A New Jersey Superior Court judge has denied a neighborhood's attempt to leave a township and join a neighboring borough.
Judge Julio Mendez ruled that Egg Harbor Township's refusal to allow Seaview Harbor residents to join Longport was "not arbitrary or unreasonable."
The township argued against the move, declaring that it would harm the township economically and socially and benefit the homeowners only economically, the Press of Atlantic City reported. The homeowners stood to pay significantly less in property taxes in Longport, which does not have a school system.
Mendez said court decisions have not favored de-annexation for “tax shopping.”
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Mendez's opinion said the Township stood to lose over $500,000 a year in municipal tax revenue, and $1.8 million in revenue to township schools. The average homeowner would save almost $18,000 a year in property taxes, based on 2015 numbers.
The 92-home Seaview Harbor community is valued at around $100 million. Mendez said the average annual property tax bill would have fallen from $20,755 to $3,347 if the neighborhood were allowed to join Longport.