Sandy, Tax Cap Exclusions & Highlands

tax capHave you heard about the 2% tax increase cap for property tax?  In 2010 Governor Chris Christie  signed into law a more stringent property tax cap, a compromise that supporters hope will slow the growth in local spending and property taxes.

However there are exceptions to the cap. Those exceptions include:

  • Capital expenditures and debt service
  • Pension contributions and accrued liability
  • Health care costs
  • Extraordinary costs associated with a declared emergency (aka Sandy expenditures)

What does that mean for Highlands Residents? Your property taxes could go up over the 2% cap.

The next council meeting the council is voting on O-14-9

the Governing Body of the Borough of Highlands in the County of Monmouth finds it advisable and necessary to increase its CY 2014 budget by up to 3.5%over the previous year’s final appropriations, in the interest of promoting the health,safety and welfare of its citizens; and,
the Governing Body of the Borough of Highlands hereby determines that a 3.5% increase in the budget for said year, amounting to $200,923.34 in excess of the increase in final appropriations otherwise permitted by the Local Government Cap Law, is advisable and necessary.

What can you do about it? Pay attention to what the council is spending money on and bonding out. Hold them accountable for their spending.

For example: hiring Deblasio (new CFO) for a 4 year term without looking for options.



  1. The free spending by our town council via bonds or any other form must come to a STOP. Acctounablity to spending is key. Our outgoing CFO has already made it very clear that the town is heading towards financial devastation ( Bankrupt ) . This was before the added costs were included during the recent council discussion of I&I / Sewer failure. The I&I / Sewer issues were pre-existing for years so FEMA can’t bails us out! My question to the Council is 3.5 % above what? What is the final number for the tax increase?


    • Do you know if the sewer infrastructure paid through our property tax dollars or through our sewer bills? Or is it a mixture i.e., debt sits on town’s books and is paid by sewer fees however the town is ultimately on the hook so property tax dollars could pay for it at some point?


  2. If the council blows thru the 2% tax cap it will be goodbye to the heavy lifters in town who are already paying obscene and discriminatory taxes-a fast road to bankruptcy.


    • John sad news since the council has already blown through the 2% cap. They still wanted to bond for a new town hall, this is part of the free spending that needs to come to a stop. If the so called peanut gallery, myself included, didn’t attend that meeting we would be facing even higher tax rates – and a town that would have exhausted its ability to bond.


    • Violating the 2 % tax cap is the death warrant for our town. Who in their right mind would want to move here, build a home or bring in their business-and without new rateables we’re dead!. This is the signal that spending is way out of control. Can’t believe this is happening. Who (by name) on the Council is behind this?


    • they all are in some regard. in the Deblasio instance, they hired him without posting the job out on to a 4 year contract with no out clause making him one of the highest paid civil servants in Jersey. Councilwoman Rebecca Kane was quoted in the as saying “We don’t have time to start from scratch,” Kane said. “We have the person we want.” Kane, Ryan, Redman voted for this while Francy and Nolan voted against.


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