Already the highest in the nation, property tax bills in New Jersey rose by 2.35 percent last year and have increased since 2014, according to data released Wednesday.
Figures show that property owners on average paid $8,549 in 2016. That’s nearly $200 more than what they paid in 2015. The average bill was $8,161 in 2014 and rose to $8,353 in 2015.
The analysis shows that the tax levy, or the total amount raised through property taxes, rose by nearly $703 million — a 2.54 percent increase. More than half of the increase — $377 million — came from school spending.
Property owners in Essex County paid the highest taxes at an average of $11,550. That was followed by Bergen County at $11,311 and Union County at $10,821, according to state data.
Brian Murray, a spokesman for Gov. Chris Christie, blamed rising property values for triggering the tax increase.