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Study argues that "Cap 2.5" worked in Massachusetts

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June 2, 2010

By Kyle Maichle

NEWARK, New Jersey: A new report from the Manhattan Institute and Common Sense New Jersey has shed some light on the experience of states with a property tax cap similar to the proposed "Cap 2.5" Amendment in the Garden State[1].

Josh Barro, who works for the Manhattan Institute released a report on how successful Proposition 2 1/2 in Massachusetts has worked since it was approved in 1980[1]. The report shown that property tax growth in Massachusetts has slowed down to 22 percent from 1980 to 2007 compared to New Jersey which seen a 102 percent increase in the same time frame[2]. As teacher's unions have been in opposition to property tax caps, the same study also reported that Massachusetts is one of the top performing states in student achievement in education. In 2009, Massachusetts received high grades from the U.S. Department of Education on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) exam[2].

Despite New Jersey scores above the national average on key education ratings, the state trails or ties Massachusetts in most cases[1]. New Jersey has the highest per-pupil spending in the nation, but the results often do not match the investment the Garden State puts into public education[1].

The approval of Proposition 2 1/2 in 1980 has allowed Massachusetts to lower its tax burden rating from the 2nd highest taxed state in 1980 to 23rd highest in the nation. New Jersey is currently the highest taxed state in the nation according to the Tax Foundation[1].

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