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State property tax to stay the same

April 28, 2005

The Board of Public Works voted Wednesday to keep the state property tax rate the same, despite Gov. Robert Ehrlich's pleas to cut it.

The rate remains 13.2 cents per $100 of assessed value, which costs owners of $100,000 homes $132 a year. Cutting it by a penny, as Ehrlich urged, would cost the state $45 million, argued Democratic state Treasurer Nancy Kopp.

State Comptroller William Donald Schaefer, who sits on the board with Kopp and Ehrlich, also voted against the cut. It was a rare split between the comptroller and governor.

"There's a tendency when you're on the way to better times financially to cut taxes, but it has to be done at the right time," said Schaefer. "I know you want this. If I were governor, I would want it, too."

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The state tax makes up a small portion of the property tax, most of which is levied by counties and municipalities. The state share of the revenues is used to repay the bonds the state sells to buy land and build buildings.

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