KEARNY — It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood for the town, which was recently ranked 74th on New Jersey Monthly’s list of the state’s best towns.
The magazine ranks New Jersey’s 566 municipalities based on factors including property taxes, home values, population growth, land development, employment, crime rate, school performance and proximity to services and amenities such as hospitals and theaters. Household income does not factor into the equation.
“Overall, I think this shows that Kearny is a very good place to live,” said Mayor Al Santos.
Elsewhere in Hudson County, Secaucus ranked 11th on the list, with East Newark 90th and Harrison 182nd.
Kearny’s average home value of $380,000 rose 138 percent between 2000 and last year, according to New Jersey Monthly, which listed average taxes for the town last year at $7,448.
The statistics cited by the magazine also showed the town’s population at 38,008, with 10 percent of the town devoted to open space.
In East Newark, West Hudson’s other top 100 municipality, the magazine listed the average home value at $417,500, a 133 percent hike from 2000. Average taxes were $5,239 and population was 2,217.
While magazine rankings often don’t tell the whole story about a town, Santos said Kearny’s inclusion in the state’s top 100 municipalities raises the town’s profile among both residents and out-of-towners.
“I think municipalities are much like universities sometimes. Over time, they build up a reputation or cache,” he said. “Sometimes that perception doesn’t match reality. Oftentimes, especially for people outside of Kearny but also for town residents, it’s not what it should be. “To residents of Kearny, including myself, this brings attention to the fact that we are providing quality services. Something like this is a good awakener for town residents and those outside the town.”