West Long Branch: The New Jersey based Realty Appraisal Co. is actively pursuing the revaluation of borough properties and reviewed the status and schedule with the governing body at the December 5th Council Meeting.
Realty’s Steven Rubenstein told the Council the company has been to 874 (39%) of the 2,266 residential properties in town as of December 1. Commercial property inspections have been completed.
They have gained access to 92% of the residential properties visited, and when access was not available their practice is to make assumptions about the homes in order to get the job done. For inaccessible homes they assume basements are “finished” and the home interior has been renovated (bath, kitchen, etc.) That allows them to complete the revaluation for all homes. Visits thus far have resulted in about 92% which have been accessed.
In the discussion Mayor Janet Tucci said it was in the interest of the home owner to allow access and Borough Clerk Lori Cole said the town has received relatively few inquiries from homeowners about the visits, mostly to confirm the inspectors are legitimate. She said the borough has ID information about each inspector. Police are also kept abreast of the inspections. There are 4 inspectors working in the borough at this time, Rubenstein said.
The new valuation letters to homeowners will be mailed in January and early February in time for the May 1 deadline for tax appeals. As information, Rubenstein said last revaluation in the borough was in 1999. A reassessment (book-based calculations) was implemented in 2006.
He said the current revaluations shows a lessening in values based on market conditions, so the usual 30% increase over previous values will be less, about 10% versus the past history, the 30% range. He used “Assessed value” (the value on borough tax books) versus “Market values” for his observation.
Tax rates as a per cent will increase in order to cover the same borough budget requirements – for borough services and other obligations. Translation: Your property tax bill will be more than last year