Author Topic: Property Taxes  (Read 41494 times)

Offline irons35

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Re: Property Taxes
« Reply #30 on: February 27, 2008, 09:54:56 AM »
the map is wrong in regards to at least 1 property.  20 Prospect Ave paid over 2.6 million in tax last year.  the map shows it as exempt.

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Re: Property Taxes
« Reply #31 on: February 28, 2008, 08:49:35 AM »

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Re: Property Taxes
« Reply #32 on: March 06, 2008, 08:53:51 AM »

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Re: Property Taxes
« Reply #33 on: April 26, 2008, 09:19:49 PM »

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Re: Property Taxes
« Reply #34 on: August 01, 2010, 10:01:57 AM »
Next year's property tax cap already creating worries for North Jersey towns, homeowners
Sunday, August 1, 2010
Last updated: Sunday August 1, 2010, 9:40 AM
BY ERIK SHILLING
The Record
STAFF WRITERS

Taxpayers across the state have Sunday's date marked on their calendars: Property tax bills are due. At least, they're supposed to be.

But with a last-minute state budget and, in the case of more than 100 New Jersey towns, still no budget at all, some taxpayers are getting a brief reprieve.

And when those bills do arrive many are dealing with a common feeling: sticker shock.

Garry Wright, a Ringwood resident, had not checked his most recent tax bill until a reporter called Friday. Wright said his taxes went up nearly $2,000 in 2010 for his 4,600-square-foot home on Crescent Drive.

"Now that I've actually checked it, I'm flabbergasted," said Wright, 50, a chief technology officer.

Wright said high taxes were a burden for him, his wife and three children. "We're struggling to pay anything at this point," he said.

Governor Christie has promised that his 2 percent cap on municipal property tax increases will lessen the pain next year, but that has also led many towns to lay in wait, as they fear that a difficult budget year will be followed by an impossible one.

"We're fearful, no doubt," Hackensack City Manager Stephen Lo Iacono said. "It's going to be a challenge."

For now, towns are mostly free to raise taxes on their residents ac cording to need. But Lo Iacono said that doesn't mean that towns have been preemptively filling their coffers ahead of next year's harder tax cap. There are too many existing city obligations for one thing, and weary taxpayers for another, he said.

"You can't even think about that," Lo Iacono said. "They're al ready paying enough. This year we tried to put it as close to the mark as we could."

That meant an average municipal tax increase of around 7 per cent in Hackensack, higher than what other municipalities have done in North Jersey. Some, like Lodi, projected no municipal property tax increase for home owners. In the city of Passaic, a considerable local tax increase was still not enough to save the jobs of 18 police officers, who were laid off.

It didn't take much for taxpayers to notice.
Vicious cycle

David Grubin of Passaic pays $12,000 a year in property taxes of all stripes, a number he said is up 8 percent from last year.

"As more houses go into default, more houses go into foreclosure and people aren't paying their taxes or are paying it late, less money's going to the city coffers," Grubin added. "More stores go out of business and less revenue comes into the city, and the taxes go up. Now they're in a bigger hole."

Joel Langschultz, 55, of Woodcliff Lake said his property taxes increased $900 this year. He just got his tax bill this week and estimated that he pays more than $15,000 annually.

"It's through the roof. It's crazy," said Langschultz, an electrician. "When I moved here in 2001, it was $8,000. What are we getting for our taxes? I sound depressed, but that's because I am about it."

A spokeswoman for the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs said the state does not track tax increases for municipal governments until the end of the year. The DCA does, however, require towns to submit their budgets within days of completion, which can give some indication who is still behind.

In Bergen County, for example, that means more than a dozen towns still haven't signed off on a budget for this year, seven months into it, according to state records. Tax collectors in those towns can choose between sending out estimated tax bills, or, in some cases, no tax bills, while they wait for the town council to catch up.

"It's just ridiculous," Englewood Mayor Frank Huttle said.

His city is planning to finally pass its budget this month, and was forced to send out estimated tax bills in June, projecting a municipal increase of about 3 percent. "We should be rolling up our sleeves and doing our jobs. ... The city of Englewood has so many assets, and our taxes really should be lower."

Huttle said that those tax bills the city ended up sending out may ultimately be higher than the real number for residents because they are based on last year's rates. Late or estimated, August can be a confusing time for taxpayers across North Jersey, since many times an invoice in the mail may come as a shock.

"They were very late, so it's hard to prepare for them," said Eileen Lehault, a teacher in Wayne. Lehault said her property taxes have increased about $900 for the year, and $225 for the quarter. "However, I think it's important for the administration to make wise choices about the way the money is spent."

Renters may also be indirectly feeling the pinch. Nat Schatzof, 91, of Hackensack, said that his rent, now $1,252 a month for a one bedroom, has been sharply rising for years.

"I didn't expect to live this long, you know what I mean?" Schatzof, a retired postal worker, said, noting that he also won't be getting around $860 in tax rebate check this year because of Christie's budget. "It makes it kind of tough."

Many are skeptical that Christie's cap will do anything at all, citing former Gov. Jon Corzine's leaky 4 percent cap, which allowed several exceptions. Others say that even if the cap does work, it might be too little too late, since in most towns property taxes have doubled in the last 10 years, and the imposition of a 2 percent cap now seems quaint.

Staff Writer Hannan Adely contributed to this article.
________________________
Related topic: Reassessment

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Re: Property Taxes (2011 Budget)
« Reply #35 on: March 21, 2011, 08:56:43 AM »
Hackensack readies last meetings before unveiling budget
Monday, March 21, 2011
BY MONSY ALVARADO
The Record
STAFF WRITER
HACKENSACK

City officials will unveil the 2011 budget early next month.

City Manager Stephen Lo Iacono said the budget committee had its final meeting last week and that he will discuss the proposed spending plan at the council's work session on April 4. An introduction vote is planned during the City Council's regular meeting the following night.

Lo Iacono declined to talk about specifics, but said the committee was able to keep increases at the 2 percent state mandated cap, and as in previous years, the city will have to pay more in health benefits and pension costs. He didn't say whether layoffs would be part of the spending plan.

"I continue to do anything I can to avoid layoffs," he said.

Besides Lo Iacono, the budget committee is composed of Chief Financial Officer Tammy Zucca, City Auditor Steve Wielkotz, and Councilmen Michael Melfi and John Labrosse.

Lo Iacono said the city asked for an extension to introduce the budget because it just completed a townwide reassessment and those numbers were needed to compile the spending plan.

Art Carlson, the city's tax assessor, said informal meetings on the reassessments were held earlier in the month, and that property owners have until May 1 to file an appeal.

He said under the new figures the assessment for the average home in Hackensack decreased 25.9 percent, from $328,300 to $243,200.

The city's taxable properties decreased 15.7 percent from $6.01 billion to $5.07 billion, he said.

The reassessment will help bring properties back in line with market values. Last year, around 1,000 property owners filed appeals, Carlson said.

"The reason we did it is because the market collapsed since the last time we did a revaluation, and it was fruitless to have outdated assessments," Carlson said

"It's only fair that everyone is assessed properly," he added, noting that the number of appeals should decrease with the reassessment. "If 1,000 people filed last year and they get reductions, which a lot of them did, the tax dollar doesn't disappear, it just goes to other taxpayers, they have to take up the burden."

The city released revaluation figures in 2007, during the height of the real estate boom, but when housing prices dropped, it led property owners to file appeals.

The city hired Appraisal Systems Inc. of Glen Rock to help Carlson with the reassessments, which took about six months to complete, he said.

Labrosse said he did not have budget numbers in front of him, but said he is happy with the results.

"I don't see us getting hit that hard," he said. "Overall, I think we worked hard and did a good job, and I think people will be pleasantly surprised."

He said he is glad that the reassessment was completed because it will curtail tax appeals.

E-mail: alvarado@northjersey.com


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Re: Property Taxes
« Reply #36 on: April 06, 2011, 08:55:20 AM »
Hackensack city budget hike will spare homeowners
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
BY MONSY ALVARADO
The Record
STAFF WRITER

HACKENSACK City spending will increase by more than 3 percent this year, but on average homeowners will see a $96 reduction in their municipal taxes under a 2011 budget introduced Tuesday.

The $88.4 million spending plan, which was introduced by the City Council, is up more than $2.8 million from last year's budget, and relies on $72.7 million to be raised in property taxes. That number is up from last year's $65.6 million.

The tax reduction for residential property owners is made possible because of a citywide reassessment that was recently finalized, officials said.

"As we suspected there was a little bit of a shift away from the residential, and back toward the commercial," City Auditor Steve Wielkotz said about the reassessment figures.

Under the new figures, the assessment for the average home in Hackensack decreased 25.9 percent, from $328,300 to $243,200. Commercial, industrial and retail properties saw a 7.3 percent decrease on the average assessment, which is now $2.06 million, Tax Assessor Art Carlson said.

The proposed budget, if adopted, would set the municipal tax rate including the library tax at $1.44, which means the average homeowner would pay close to $3,490 in annual municipal taxes.

The budget allots $700,000 for legal costs in 2011. The city, which is fighting several lawsuits by police officers in federal and state courts, spent nearly $1 million in legal fees in 2010.

Some of the items that contributed to the increases in the budget are $1.8 million more in group insurance costs, an additional $1.2 million in pension costs, and $1.5 million more in debt service, which includes paying back money the city borrowed last year to cover expenses associated with successful tax appeals, and the retirement of longtime employees who had accumulated hundreds of thousands dollars in accrued sick time.

Although the state has set a 2 percent budget cap on municipal tax levies, portions of the cost of health benefits, pension and debt service fall outside the cap, officials said.

"With the cap there are exceptions," said City Manager Stephen Lo Iacono.

The spending plan also includes nearly $1 million to pay for unused sick days of employees expected to retire this year.

Lo Iacono said costs for salaries and wages are down 1.13 percent to $37.7 million.

E-mail: alvarado@northjersey.com

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Re: Property Taxes
« Reply #37 on: June 23, 2011, 07:07:27 PM »
Tax reassessments bring relief to some North Jersey homeowners
Sunday, May 8, 2011    Last updated: Sunday May 8, 2011, 12:43 PM
BY DAVE SHEINGOLD
STAFF WRITER
The Record

There's a silver lining to the real estate slide, and it's about to bestow a tax break on homeowners in 14 North Jersey communities and perhaps others in the near future.

From Ridgefield Park to Totowa, owners of houses and condominiums will bear less of the local property-tax load this year following a wave of assessment updates that shifted local tax burdens away from residences and toward commercial properties.

In some places, the typical homeowner is likely to see a tax cut, while increases for office, retail and industrial buildings could top 20 percent when tax bills go out this summer and fall, according to an analysis by The Record.

The changes will affect 13 Bergen County communities and Totowa, places where officials updated tax assessments to better reflect a four-year slump that has dropped home values more than commercial values. The shift has left homeowners holding a smaller share of each town's overall real estate value, which means that, under state law, they must shoulder a smaller share of property taxes.

Homeowners getting a break

In 14 towns in Bergen and Passaic counties, homeowners can expect a measure of tax relief this year, while commercial properties are likely to face steep increases. The reason: Those towns last year conducted property reassessments that brought tax valuations more in line with actual market prices, as a result of the real estate slide. That process left commercial property owners with a larger share of the local tax burden.
 
The examples below show typical results for properties in three towns.
 
HACKENSACK
Citywide percent change: -15.7%
 
Residential
Property type: Two-story frame house
Lot size: 0.15 acres
2011 assessment: $233,700
2010 assessment: $326,000
Percent change: -28.3%
 
Commercial
Property type: 12-story office building
Lot size: Not available
2011 assessment: $35,631,700
2010 assessment: $39,884,800
Percent change: -10.7%
 
RIDGEFIELD PARK
Village-wide percentchange: -20.8%
 
Residential
Property type: Two-story frame house
Lot size: 0.13 acres
2011 assessment: $285,900
2010 assessment: $383,000
Percent change: -25.4%
 
Commercial
Property type: auto wrecking yard
Lot size: 1.7 acres
2011 assessment: $959,800
2010 assessment: $1,026,400
Percent change: -6.5%
 
NORWOOD
Borough-widepercent change: -20.3%
 
Residential
Property type: Two-story ranch house
Lot size: 0.34 acres
2011 assessment: $481,000
2010 assessment: $647,900
Percent change: -25.7%
 
Commercial
Property type: One-story bank building
Lot size: 0.49
2011 assessment: $1,355,700
2010 assessment: $1,431,500
Percent change: -5.3%
 
Source: Bergen County Board of Taxation
Staff analysis by Dave Sheingold 

Before the changes took effect, homeowners were effectively overpaying taxes, helping to generate a wave of appeals that were costing towns millions of dollars a year in refunds. The new trends reverse those seen in the first half of the 2000s when home values and homeowners' taxes rose fastest.

More shifts are likely to come next year as additional municipalities consider resetting property-tax assessments.

Losing equity

For homeowners, "it's good news, bad news. The good news is you're going to get some property-tax relief. The bad news is, you're getting property-tax relief because you are losing equity in your homes," said Rick DelGuercio of Appraisal Systems, a Glen Rock company that worked on 10 of the assessment updates.

It was welcome news for Michael Fagen of Ridgefield Park, whose $6,700 annual tax bill will drop $300 to $400 if the village and its school system adhere to a 2 percent spending-increase cap imposed by the state. When his assessment was reset in 2007, his taxes went up $1,100 and continued to rise after that.

"The taxes kept going up, and my house value was going down," said Fagen, who lives in half of a two-family colonial on Route 46. "Now it's a little more fair."

But in the zero-sum game of shifting tax valuations, one person's gain is someone else's loss. For the owner of the Westside Village Tavern on nearby Paulison Avenue, the readjustment could mean $1,700 a year added to the cost of running his sports bar, which sits amid a jumble of industrial properties and railroad lines. Frank Myslivecek said a tax hike might force him to curtail renovations, alter his menu or raise prices.

"Everything is going up in price. This is just another straw to break the camel's back," said Myslivecek.

The analysis by The Record found that:

* Homeowners' assessments dropped a combined 16.4 percent in the affected municipalities, which had all last updated their values in the mid-2000s, before the market stalled. Commercial values in those towns dropped only 4.3 percent.

* If property taxes go up 2 percent this year, the overall median residential tax in the 13 Bergen towns will decrease about 4 percent, while the median commercial tax will jump roughly 12 percent. (Totowa was not included in the analysis because detailed data were not available from borough officials, but the aggregate numbers suggest that the trend held true there also.)

* Some of the biggest breaks would go to homeowners in Edgewater, Hackensack, Ridgefield Park and Norwood. In Hackensack, for instance, a 2 percent levy hike would result in a 12 percent tax cut for the typical homeowner and an 8 percent increase for the typical commercial owner.

* Specific properties facing the biggest increases include The Shops at Riverside in Hackensack, Becton Dickinson in Franklin Lakes and The Brownstone, an apartment and retail development off Route 4 in Englewood. All could see tax hikes of several hundred thousand dollars.

* Smaller shifts will come mostly in towns with limited commercial real estate, including Ho-Ho-Kus, Emerson and Oakland.

In each case, the municipalities undertook what are known as property reassessments, which allow for a quick fix to repair inequities resulting from rapid swings in the real estate market. In a reassessment, values are updated in clusters, by neighborhood or by property type.

The next round of such adjustments is set to include Fair Lawn, Lyndhurst and up to six other municipalities that are considering property reassessments in the near future.

They are less complicated than property revaluations, which involve address-by-address updates and are the more traditional way of revising assessments after longer periods of time. Each of the 14 communities had done formal revaluations at or near the top of the market, in essence locking in values that quickly became outdated.

Seven revaluations took effect this year in Bergen and Passaic. But in those towns, shifts in the tax burden were muted by the fact that values had last been updated well before the boom. In general, the overall values rose, and commercial values increased most. Because the prior updates were from 1988 to 2002, their shifts reflected the ups and downs of several real-estate market swings.

An additional 11 communities are set to do revaluations this year and next.

Failure to make any adjustment can be costly, expert say.

About a dozen towns still sit with values set at or right before the market peak, including Harrington Park, Ridgewood, Teaneck and Washington Township.

Towns in that situation "are extremely vulnerable to widespread appeals," DelGuercio said. "It's likely that the residents are paying too much."

Spikes in tax appeals

Several factors had created inequities in the distribution of property taxes, leaving some homeowners overtaxed and generating huge spikes in appeals, said real estate appraisers and town officials. In addition, appeals won by some large commercial property owners added further to the inequity.

The number of appeals filed with the Bergen County Board of Taxation more than tripled, from 2,594 in 2006 to 9,004 in 2010, with additional cases going to state tax court; Passaic's number jumped during that time from 833 to 4,541.

"It really ended up being an unfair situation for residential homeowners," said Steve Lo Iacono, city manager in Hackensack, which paid $7.5 million in refunds from 2008 through 2011. "Things had gotten tremendously out of whack."

The reassessment in Hackensack dropped the city's overall value of residential property by 26 percent, while the city's commercial base went down only 6.7 percent. In Ridgefield Park, residential values dropped 26.2 percent, compared to a 10.3 percent decline for commercial values. In more upscale northern Bergen, Norwood saw the biggest shift, as residential property went down 22.9 percent and commercial figures declined 2.2 percent.

Facing impending tax hikes, business owners said in interviews that they would probably look for ways to trim expenses before raising prices.

At the Colonial Inn catering hall in Norwood, Paul Guarino Jr. said he might have to postpone buying new chairs or upgrading the hall's air-conditioning system if his $70,100 tax bill increases by around $20,000.

"I can't say that it's terribly unfair," said Guarino, whose taxes dropped by $4,100 when his assessment was last reset in 2008. But "that certainly could preclude us from making a reinvestment, which has consequences."

Homeowner Hector Ferrer of Hackensack will believe he's getting a tax cut "when I see it," he said, adding that the underlying problems of high property taxes and local government spending remained. But if it happens, he said he would use the money to replenish a tax escrow fund that was wiped out last year when he was out of work.

"It's not like I'm not welcoming it," he said. "I do, however feel like this whole situation has to be fixed."

E-mail: sheingold@northjersey.com

_______________________________
The tale of the taxes

Percent change in the total value of property in municipalities that did reassessments or revaluations that took effect this year. All saw shifts in the tax burden from residential to commercial property.

Offline Oratam_Weaping

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Do Current Rate Tax Increases Negate Property Taxes Re-assessment
« Reply #38 on: August 09, 2011, 06:59:04 PM »
I have altered the subject because people are asking is the tax rate went up while their assessments went down. It certainly seems so. Some residential owners with lower assessments are paying higher taxes well above 2.5% and as higher as 9% higher tax bill, even with a lower assessment... , but especially  commercial properties have risen well above 3% and in some cases as high as 15%..?  Am I mistaken?

Offline just watching

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Re: Property Taxes
« Reply #39 on: August 09, 2011, 09:42:09 PM »
Once all the mentally ill are wandering around your neighborhood, handing out in your driveway, peeping into your vehicle, urinating on the side of your house, and sleeping on your front porch, I'm sure you'll qualify for at least a 50% reduction in your annual property taxes.  Maybe you should support Regina and her friends at On Your Own....lol.  And maybe they've got some crazier ideas for your front yard work of art.

Offline regina

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Re: Property Taxes
« Reply #40 on: August 10, 2011, 11:47:29 PM »
Eric, that was not nice. I'd rather have "friends" who are trying to help themselves than sarcastic people who put others down. I had nothing to do with any of this thread, yet you chose to drag me in. Have I touched a nerve with you? Keep just watching from a distance ...

Offline just watching

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Re: Property Taxes
« Reply #41 on: August 11, 2011, 07:45:49 AM »
The only thing sarcastic about my post was the "50% reduction".  Maybe it will only be 25%.

I absolutely believe that there will be a reduction in the value of Oratam_Weaping's house on Essex Street. And I believe that all the problems that I mentioned will happen.  Maybe not every day or every week, but they will happen.

Offline regina

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Re: Property Taxes
« Reply #42 on: August 11, 2011, 08:24:44 AM »
If you lived in Hackensack you would know that all those problems you mentioned already exist, particularly in the 1st Ward, and On Our Own has had nothing to do with it. It is people who reside there, legally or illegally, homes or homeless. There is a police substation in the 1st Ward, but the police presence is lacking with regard to these kind of incidents. If they want any action taken a home/business owner has to confront the individual themselves, and sign a complaint themselves, because the police just are not in the area and cannot quickly address or prevent these issues.

Offline just watching

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Re: Property Taxes
« Reply #43 on: August 11, 2011, 05:02:42 PM »
Hey, we agree on something.  On Our Own has nothing to do with the current problems in the First Ward.  But once it opens there, there will be an increase of those problems

Offline hackensack_newbie

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Re: Do Current Rate Tax Increases Negate Property Taxes Re-assessment
« Reply #44 on: August 18, 2011, 08:39:10 AM »
I have altered the subject because people are asking is the tax rate went up while their assessments went down. It certainly seems so. Some residential owners with lower assessments are paying higher taxes well above 2.5% and as higher as 9% higher tax bill, even with a lower assessment... , but especially  commercial properties have risen well above 3% and in some cases as high as 15%..?  Am I mistaken?

Hi, I'm new to this board and only in Hackensack for the past three years. I have an interest in this subject, but it would seem that the majority don't, unless they are posting elsewhere. I too noticed that the tax rate increased -- by around 27%. That's a bit shocking to me. I only noticed because my taxes went up 5% this year even though my assessment was lowered by 17%. I would imagine that most homeowners saw a reduction in their taxes, and that's why no one's really noticed.

Has the tax rate jumped this much before? Does it ever fall? What will happen when home values begin to increase? It's all very worrisome to me...