Report: City Stinks

ELIZABETH — You could search all over New Jersey, but it would be hard to find a worse place to live than Elizabeth.
That’s the finding of researchers at Monmouth University’s Polling Institute who compiled New Jersey Monthly’s 2010 Top Towns list.
Elizabeth came out near the bottom, at 563, with Newark and Camnden achieving higher ratings for property taxes, employment and crime.

Councilman William Gallman

Councilman Joseph Keenan

Councilman Nelson Gonzalez

Councilman Frank O. Mazza

New Jersey Monthly reports that the quality of life in Elizabeth lags behind most of New Jersey’s 566 municipalities.

Rated for population growth, home values, property taxes, land development, employment, crime rate, school performance, and proximity to services, all but three other towns do better according to the magazine.
Among the factors that drove down the city’s rating were the decline in home resale values, the high level property taxes and recent increses, as well as crime.
Housing values dropped 35 percent in Elizabeth, costing the average homeowner about $100,000 in equity.
The median property tax is $7,320 — a number between 15 and 20 percent of the average household income — and taxes were up 14.1 percent in just two years.
The 2008 crime rate was 55.5, compared with 41.1 in Paterson, 32.2 in East Orange, 48.2 in Newark and 40.9 in Jersey City.
How Union County Stacks Up

8 – Mountainside Borough

19 – Berkeley Heights Township

24 – Clark Township

34 – Cranford Township

66 – New Providence Borough

75 – Scotch Plains Township

76 – Summit City

85 – Springfield Township

154 – Westfield Town

188 – Garwood Borough

234 – Kenilworth Borough

313 – Fanwood Borough

326 – Winfield Township

374 – Union Township

379 – Roselle Park Borough

467 – Rahway City

507 – Hillside Township

533 – Roselle Borough

540 – Linden City

543 – Plainfield City

563 – Elizabeth City

SOURCE: New Jersey Monthly

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