The Rising Cost of Living in New Jersey
Well, we know that property taxes in the Garden State are the highest in the nation, but what about all of the other factors that makes New Jersey so costly to live in?
The head of the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey says, "We rank the top of almost every list you dont want to be on!."
New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the union - 1,210 people per square mile. This drives the cost of auto insurance sky high!
Robert Sinclair of AAA New York/New Jersey agrees that, "New Jerseyeans pay the highest insurance rates in the country. That's why we see so many vehicles pay for their insurance out of state - such as Florida, and Delaware. Overall, it is very expensive to be a driver in this area. To commute, it takes time, takes money, tolls are expensive, insurance is expensive, depreciation and wear and tear adds up."
Along with the record breaking cost of both automotive and health insurance, New Jersey residents pay about 13.4% percent more for their basic necessities than other states in the country.
I spoke with a gentleman that just moved to New Brunswick. He said, "As a new homeowner, I am looking at the cost of everything. Taxes, gas, the living expenses, food. For me, for my budget as a first time homeowner, I am concerned about the increases of the things we sometimes take for granted that are apart of how we live in New Jersey."
Another gentleman who lives in South Orange says, "When you add up going to the supermarket, getting gas. You need to make a substantial amount of money to really handle that expense."
Our one saving grace was saving on taxes at the gas pump, but we have seen a tax increase there too.
Sinclair believes that, "The cheapest vehicle you can own is a small economy sedan , the most expensive is a pick up truck."
This could have some residents of this expensive state thinking about heading for the exits.
Staci Berger of the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey says, "The housing crisis is a big contributor to holding back New Jersey's economy from really thriving. A large portion of our residents are worried about whether they can afford to call New Jersey home."
The millential population in New Jersey, the people within the range of 22 to 34 years old, has decreased by 2.3% because it is simply unaffordable.
Berger adds, "We are number one in foreclosures, whether its zombie or standard. It is the #1 place in America for millennials still living at home, because they cant afford to move out."
Missy Rebovich of NJ Futures explains that, "The problem is everywhere. As we have seen with ongoing settlements, towns are going to be forced to create affordable housing there is resistance to it, but I think it should be looked as an opportunity for these municipalities."
By and large, residents of the Garden State are fed up with paying top dollar, however, others believe you get what you pay for.
A resident of Haddon Township believes that, "There's high property taxes, high cost of living, but in comparison of living in a place like Arkansas, theres is more to do. You have the beach, you have big cities nearby. It's kind of a give and take a sacrifice. If you want to live somewhere a little nicer, you have to expect to pay a little more."
Business experts say that the upward climb of cost to live in New Jersey is certainly a cause for concern, but other data suggests that New Jersey residents still earn some of the highest wages in the country.
For the full video that aired on Jersey Matters, check out: