The Garden State Quality of Life Index has dropped to a 38-year low. Only half of New Jerseyans say the state is an excellent (15 percent) or good (39 percent) place to live. Twenty-nine percent rate it as merely fair and 17 percent rate it as an outright poor place to hang their hats. That adds up to a positive rating of 54 percent; it hasn’t been that low since 1980.
The results come from the latest Monmouth University Poll, which also pinpoints things that contribute to the liverish outlook of so many New Jerseyans. Top of the list comes the state’s highest-in-the-nation property taxes. Forty-five percent of residents rate property taxes as one of the most crucial issues the state faces. According to the poll, it’s far and away the biggest concern. Other things that knit our brows: additional taxes (25 percent), education (16 percent), jobs (14 percent), the economy and general cost of living (14 percent), transportation infrastructure (14 percent), and, finally, crime, guns, and drugs (12 percent).