The lone good news that came out of Monday night's meeting with River Edge James Anzevino and Rick Del Guercio Jr. of Appraisal Systems Inc., is that the deadline to file a tax appeal to the Bergen County Board of Taxation has been pushed back to May 8. But both Del Guercio and Anzevino defended the results of the citing the lack of a housing uniformity in town and a prior 2005 assessment.
"There was no uniformity in the old assessment where House A was assessed at $250,000 and House B just next door was $150,000," Del Guercio said. "Now everything has shifted to an equalized value at the same level. While your town ratio was 92% (prior to the assessment), a lot of homes were assessed at either 72% or 102%."
By moving all homes to an equalized value, an unintended result of the assessment is that one-third of all residents will see a hike in their taxes from $1,000 or more with newer constructed homes with an average tax bill just shy of $30,000 annually.
The assessment by Appraisal Systems cost the borough approximately $174,000 by teaming up with Cresskill and Dumont to share the cost. For the past two years the borough had been slammed with tax appeals, approximately 150 as of and then 132 by .
According to Del Guercio, Dumont which has a much larger uniformity of houses from one end of town to another saw less of a shift between them. Cresskill on the other hand saw a greater degree of change due to the difference in property types from upper high end houses to entry level options and everything in between. He ranked River Edge as falling in the middle of Dumont and Cresskill's results.
The new assessment places a heavier emphasis on the usable 81 sales that took place in 2011. Approximately a dozen sales were disregarded for the assessment.
"The town had a ratio at or near 100% but you were faced with defending appeals based on the most recent sales," Del Guercio said. "All towns in the state are faced with the same dilemma and many are doing reassessments."
The main goal of the assessment was to bring every residence in the borough to 100% of its market value as of October 1, 2011. And while the 2004 assessment placed greater value on the land itself over the resident, the new results are reversed.
One complain that residents have expressed to the governing body in the past is on their property record card and being targeted.
"Some houses were never inspected inside this time or during the prior assessment," Del Guercio said. "We're more than happy to come back out, do the inspection and verify what is on the property record card. We're confident in the data though."
"Following the 2004 assessment, all new construction had be adjusted to the market value as of 2004," Anzevino said. "The idea of this assessment is to hit 100% market value and we're putting the values into what the market could bear as of October 1, 2011. That's what Appraisal Systems did, unfortunately it did shift taxes.
Any resident wishing to verify or correct information on their property record card can contact Appraisal Systems at 201-493-8530. For questions about your new reassessed values or the reassessment process contact Anzevino at 201-906-2469.
For any homeowner who wishes to appeal their reassessment, they can file a Petition of Appeal with the Bergen County Board of Taxation, One Bergen County Plaza, Room 370, Hackensack.