Are you considering moving to New Jersey? Many city-dwellers relocate here for a respite from the hustle and bustle of city life and to gain a little extra living space. In the Garden State, you can walk along a beach, shop in the city and hike the wilderness of the Pine Barrens all in one day. Not many states can boast this much recreation in such close proximity! If you’re considering taking the plunge and joining the almost 9 million residents that call New Jersey home, here are a few things you should know before your move:
1. You Can’t Pump your Own Gas
Before you get out of your car and reach for the nozzle at the gas pump, you should know that it is illegal to pump your own gas in New Jersey. While this may seem strange to out-of-towners, locals rejoice at not having to exit their car during freezing winter temperatures or sweltering summer days.
2. You Can Shop Around for your Energy Supplier
Under New Jersey’s energy deregulation law, the supply portion of your electric or natural gas bill is separate from the delivery portion. This means that the supply portion is open to competition and consumers can shop around for the best rate. To learn more about this, visit the Board of Public Utilities site.
3. Higher Property Taxes
New Jersey residents pay among the highest property taxes in the nation. In 2016, the average homeowner paid $8,500 per home, a 2.35 percent increase over 2015, according to the most recent state calculations. In other states, county and municipal governments impose local income taxes and sales taxes, but in New Jersey this is not allowed. Property tax bills pay for local government, school and country expenses, which explains the higher than average property taxes.
New Jersey narrowly beats out Rhode Island as the most densely populated state in the country. According to the World Atlas, this puts New Jersey at 1,210 persons per square mile. To put this into perspective, New York State is at 420. While this still is leaps and bounds less than New York City’s 27,000 persons per square mile, you will definitely notice the difference if you’re moving here from a small town. You will also notice this shift when it comes to the state’s traffic congestion. New Jersey has the most densely traveled roads in the Northeast and experiences almost a million hours of delay every day, according to NJDOT’s Congestion Management System.
A lot of restaurants in New Jersey follow the BYOB rule. This allows for customers to bring their own alcohol bottles to many restaurants. In some cases, customers of unlicensed restaurants can bring their own beer or wine unless a municipal ordinance prohibits it. In addition, many places with a liquor license will allow you to bring your own bottle and will simply charge a cork fee to open the bottle. Most restaurants will advertise if they are BYOB-friendly, so be sure to check first.