Next up thanks to Sandy - higher local property taxes.
Even Gov. Chris Christie, who has been pushing a 10 percent tax cut, is telling residents of storm-damaged towns to expect higher property taxes as a result of the storm.
Federal emergency aid will likely end up paying for much of the storm cleanup, but the costs of rebuilding will be the responsibility of the state and municipalities. And those costs will fall under an exemption to the 2 percent cap on property tax increases.
"They're probably going to have higher property taxes. It's got to be paid for. This goes back to the old magic money tree. There's no magic money tree," the governor said.
Give Christie credit for acknowledging that reality. It's a refreshing change. His current budget and his tax-cut proposal relied on the magic money tree of unrealistically high revenue projections.
State revenue collections are already taking a hit from Sandy. Casino tax revenue has already plummeted and likely will continue to do so for the next few months. Sales-tax revenue has already dropped, and income-tax collections will certainly fall. After all, the state's economy was virtually shut down for a week or more immediately after Sandy. And, of course, Sandy has created billions of dollars in unexpected costs for government at all levels.
But don't despair completely. Even that massive storm cloud named Sandy may have a sliver of a silver lining.
David Rosen, the budget officer for the state Office of Legislative Services - a man Christie has called the "Dr. Kevorkian of the numbers" for his gloomy revenue projections - says the hit on the state budget may not be as bad as expected over the long term.
Rosen told NJSpotlight.com that Louisiana lowered its revenue projections by 10 percent after Hurricane Katrina - but the state's revenue ended up increasing.
A reconstruction-related sales-tax "bubble," insurance settlements and an influx of construction workers all contributed to a net revenue increase in Louisiana post-Katrina, Rosen said.
And, in a note of particular interest locally, revenue from Louisiana's riverboat casinos soared after Katrina thanks to the construction workers who poured into the state, NJSpotlight.com said.
So yes, property taxes will likely go up as a result of Sandy. But there's a chance that, eventually, the reconstruction could end up boosting the economy and state tax revenue. It happened in Louisiana. And here in battered New Jersey, we'll take any silver lining we can find at this point.