Friday, August 25, 2006

Washington Township Hit By Tax Revaluation

From the Record:

Smaller homes hit harder by revaluation

It seems like reverse logic.

On busy Pascack Road, the owner of a modest home assessed at $192,100 and situated on 0.43 acre received a 52 percent tax increase this year.

A few blocks away on the more scenic Gorga Place, the homeowner of a new-construction home assessed at $417,500 and situated on 1.35 acres is enjoying a 12 percent tax break.

Based on the township's new tax assessments, it pays to own a pricey home.

Some residents faced sticker shock, and others breathed a sigh of relief last month when the township mailed out its tax bills.
...
"Once the tax bills were sent out, people started complaining that they didn't expect them to go up so high," said Mayor Rudy Wenzel, whose own taxes rose roughly $700. "If you have a small house on a good piece of property, you could get hit harder because, technically, you could build a larger home on that lot."

Wenzel said the recent tax revaluation makes him pessimistic about the future. "I see big increases coming up because of education and the high cost of municipal employees. I don't see growing ratables to help us cover it in the next few years. The high cost of living here is sending people to other states."
...
He said there are several reasons someone's home value could increase while someone else's decreases. "Some homes might have been assessed too low last time. One house could have had an addition, which requires higher taxes. Different neighborhoods increase in value at different rates. Someone with a bigger piece of property will have a larger increase than a nicer house on a smaller piece of land."

Politi advised homeowners that "if their property would sell for the amount the house was valued at," then it is correct.

"People have been underpaying in taxes for years. Now the system finally caught up to them. Nobody wants to hear that," he said.

6 Comments:

Blogger Metroplexual said...

And if some were underpaying that means some were overpaying. To those taxpayers where it is going up, all I have to say is they had a discoount for years. Reassessments are supposed to be done on a regular basis to prevent this kind of thing and make taxes equitable.

8/25/2006 07:28:00 AM  
Blogger RichInNorthNJ said...

"People have been underpaying in taxes for years. Now the system finally caught up to them. Nobody wants to hear that," he said.

I know he means those that made additions to their home.
But the taxes paid are at a rate for the "income" needed to supoprt the schools and town budget.
Cut these and EVERYONE will be paying lower taxes due to lower rates.

It has NOTHING to do with the increase of house values. If homes never went up, the tax rate would still continue to climb in oder to pay for the town services and the school system.

8/25/2006 07:40:00 AM  
Anonymous UnRealtor said...

"On busy Pascack Road, the owner of a modest home assessed at $192,100 and situated on 0.43 acre received a 52 percent tax increase this year.

A few blocks away on the more scenic Gorga Place, the homeowner of a new-construction home assessed at $417,500 and situated on 1.35 acres is enjoying a 12 percent tax break.

Based on the township's new tax assessments, it pays to own a pricey home."



Useless information followed by a faulty conclusion. What percentage of the newly-assessed value is the current tax for both houses? What if they'e both paying, say, 5%? That would be fair to both, no?

8/25/2006 09:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the homeowner, taxpayer
screwed again.

this state is just
pathetic.

NJ , the Welfare State.

Screw the taxpayer anyway
you can.

8/25/2006 12:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the homeowner, taxpayer
screwed again.

this state is just
pathetic.

NJ , the Welfare State.

Screw the taxpayer anyway
you can.

8/25/2006 12:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Pragmatist said...

I live in the town profiled, and this was an eye-opener for me. The article in the print version of the Record had a map where you could see everyone's tax increase or decrease.

My street makes no sense whatsoever. Every lot is 75 x 100. The house two doors down from me -- a cape with front and back dormers -- had a tax DECREASE. The house next to me, a bi-level with an above-ground pool, saw a 5-10% increase. I (dormered cape) and the next two houses down (tiny ranch, somewhat larger ranch) saw a 10-15% increase. The house next to them (2-story colonial) saw a tax decrease.

A new McMansion on the other side of the street saw a tax decrease.

I have read this article three times and it still makes no sense to me. The argument that "you could theoretically build a larger house on the land so if your lot is desirable you got a bigger increase is horse manure, especially given the example of the house on Pascack Road -- a less desirable location due to its being on a busy street.

This town hasn't been reassessed since before I moved here in the summer of 1996. If it were simply a question of people who added on underpaying for years, that would be one thing. But frankly, based on my block, the percentage increase seems pretty arbitrary.

I hope someone here can do a better job of explaining the article than the article itself did.

And by the way, until this, I felt fortunate. I know people in Westwood and in Park Ridge who saw their taxes go up $1500-$1800/year due to reassessment. And here I thought I was lucky because mine are only going up $700.

8/26/2006 07:53:00 AM  

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