2018 assessments are posted on the NJ website. Vacant land was missing from the previous lists. As I expected look low from the ones I checked downtown.
239 Montgomery: Assessed at 375k but the neighboring property the same size has a land assessment of 765k
63 Mercer: Sold in 2016 for 3mm but assessed at 774k
208 Columbus: Sold in 2015 for 1.45mm but assessed at 727k
131 Morgan: Sold in 2016 for 1.98mm but assessed at 775k
I've been saying for a while the land valuations were going to be a mess. Clearly they don't use comps for empty land and they use an ass-backwards subtractive system for developed land.
I had thought that since abatements are not on the land, just on the improvements, that we would see tax increases from abated properties. Solomon said no that's not the way it works. Funny, huh?
I hate to ever entertain, or partake in, conspiracy theories, but given the history of shenanigans related to this reval, and the powerful vested interests, one can’t help wonder if this botched implementation is perhaps a way to further delay the implementation of the reval results.
Or, it just doesn't make sense.
The reval is done. Property tax changes are already getting rolled out. They won't roll everything back because of issues with vacant lots.
You seem to miss the point: lots of improved lots are seeing wildly different valuations, even when located immediately next to each other or within the same block. The point that some are making, including myself, is that assigning completely different values to the built upon lots opens the door for a legal challenge that could potentially delay, or stop, implementation of the reval results.
It's too late to stop the reval. It's over.
Also, think about what you're proposing:
1) The city loses in court and has to do the reval.
2) They pay a company to do the reval
3) They secretly order Appraisal Systems to use a formula that is completely screwy with land values, but the final values generally get within 15% of comp values for developed properties
4) They hope that enough people notice the issue with vacant land that they sue the city not to adjust those vacant properties, but to force another reval (even though Appraisal Systems could just rerun the numbers with a new set of formulas)
5) This happens months after the city has already published a lot of new valuations AND taken the heat from downtown residents AND seen property values in other parts of JC go up when taxes there go down AND discussed doing a follow-up reval in ~2 years.
Ever heard of Ockham's Razor? ;)
How can the valuation company, or the city, justify that which defies logic or reason? That is, how can two lots (of similar size) in the same vicinity have totally different values?
I have no clue whatsoever. You'd have to ask Appraisal Systems. (201) 493-8530.