Assessment Company Defends Results To Council, Residents

Tax appeal deadline pushed back to May 8 for residents

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.

This Is Nuts April 17, 2012 at 04:53 PM
When Del Guercio said that he is confident in the data reported in the property record cards, he is just full of it. It is easy to say this when the county accepts the appraisial as accurate and the burden of proof is on the home owner. I actually let them in my house and there were still plenty of errors. Think about it...RE paid $174K for this revaluation. That's less than $50 per poperty for inspection, calculation, and defending appeals. At that ridiculosly low cost how can you expect any kinf of quality. If I were Del Guercio, I'd would go around making statements like that.
gixx April 17, 2012 at 05:01 PM
Are they insane!! I would love to ask Mr. Del Guercio and Mr. Anzevino would they pay these taxes? Who is going to pay 30K or even 20K to live in RE? I don’t care how big your house is, 30K is ludicrous. Say good bye to RE
Dr.Doom April 17, 2012 at 06:43 PM
Considering the splendid job they did I think $50/ house is way too much
Dr.Doom April 18, 2012 at 12:56 AM
Please find the attached PDF with the sales numbers and 2012 reassessent comparison stats for houses that were sold after Jan 1st 2011. and see how truthful (or not) comments from the "Appraisal Systems" company and our tax assessor
RiverEdgeFirst April 19, 2012 at 03:13 PM
Individual home were compared to "comparables"and through a formula arrive at a valuation number. The formula is not disclosed, no verification process to correct errors, the "comparable" used to value individual homes were not disclosed and more. The issue is not the assessment, because the town budget is nearly $15M and the River Dell School budget is $29, and due to lack of budget increase restraint, the issue will only get worse. The real issue is that we are funding education through property taxes, and due to the 2% cap school budgets don't require voter approval. Please join the Facebook page RiverEdgeFirst and soon website RiverEdgeFirst.org to voice your concerns and respond to built-in and unsustainable tax increases.
Dr.Doom April 22, 2012 at 01:20 PM
unfortunatly they failed to explain why evenn houses that were used as template for appraisal didnt match to appraised values and on average were off by 10%


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