across the board, and pays for this major tax cut with three major sources: the state's short-term budget surplus, a cigarette tax hike, and a revamp of the state's major business tax. The Texas Center for Public Policy Priorities sensibly points out that since the budget surplus part of this equation will eventually disappear, once these changes are fully phased in, this "tax swap" will create a $10.5 billion hole in the state's biennial budget.

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