Thursday, February 18, 2016
Despite having to refund the City of Atlantic City nearly $50 million over the past seven years for its overassessments of casino properties, Atlantic County residents pay less in property taxes than those in 15 of the state's 21 counties.
In 2015 Atlantic County residents paid an average of $6,463 in property taxes, according to the NJ Department of Community Affairs, ranking six lowest in the state. Atlantic County was also the only county to see a decrease in property taxes from 2014. County taxpayers paid an average of $6,545 in 2014 and saw a decrease of 1.3 percent in 2015.
"This data, obtained and reported by the state, offers further confirmation of Atlantic County's strong financial foundation," said County Executive Dennis Levinson.
"Sixteen consecutive perfect audits and a debt ratio far below the statutory limit are the result of prudent fiscal management long before the economic downturn. This has allowed us to save for rainy days and be in a better position than most to deal with the challenges that now face our area," he added.
Levinson said it is important that this information be shared, especially in light of so much negative news about the financial status of Atlantic City and the state in terms of credit-worthiness.
"This is by no means meant to sound boastful, but rather to make clear to bond rating agencies such as Moody's and Standard and Poor that Atlantic County is extremely solvent and has held down expenses in a very tough environment," added Levinson.
"We take great care to maintain our outstanding credit standing through conservative financial practices that serve to save our current and future taxpayers. Atlantic County maintains strong liquidity, has a low debt burden of 0.4 percent of equalized value and outstanding market access."