Fundamental Tax Reform in New Jersey

With growing public interest in property tax reform and a proposed
Constitutional Convention in 2006, Regional Plan Association and the
Lincoln Institute of Land Policy have teamed up to address New Jersey's
over-reliance on local property taxes to fund public education and
identify policies which would encourage smart growth. Three public
forums are being held in the winter and fall of 2005, and a final
report will be released in the spring.

As part of the property tax reform series, Regional Plan Association produced a series
of white papers on the deficiencies of the current system and key
policy issues for each forum, as well as summaries of the discussions
and ideas presented at each program. A final report will include
recommendations for reforming the State's property tax system to
encourage smart growth. This information can inform New Jersey leaders
to reform the current system in ways that will discourage sprawl and
encourage compact, mixed-use communities.

For each forum below please find the accompanying white paper/agenda and a summary of the forum:

Forum 1: How Can We Afford Smart Growth? February 23, 2005
Co-hosted by the Edward J. Bloustein School for Planning and Public Policy at
Rutgers University, this program explored the financial obstacles to
realizing smart growth, and raised suggestions about how to overcome
these barriers.

Background paper/agenda
Summary of Proceedings

Forum 2: Welcoming Families Back to New Jersey: Schools, Housing and the End of 'Fiscal Zoning' March 9, 2005
Held in partnership with the Municipal Land Use Center at The College of New
Jersey, this forum addressed New Jersey's over-reliance on local
property taxes to fund public education, and examined how reforms that
have been implemented in Michigan and Massachusetts have changed school
funding and land use policies.

Summary of Proceedings (coming soon!)

Forum 3: Should Land and Buildings Be Taxed Differently?
The final forum will take place March 23rd
at the Rutgers University Center for Law and Justice in Newark.
Co-hosted by the Joseph C. Cornwall Center for Metropolitan Studies,
panelists will look at differential taxation (i.e., taxing land and
buildings at different rates) as a possible tool for reforming the
state's land use and fiscal policies.
Background Paper/Agenda