Scotch Plains and Fanwood have found places on NJ Monthly's list of "Top Towns" and were ranked at numbers 82 and 99, respectively. Fanwood was also named a top 10 town for young families at number three, behind Oakland and Hillsborough.
A total of 514 towns were ranked on the list, which will be available online on Sept. 3. Other Union County towns on the top 100 list were Mountainside (#44), New Providence (#59), Berkeley Heights (#85) and Westfield (#89).
This year's list rates the magazine's interpretation of the best towns in the state based on the following factors: "average residential tax bill (2012); change in average property tax bill (2010-2012); effective property tax rate for 2012; median home sales price (2012); change in median home sales price (2010-2012); total crime rate (2011) combined with a score for violent crime rate (2011); student proficiency on state-mandated standardized tests for students in grades 4, 8 and 11 (2012); and a lifestyle factor that considers the number of acute-care hospitals and live performing-arts theaters within 10 miles of the municipality’s main zip code, number of full-service restaurants within two miles of the municipality’s main zip code, and average commute time for those working away from home. ... Extra weighting was given to the following indicators: change in average tax bill; change in median home sales price; and results on standardized tests for students in grades 4 and 8."
Towns with a population under 1,500 were dropped from consideration for the survey.