How did it get so expensive to live here???

If you are a single person, you need at least 70K a year to own and maintain a home in this state, which is New Jersey.

Even 60K will not cut the ice.

I was not making all that much money 17 and 18 years ago, yet I lived comfortably on what I was earning.

How did it get to be so expensive to live in this state???

Let’s use 60K as an example…where that 60K goes is right down the tubes:

Taxes and other “must pays” deducted from your yearly salary: 15K (at the least; rough estimate and a guess, since I never made 60 gtrand)
Property taxes: 6 grand (for a modest one family home — not a megamansion and not a luxury accommodation)
Oil to heat the home: 2K for one season, if you are lucky enough to stretch  200 gallons from late October until start of April)
Car insurance: 1500 per year
Your yearly gift to your uncle: Out of this amount, it might be about 2 Grand. You “take home” crap money and you pay horrific expenses in this state but according to Uncle Sam, you’re well off. Fooey.
Health Insurance contribution to your employer: 1200 per year
Paying for your own dental, meds and other doctor’s visits:Let’s make it about 2 grand
Groceries per week —at least $100 so that is $4800 for you and you alone

(Leasing or financing a car or paying off a student loan or have a mortgage or you are paying off a bit of unforeseen expense: not included).

What  is the total of the above list of expenses?

If my math is right, the total leaves you with 26K a year, to pay your other bills and expenses.

You cannot make it on 60 grand.

And add another 10 grand if you make 70K and you do not have much to go on at all. 36 grand in these parts won’t get you much.

How the heck did it get to be so expensive to live here?

I would say the cost of living skyrocketed during the last 7 or 8 years.

I was making 38,000 at my last job. After taxes, I brought home about 30 grand a year. I think I am in the right ball park to say there is at least 15 grand’s worth of federal and state and other deductions that will be made from 60K a year.

You cannot make it. A small one family home will still be about $5800 in property taxes in this town.

You are shit out of damn luck if you are single — if you had a spouse making 60K then it is another story if you even have the “Free and clear” 70 grand a year both your salaries will generate. And wow, if you have kids….another story.

70K a year won’t get a childless couple much at all. There are always repairs that are needed and other expenses, in addition to your usual ones.

The cost of living here isn’t just all on the public servants and teachers generating these hefty salaries — that pig in Sayreville coaching that bunch of molestors is making nearly 85 grand, as per the Star Ledger in today’s latest news about the perps — something else got in the mix.

I personally think we are being handed the bill for the incentives that failed (that mall that won’t open,  other projects that failed and for the chunk of money we gave Revel to build that monstrosity to name a few) ; we are also picking up the tab for the many hospitals that are on the state’s tab for money they borrowed to keep their failing institution open —- and we are supporting all the illegals that are her eon our dime. We pay for it in one way or another.

What is the rate of inflation? I do not think it is astronomical.

If you have a 2 family home, you are no longer guaranteed a long term tenant. Nobody stays very long in one place anymore. There are always people coming and going; I see it all the time on this block — nobody stays here long anymore — and even if a house is bought: no gurantee an owner will the there indefinitely. A house down the block that was sold in 2009 is on the selling block again, for the third time since 2009.

What if your tenant moves out and you cannot get a tenant for a good long while? No guarantee you will always have a tenant. That’s just the way it is.

Our roads are crap, our bridges are crud and it takes forever for the state to complete a road project. Our hospitals stink — that is, the ones that are still open stink — healthcare is awful, we have no quality of life — there are still plenty of communities that are still trying to rebuild after Hurricane Sandy — and speaking of the shore, VERY expensive. A week down the shore will cost you almost 2 grand to stay in a hotel. Expect to spend another grand on food and entertainment and a beach pass daily. Yep, they charge for the beaches here save one or 2 shore communities.  Atlantic City is free and so is Wildwood but these are towns not within reasonable driving distance for most of us. There are 2 or 3 tiny towns like Highlands that do not charge for the beach.

They are taking every little bit of land and putting “luxury” condos or rental communities there. This is ruining any “small town” image we have plus it will contribute to flooding and many other problems. (and the Asian Indians looooooove condo/rental communities — you can bet your hat that when the most recent development is done — 500 units — most of those will be occupied by Asian Indians. That has ALWAYS been the trend!)

And I would not doubt our public money is being spent for Dwali and other “Indian”centric celebrations on public land in our town. Is this the right thing to do with public money???? I don’t think so. If the Indians want a celebration for this or for that, let THEM rent the park or the land and pay for it themselves!!!! Hold it on a neutral piece of land, not public land owned by the town. This reeks of political-ness to me.

The schools are not what they used to be. We used to be the vanguard for things like team teaching and other innovative programs; we used to have reading buddies, an excellent music program in each grammar school and read a thons. The priority now in the schools here are Where to Accommodate The Growing Population Of STudents and adding media teachers. We do not need grammar school kids learning how to use software; concentrate on your penmanship. Leave keyboarding out of it; call it TYPING and return it to the junior year in high school… reinstitute business courses in the high school.

(psst….maybe the growing student population is being caused by building condos and rental units on every vacant piece of land they can find! We have no more room: END the building of condos! The buildings are usually eyesoes and we need to retain our open space)

The growing Hispanic population is put first…and the Asian Indians are also given priority.  The white population is going to be moving out. Give it 10 more years and they will be gone completely. I’ve seen it happen in towns like Union City and Passaic.

The additions they’ve added to the schools are ugly and an eyesore and it’s going to be the same for the additional space they are making to accommodate the sixth graders at that middle school.

We have no more new programs in the schools. Nothing innovative. There are no plans to come up with something new.

The jobs are moving OUT. None are moving in, unless you want a service job.

Roche in Clifton is closed and gone nearly a year; they started to phase out operations 21/2 years ago. The 23 acre campus is slated for mixed use garbage. Who the heck needs it??? What we need is another company — no, many companies — to come into our state and bring REAL JOBS!

The school taxes are skyrocketing. We are getting nothing for the money.

I’m done here. There is NO chance I will be given a 60 grand a year job and less of a chance I’ll make 60 grand and get to marry somebody earning the same money.

6 thoughts on “How did it get so expensive to live here???”

  1. Having a paid-off house did a lot to shelter you from the real cost of living for quite a long time, even with the problems with Bro. $500 a month in property taxes is a lot cheaper than the rent on the property. I think that you have said that you could get over a thousand a month for the space that you occupy.

    I lived in Morris County, NJ in 1982-85, and one of the reasons that I moved out in 1985 was that I realized that I would probably never be able to afford a house there on just my income. I had had an opportunity to buy the one-bedroom apartment where I lived in 1983 when the building went condo for about $60K, but when I figured out all of the other costs, and took tax considerations into account, I was still ahead by renting, so I moved to another town when my lease ended. Even thirty years later, the one-bedroom condos have only about doubled in value.

    You’re right about losing about $15K of a $60K income to taxes, or at least close enough to that if you are single, childless, and taking only the standard deduction. One of the really big chunks of tax is 7.65% for FICA/Medicare, which is from the first dollar that you earn until about $117K, then the Medicare tax continues without limit (1.45%). For $60K, you pay $4590 in FICA/Medicare tax. Federal tax on $60K is $8319, and New Jersey Income tax is “only” $1768. Property tax, rather than income tax, is what gets you in New Jersey. I got a take-home pay of about $30,700 on $38K. What really hurts is the increase in the federal tax rate from 15% to 25% on taxable income over $36,900 for a single person. You would need to make $47K to hit that next tax bracket. Most states have either a flat income tax rate or one that is what I call effectively flat. For instance, the top income tax rate in Virginia is 5.75%, but it is reached at taxable income of $17K.

    1. Positively awful.

      All of this started to escalate withint he last 7 or 8 years — so so expensive and nobody here is rich. This is still a middle class town.

      We cannot blame this on the public servants. PART of the problem but not all of it. We got stuck holding the bag on this; the expenses are being parceled off to the average Joes who are not rich.

      NJ is pricing themselves out of the market and wow, I wonder if the cost of living here is going to be the next bubble that bursts.

      Yesterday’s paper had a supplement featuring statewide colleges and their locations and their costs per year.

      The least expensive 4 year college is still about 32K — a little pipsqueak no name college but yet, that’s the yearly fee minus dorm and books and other out of pocket expenses. You’re looking at 50 grand for one year of school.

      Again it is middle class people who are holding the bag — most of these tuitions are way out of everybody’s financial reach.

      Hudson Community started out as an experiment over 40 years ago and was $15 per credit hour. It is now $120 per credit hour. This is a lot of money to pay for a school that hasn’t got a lot of dedicated buildings and not a lot of faculty that is full time — most are adjuncts.

      All of this has to do with the fact that most kids are coming in with student aid so charge whatever you like; you are paid immediately.

      But getting back to taxes: wow, a shitty little house covering one floor and with 2 smallish bedrooms will STILL have you paying out the nose.

      What this state will be getting:

      Street after street with more than several “FOR SALE” homes and an uneducated illegal population moving in, along with the visaed guest workers who are still here picking over the bones of the jobs in the select fields that ARE still available….and available to them only.

      There will be more office buildings vacant and abandoned. You cannot blame all of this on telecommuting. There are no more livable wage jobs here.

      If you are young and married and starting out: do not do it in this state. You will go broke.

      The place to go for food?

      A community food bank. An they are stretched to the thinnest now.

      The schools?

      You will have school after school full of students who do not care and parents who are not available to pick up after their kids’ educations. There will be a high turnover in faculty just like there is now in Paterson. The educated and skilled immigrants, are no longer coming here to live. Who is coming here now wants a handout. They bring nothing to our table.

      The Syrians and Egyptians are the only 2 new immigrant groups coming in, along with the Muslims. So are the Orthodox Jews….and wait until they take over YOUR school board. You won’t have a chance in hell.

      And the older folks with any real money or even a modest home now worth a good sum, thanks to inflated property prices, will, if they are smart, move out and live in another state and pass on in that state, thanks to the inheritance laws that this atate has. Too expensive to die here; their kids and heirs will be robbed blind before that money gets to them:
      http://www.northjersey.com/news/a-push-to-reform-how-n-j-taxes-heirs-1.1072688

      And if you are a niece or a nephew you will wait forever for that money to get to you!

      Who knew things would be this expensive? We got stuck holding the bag on all of this.

  2. For what it’s worth, I pay about $600 a year in property taxes on a house worth $80K, but have to pay about $200 a year for trash pickup. There are ballot questions here in Colorado to raise taxes by expanding casinos, increasing sales tax on marijuana, and raising the sales tax half a percent for 5 years to support the police. I voted against all of them. I would have voted for the sales tax increase if it had gone to forming a fugitive criminal unit to chase people with warrants or pay for the construction of a city jail.

    New Jersey has long been an expensive place to live. I recall a property tax rate of $3.65 per $100 of assessed value when I was growing up in a town near Philadelphia in the 1970s. It has dropped to $2.39 for every $100 in assessed value as of 2013. That people who own houses that have appreciated substantially move to other states in retirement is old news. For a lot of people, their house IS their retirement program, and they need to downsize and find someplace with lower taxes so that they can live on what they have. If you’re paying $5800 a year on property taxes, you’re effectively renting your house from the city, and being out of workl makes you unable to take whatever tax breaks are available for paying property tax.

    One thing that you forget is that many people cannot rely on receiving an inheritance, even one that is taxed to death. When I was a child, my father told me that he was leaving me the world to make a living in, just as his father had, and that’s how it turned out. All that he had left was $30K in life insurance when he died at age 78, even though he had received $440K in a lump-sum pension payout and from the sale of his house over the years. To be left a house is an amazing stroke of luck. Even when the house is sold, you and Bro should wind up with at least $50K each, and you can do something with that. I live in a town where you can buy a house for cash for that amount of money.

  3. Welcome to blue states, where Americans don’t matter. Yes you are paying for them and the Democrats don’t care. Of course the Republicans don’t either but they never admitted to caring. The Democrats let’s not forget are the party pushing for legalizing more than Republicans. They are the ones who want to expand welfare to them.

    I’m sick of this. I’m stuck in the hellhole called Illinois with crooked Democratic politicians, including my representative who is a crackhead yet people KEEP voting for them. Idiots. Then they complain when people like me compete against these morons for the same jobs because the politicians keep allowing in more visaed workers. Let’s not forget the Indians and Muslims don’t assimilate and their culture is very different. Not to mention their extreme hatred of women. Make no mistake about it, most of the new immigrants aren’t adding anything. The Indian workers often don’t even have the skills yet take the best jobs. There was something I saw about the lies many employers make about these workers. The Muslims we are getting are the uneducated. The educated Muslims stay in their countries, the poor come here. I’ve been seeing ads in welfare now hiring Arabic speakers. THIS HAS GOT TO STOP. However as long as Obummer is in power don’t think of it.

  4. We are screwed out here.

    It also just came to light that exactly 19 (one nine NINETEEN) students in Paterson are college ready.

    Paterson is a big inner city. Population about 150,000.

    This is a district that gets millions in state aid: where the eff did all that money go and who spent it and on WHAT??? Warrant an investigation of where that money has gone.

    You can bet the people get nothing for their money out there.

    The schools stink; there was a grandparent who came to pick up a child and the person who brought out the kiddo gave the woman the wrong child. Meanwhile she took off with the kid and it wasn’t until quite awhile later the error was discovered.

    We had 2 of the state colleges run an alternative teaching program — I think it is still in operation — you would spend a year there and then be sent to Paterson or Newark for employment. I don’t know if the jobs were an actual ‘go” but you can bet if that was so, the students who got accepted into the program were probably somebody’s friend or constituent. Figures.

    How many grads of that program were actually in Paterson and how many actually got tenure after 3 years? Interesting.

    (I went to that introductory seminar 5 years ago. There were so many people there that they had to open up 5 other rooms to accommodate them. Everybody was trying to jump on the teaching bandwagon — I gave up on the program when I heard an interview was one of the requirements for admission. I’d get admitted into that program? Sure. In the meanwhile, I can knock myself out studying for and taking the praxis test. Forget it.)

    Bring back the votech and the commercial high schools and put them in Paterson. This is not a college bound group. This is a town where there is a gang on every corner and no more Joe Clarks to keep things running. (that went out with the leg warmers, Milli Vanilli and jelly shoes)

    We have no more borders —- and that includes “job wise.” Our interests are not being protected.

    We are also getting the same uneducated with a lot of these extreme religious groups: the Christian fundies run their homeschools the same way the Orthodox Jewish do — and speaking of which, I heard a rumor that the most “religious” of them find a way to use their devoutness as a loophole so they can collect welfare. All of this on our dime and the town of Lakewood is bankrupt because of this. (I am sure a lot of them are not American born and that’s another story altogether)

    Life here for me in this state is over.

    I still have that little cretin giving me nasty short answers. So what’s new here. I am the bad parent because I rocked the boat.

    The religious groups in our area are nothing but the uneducated and the poorest. We get to more or less support the whole lot of them.

    I saw an Asian Indian at the town counsel meeting — guy actually knew and said the Pledge of Allegiance. A good start but really, how many of them care?

    1. I know a lot of religious people with kids but almost all of them are educated. I’m talking Catholics so that might be the difference. How could they use their religion to receive welfare? That would be so wrong but nothing surprises me anymore. You’re hitting on something that got me banned from my alma mater and that is not everyone should be in college. Why can’t we accept as a society that some simply aren’t smart or would be better off in something else? Then they go through college because many don’t care, and get jobs that should go to better qualified. Meanwhile someone like me competes with those really too stupid to be in school. The irony is often the idiot end up in better jobs.

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