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Municipal tax offices have been slow to respond to a tepid real estate recovery, especially in modest neighborhoods

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file photo by Boyd Loving


Homeowners at the lower end of North Jersey’s housing market — still suffering disproportionately from the real-estate slump — are now taking another hit in the form of inflated property tax bills that may be costing them hundreds of dollars extra per year.

An analysis by The Record shows that municipal tax offices across the region have been slow to respond to a prevailing trend of the recent tepid recovery — property values in most towns rising more slowly in modest neighborhoods — saddling those homeowners with an increasingly larger share of the property tax burden.

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Home Owners look for Solutions for Dramatic Changes in Ridgewood’s Yard Waste Pick

October 14,2016
the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood Nj, Ridgewood has made some dramatic changes in how grass clippings are disposed of . The new rules sat that grass clippings must be segregated from other yard waste and cannot be placed in the street with leaves.

The Ridgewood blog has put together some suggestions on reducing the grass clippings and alternatives for disposing of them. Many municipalities have already begun to refuse to pick up grass clippings and leaves because of reduced landfill availability. In fact, some states have banned yard waste in landfills.

In the Village many homeowners are bagging clippings to be picked up and sent to a local composting facility , particularly with leaves this seems a bit impractical. Another option is using mulching lawn mowers. A mulching mower reduces the size of clippings and spreads them back on the grass, where they rapidly decompose and return to the soil.

Grass clippings are a valuable organic source of nutrients, especially nitrogen. Some mulching-mower users have found that yearly nitrogen applications may be reduced by one-fourth when grass is returned to the turf.

Although mulching mowers and mulching attachments for existing mowers can reduce clipping size, thus increasing the rate that grass clippings decompose, you can get the same effect with a normal rotary mower. Mowing on a regular basis with a sharp blade usually produces clippings that decompose fairly quickly.

In the city of Forth Worth, Texas, participants in the “Don’t Bag It” program said, on average, they felt that their lawns looked 30 percent better when they let the clippings remain than when they previously had collected the clippings. Cities with similar programs report reduced garbage loads and healthier lawns, trees and shrubs.

Leaving clippings on the lawns does not necessarily cause problems with thatch buildup. You may encounter problems with thatch whether you use a mulching mower or not. Thatch can be controlled with vertical mowing, core aerification, and proper watering and fertilization.

If you prefer not to leave clippings on the lawn,consider using collected clippings as mulch or as a component in a compost pile (which in turn will produce nutrient-rich soil conditioners).

If you have recently treated your lawn with herbicides, you will want to wait for three mowings before using grass clippings as mulch. It is possible for herbicide residues to damage garden crops if you use recently treated clippings as mulch. If you put clippings in a compost, on the other hand, pesticides rapidly degrade.