Reassessment Plans Move Forward Following 132 Tax Appeals
Hit by 132 tax appeals, River Edge looks to bring housing assessments in line with the current economy
Back in November, borough tax assessor James Anzevino informed the council that the borough had been slammed with 150 tax appeals for last year. And this year, the trend has continued with approximately 132 appeals filed.
"I've put together a draft proposal that has been sent off to two other towns about doing a joint bid for reassessments," CFO Alan Negreann said. "If you want this assessment to take place in 2012, you need a funding mechanism for that to happen. So we have an ordinance drafted for a special emergency ordinance for $230,000 to be repaid over a five-year span."
According to Negreann, the five year payment would be approximately $46,000 per year. A full hearing by the public will take place during the September council meeting.
But the potential price tag was more than Democrat councilmen Sandy Moscaritolo and John Cannon expected.
"When James Anzevino gave us his presentation, he quoted a figure of $140,000 and now we have a proposal for $230,000," Moscaritolo said. "I just don't think we can afford to spend this much money."
"I'm not sure it benefits out taxpayers," Cannon added. "It benefits us while we're budgeting, but spending $230,000 of taxpayers money, I'm not sure they will get a return on that."
Unlike a reelavuation that looks at every home in the borough, a reassessment instead looks at clusters of neighborhoods to determine the value of an area.
Appeals on properties assessed at less than $1 million are heard by the county, and all of River Edge's cases are heard on the same day. But more valuable properties, such as those in the commercial zone, go before the State Tax Court, which is a much longer process. The borough has cases still pending before the tax court dating back to 2006.
The change in the assessments and tax rate would not create additional revenue for the town. Instead, River Edge could see savings in the amount of tax appeals that are settled in court.
Anzevino will appear at the August 22 meeting to update the Council on the status of the tax appeal situation.