New Podcast: Josh Barro of the Manhattan Institute on NJ Property Tax Reform

June 2, 2010

In this week’s Tax Policy Podcast, Josh Barro, the Walter B. Wriston Fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, discusses his recent report examining the effect of Massachusetts’ Proposition 2.5, a property tax cap, on the quality of state education. Barro suggests that Massachusetts’ success at limiting property tax growth without necessitating other tax increases or sacrificing educational performance could serve as a good example for New Jersey, which is considering a similar property tax limit, “Cap 2.5.”

When Proposition 2.5 was enacted in 1980, Massachusetts had the second highest property taxes in the country and second highest state and local tax burden in the country. Since then, real-dollar property tax growth from 1980 to 2007 in Massachusetts was just 22 percent, compared to 68 percent nationwide and 102 percent in New Jersey. Despite decreased property tax collections and decreased education spending in Massachusetts, however, Massachusetts public school students outperformed New Jersey in both reading and math in grades four and eight as measured by the National Assessment of Educational Progress exams administered by the U.S. Department of Education – across a number of demographic groups.

Read the full paper: Manhattan Institute Civic Report No. 62, “Do Property-Tax Caps Work? Lessons for New Jersey from Massachusetts.”

Listen to the full podcast here, or check out all of the Tax Foundation’s Tax Policy Podcasts.

More on Massachusetts and New Jersey.


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