Monday, September 7, 2015

Reassessment schocker in Little Egg Harbor, could Lakewood have same results?

LITTLE EGG HARBOR  Residents are panicking over a township-wide reassessment of real estate values. In some cases, property owners are seeing thousands of dollars in sudden tax increases this year.

“In 2013, Little Egg Harbor was mandated by the (Ocean) county tax board to conduct a reassessment, a revaluation of the town,” said John Barrett, a Brick-based consultant who advises the township administration on its financial affairs. “And the reason why you have that mandate come down from the county Board of Taxation, the ratios are out of whack. Meaning the assessed values compared to market values were not at the ideal point of 100 percent.”


As a result of the reassessment, Barrett said that the value of the average assessed home in Little Egg Harbor Township had fallen from $263,000 in 2011 to $193,000 in 2015. Indeed, the entire taxable real estate of the township has fallen from $2.9 billion in 2010 to the current estimate of $2.2 billion.

A combination of the “Great Recession,” the collapse of the real estate bubble in the mid-2000s and the catastrophic damage inflicted on Little Egg Harbor in superstorm Sandy in 2012 contributed to the township’s current financial crisis.

“Three things that are certainly out of the control of any government entity or elected leaders,” Barrett said as he spoke before a horrified public at a recent Township Committee meeting.

“Mr. Barrett said things were out of whack,” said Murray Piazza, 81, of Golf View Drive. “My taxes have gone up 62 percent. I think that’s out of whack. … I spoke to the tax assessor’s office and the tax collector’s office, and I asked them if they thought it was out of whack, and they just gave me a blank stare. They said this is the function of Hurricane Sandy. I have no place to turn to; no one seems to take responsibility for what’s been happening.”

Arthur Mooney, 77, of Windstar Drive, said he and his wife were not certain what they are going to do.

“I myself lost an evaluation of $70,000 on a home that I worked my whole life to get,” Mooney said. “Seventy grand. At the same time, you increase my taxes by over $800. I don’t have the flexibility of going back to work. I’m 77 years old. Can’t do it. I live on Social Security. On a pension.”

Mooney asked: How could the government let this happen in a town where the majority of residents are senior citizens on fixed incomes?

“Something has to be done to give assistance to the seniors,” he said. “This whole tax thing in the state of New Jersey is so screwed up; it’s pathetic. My wife and I are seriously thinking of leaving town. On my street alone, there’s something like 15 ‘for sale’ signs.”

Barrett said he has heard from senior citizens whose taxes have gone up as high as $2,000. The best news he could give them was that after this kind of reassessment the tax rate does stabilize, so this kind of tax shock will not be an annual event. APP

5 comments:

  1. Is this where the yeshiva is building houses for youngeleit?

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  2. Rumors bmg opening a new yeshiva and kolell in little egg harbor and building 2000 houses there

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  3. Makes sense to buy if houses are cheap and residents are moving out.

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  4. Not in Little egg harbor but rather in EggHarbor Township near Atlantic city. As many casinos are shuttered they can be used as schools shuls and what not.

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  5. A chabura from bmg was offered extra money to commute daily to Egg harbor

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