TOMS RIVER – Should the township revise the recent reassessment by revising home assessments that have skyrocketed in some areas?
That was the suggestion of Councilman Daniel Rodrick, who said he was contacted by concerned landlords from Holiday City to Silverton and other waterfront areas in the city. And he wants Mayor Maurice M. “Mo” Hill to do something about it.
“These assessments are not correct,” Rodrick argued at Wednesday’s city council meeting. “They are well outside historic standards. … Mayor Hill should send assessors back to Holiday City and the waterfront.”
Rodrick’s request for a reassessment overhaul in some areas was not supported by the rest of the board.
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Hill noted that residents who don’t believe their new appraisals are correct can contact Professional Property Appraisers – the company that completed the work – by Feb. 4 to schedule an appointment. Appointments, in person or by phone, will be set by the end of February, the mayor said.
Owners must produce three comparable sales to show to the appraisal panel to help prove their case. If they cannot reach an agreement with professional appraisers on the assessment, owners can file an appeal with the Ocean County Board of Taxation.
Appeals to the tax commission must be filed before May 1.
“Neither the council nor I were in favor of this real estate appraisal,” Hill said. “We asked them to delay it for a year or two. We were refused.”
The township-wide reassessment was mandated by the Ocean County Board of Taxation in 2018, as Toms River properties were then valued at 83.4% of their real value. In 2020, Mayor Maurice B. “Mo” Hill Jr. estimated that the assessed value of Toms River properties had fallen to around 79%.
The municipality was able to delay the reassessment because it was not until 2020 that the state certified the municipality’s tax cards. These maps identify each parcel of land in the city by lot and city block, and also include features such as easements, waterways, and railroad rights-of-way.
The township’s mayor and council members had considered asking for a further postponement of reassessment earlier this year, fearing the coronavirus pandemic could cause property values to plummet.
But the opposite has happened: land values have actually remained stable or increased in various parts of the township. Many residents of northern New Jersey and New York moved to the Jersey Shore during the first year of the pandemic.
An Asbury Park Press analysis found that Toms River property values jumped 34% from 2020 to 2021, with the average home price in town hitting $377,524.
This is the first reassessment of a property in Toms River since Super Storm Sandy in 2012 caused massive damage to the town.
But in many of the areas hardest hit by the storm, homes have been demolished and rebuilt, or raised to meet federal flood mandates. These homes were already appraised at higher values as construction was completed.
Hill said the biggest increases in values have been in places like Holiday City and the waterfront areas where homes haven’t had to be rebuilt and those haven’t been re-evaluated since before Sandy did. hit.
The last revaluation took place in 2008, with the new values taking effect in 2009, in the midst of the Great Recession. More than 4,000 residents and business owners have filed tax appeals challenging the new values which they say were inflated.
In 1993, a revaluation found residents of the adult community of Greenbriar Woodlands angry at rising property values. Tax bills in the community have increased 40% to 45% under the new property assessments.
When a reassessment is complete, taxpayers who own properties assessed below market value will bear a greater share of the municipality’s tax burden, while those whose properties are overvalued will pay a smaller share.
A reassessment itself does not result in a property tax increase; the amount an individual homeowner will pay in taxes is determined by the tax rate set by the municipal government, school district, county, and fire district.
Experts say that during a typical reassessment, about one-third of owners will see an increase in taxes, one-third will see taxes decrease and one-third will see no change in taxes.
For more information on reassessment, call the Township Tax Assessor’s Office at 732-341-1000, ext. 8300.
Jean Mikle has covered Toms River and several other towns in Ocean County, and has been writing about local government and politics on the Jersey Shore for nearly 37 years. A 2010 Pulitzer Prize finalist in public service, she is also passionate about the Shore’s historic music scene. Contact her: @jeanmikle, [email protected]