Economy

If It Weren’t For Strangers, NJ’s Property Taxes Would Have Made A 106-Year Old Woman Homeless

Were it not for the generosity of strangers, New Jersey’s tax collectors would have made 106-year old Rose Estwanick homeless.


For years, the State of New Jersey has had—and continues to have—the highest property taxes in the nation.

High property taxes are just one of the reasons more people are fleeing New Jersey than any other state.

For 106-year old Rose Estwanick, who suffers from dementia, heart issues and extreme arthritis, moving out of state—and the home she’s lived in since 1943—is not necessarily an option though.

According to a report by NJ’s 101.5 Rose Estwanick had to “come up with $8,400 to avoid having her property sold in a tax sale by Cranford on Sept. 18, around the time of her 107th birthday.”

“Property taxes on the two-story house last year were $9,390,” reported NJ 101.5, “an increase of about $300 from the prior year, and an increase of more than $2,000 since 2010, records show.”

Ms. Estwanick has been receiving round-the-clock care by her daughter who lost her eight years ago and who, until this year, had been managing to make the property tax payments.

“It’s not that I don’t want to pay them, it’s just that we just can’t pay them at this point. They keep adding on. The bill is getting larger and larger.”

She said efforts to raise money to pay off the taxes have been unsuccessful.

“I was trying but my mother went into the hospital at the end of the year and I just couldn’t get up enough money. Nobody has responded to me,” she said.

A happy ending…for now.

Since NJ 101’s story was posted on Thursday, along with a link to a GoFundMe page, nearly 400 donors have given more than $15,000—enough to settle the 106-year old’s tax debt…for now.

“I’m just so overwhelmed. I mean I wish I could just hug everybody. It’s renewed my faith in humankind,” Estwanick’s daughter, Rosanne, told NJ 101 on Friday.

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