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.