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Re: Jersey City mayor-elect orders end to citywide reval
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A Republican assemblyman has introduced a bill that would allow the state to withhold aid from towns that let their assessed value fall far behind their market value, a symptom of overdue revaluations, NJ Advance Media reported.
The state Division of Taxation has ordered three municipalities, including Jersey City, to undergo revals. Bayonne, East Newark and Harrison were recently ordered to undergo revals by the county taxation board.

In New Jersey, more than 30 municipalities haven't held reassessments in at least 25 years, and most are in Hudson, Union and Middlesex counties.

The proposed bill would require county tax boards to force a revaluation at a town's expense.

It would also give state officials the authority to remove from office any board of taxation member who "willfully or intentionally failed, neglected or refused to comply with the requirements."

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Posted on: 2016/5/23 16:00
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hudson57 wrote:
How difficult can it be to be transparent? Let's take a look at how it's done in other parts of the country. Here's an example from Florida:

http://www.co.palm-beach.fl.us/papa/A ... parcel=52424135040280020&

If you scroll down you'll see an "appraisal" section but also a link to "structural details". Clicking on "tax details" shows you where your money is being spent.

Wow!!! They are light years ahead in sleepy FL but in fancy, cocky North-East that's too much to ask for? Please....



EXACTLY. It is the same in Texas, btw. I sometimes find it amusing that NYers (and Northeasterners in general) have a smug, cocky attitude and look down upon much of the country as backwards or as less polished, but there sure is much done better outside of our region. And, going by recent trends, that is becoming increasingly known to people, as more and more people leave this area to go to FL, TX, TN and other states with better economies, much lower costs of living and better QoL for families.

Posted on: 2016/5/23 13:03
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How difficult can it be to be transparent? Let's take a look at how it's done in other parts of the country. Here's an example from Florida:

http://www.co.palm-beach.fl.us/papa/A ... parcel=52424135040280020&

If you scroll down you'll see an "appraisal" section but also a link to "structural details". Clicking on "tax details" shows you where your money is being spent.

Wow!!! They are light years ahead in sleepy FL but in fancy, cocky North-East that's too much to ask for? Please....





Posted on: 2016/5/23 12:21
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brewster wrote:
Personally, I'd say add the rolling reval,ie reset on sale. But that's controversial for reasons obscure to me, likely realtors hate it.


I agree Brewster. I recently exported the JC tax roll to Excel and filtered for vacant land that sold since 2010 for $50,000 or more. 437 properties were on the list with a total sales price of $916 million. Tax paid $2.5 million which is 0.26837%.

Posted on: 2016/5/23 10:08
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dtjcview wrote:
Cut out all the confusing statistical jargon. Simplify the process. Wouldn't even need a reval - actual sales and appeals could take care of that.


OK, so I see your point a little better now, and I do agree that systemic changes could and should be implemented. Never have I lived anywhere in the US where property taxes were levied in such an obfuscated manner. The valuations should be actual market value, as you point out, and the set municipal tax rate applied. All the other craziness (equalization rates, perpetually postponed revals, etc.) should be done away with and the process made simple and straightforward. I suspect that, at the end of the day, as with many such situations in NJS, this is a process that exists to justify its very existence. In other words, this is now a bureaucracy that exists because too much nepotism and corruption has been allowed to exist and no one wants the gravy train to come to a full stop.

Posted on: 2016/5/23 9:05
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Posted on: 2016/5/23 7:40
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brewster wrote:
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dtjcview, trust me you don't want your taxes determined by Zillow's Zestimate! They don't even know which properties are multifamily...


A valuation provider like zillow, realtytrac or trulia would be plugged into the process. It's in their interests to collect, maintain and publish accurate property and tax data. There may need to be a one-off reval. Then after that appraisals can be done periodically - during transfers, improvements and appeals. The process would take care of itself - and accuracy of valuations are easy to track.

Streamlining the process would save millions in admin costs - not to mention cutting out a lot of political grift.

Posted on: 2016/5/22 18:46
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WhoElseCouldIBe wrote:
You seem to be blaming everyone except the JC government for the reval mess.


I think there's plenty of blame to go around, and the JC govt has been excoriated at length in this thread. But the state (under both parties) and county are definitely complicit in this mess. Oversight failed. Any city can elect clowns or criminals to their city hall and we've had plenty of both. (and the White House may be in for a taste). But the higher levels of govt are "supposed" to be alert and enforce the laws. If the law says "reval every 10 years" and a city doesn't, the state could withhold any number of services or funds. But no one wanted to rock the boat, because there's ALWAYS an election coming, so here we are.

dtjcview, trust me you don't want your taxes determined by Zillow's Zestimate! They don't even know which properties are multifamily. The current system actually makes sense as long as the reval happens like clockwork. Personally, I'd say add the rolling reval,ie reset on sale. But that's controversial for reasons obscure to me, likely realtors hate it.

Posted on: 2016/5/22 17:16
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You seem to be blaming everyone except the JC government for the reval mess.



I don't think JC is right on this. Certainly not under existing statutes. But as a homeowner - I deserve a clearer, more efficient and transparent process. And that violation of good government can only be solved by the state.

My tax bill should read:
- Oct 1st valuation from realtytrac|trulia|zillow = $100k
- Exempted/abated value = 0
- Taxable value=$100k
- Effective city tax rate=2%
- Taxes due 2017=$2k
- You can appeal if your property appraises below $85k
..submit appraisal to county tax board before April 2017

Cut out all the confusing statistical jargon. Simplify the process. Wouldn't even need a reval - actual sales and appeals could take care of that.

Posted on: 2016/5/22 17:09
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dtjcview wrote:
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135jc wrote:
Why has NJ stated forcing cities to reval it's properties if it does not effect money sent to the state?


In theory, the reval itself should result in a net zero impact to city, county and state revenues.

This thread goes off in many tangents - particularly on abatements and school funding. The truth is - the state's budget is a huge mess, particularly in the areas of pensions and education funding. And there's a clear agenda (rightly or wrongly) to push the state's growing budget deficit on to municipalities.

The NJ push to force revals is mostly politically motivated - but for me - it only spotlights the serious structural issues that can only be fixed at the state level.




You have it backwards; the avoidance by the towns, in some cases for decades and decades, has been political. The state is merely enforcing the existing statutes, starting with the most egregious offenders.


And who ultimately is responsible for setting and enforcing the rules on revals? The state created the mess in the first place. They also made property tax and revals incomprehensible to the average homeowner - and that's the only reason there isn't an angry JC mob burning down city hall.


You seem to be blaming everyone except the JC government for the reval mess.

Posted on: 2016/5/22 16:31
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Monroe wrote:
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dtjcview wrote:
Quote:

Monroe wrote:
Quote:

dtjcview wrote:
Quote:

135jc wrote:
Why has NJ stated forcing cities to reval it's properties if it does not effect money sent to the state?


In theory, the reval itself should result in a net zero impact to city, county and state revenues.

This thread goes off in many tangents - particularly on abatements and school funding. The truth is - the state's budget is a huge mess, particularly in the areas of pensions and education funding. And there's a clear agenda (rightly or wrongly) to push the state's growing budget deficit on to municipalities.

The NJ push to force revals is mostly politically motivated - but for me - it only spotlights the serious structural issues that can only be fixed at the state level.




You have it backwards; the avoidance by the towns, in some cases for decades and decades, has been political. The state is merely enforcing the existing statutes, starting with the most egregious offenders.


And who ultimately is responsible for setting and enforcing the rules on revals? The state created the mess in the first place. They also made property tax and revals incomprehensible to the average homeowner - and that's the only reason there isn't an angry JC mob burning down city hall.


Yes, ultimately-but I think (and stateaidguy can correct me) the Hudson County Board of Taxation also has a role in forcing (or not) its towns to comply. In any case, yes, Trenton should've been more pro-active in forcing towns to reval within state statutes. But they are doing it now.


Monroe is right. It's supposed to be the county tax board that makes towns with unfair tax assessments do revals. In every county other than Hudson, Middlesex, and Union the tax board fufills its role.

Until recently there were other counties where the county tax board didn't do its job, Essex for one. I believe Newark went for decades without a reval, although Newark has now done two revals this century.

The NJ Constitution says that taxes have to be assessed equally (within a taxing district) and clearly gives the Dept of Treasury the authority to order a reval.

Steve Fulop has said that Jersey City is being "singled out" and that the motivation for the reval is political, but the State Treasury chose the most non-compliant town in Union, Middlesex, and Hudson counties, so Elizabeth, Dunellen, and Jersey City. They could not force revals on all the non-compliant towns at once because they lacked the manpower to work with (or against) all the non-compliant towns at once.

This is something I've said before, but for some of the towns who haven't done revals since the 1980s it isn't such a violation of good government, since properties have generally appreciated at uniform rates throughout the jurisdiction. So Westfield hasn't done a reval in a generation, but Westfield's Coefficient of Deviation is really low anyway and thus few people are being taxed unfairly.

Posted on: 2016/5/22 14:50
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dtjcview wrote:
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135jc wrote:
Why has NJ stated forcing cities to reval it's properties if it does not effect money sent to the state?


In theory, the reval itself should result in a net zero impact to city, county and state revenues.

This thread goes off in many tangents - particularly on abatements and school funding. The truth is - the state's budget is a huge mess, particularly in the areas of pensions and education funding. And there's a clear agenda (rightly or wrongly) to push the state's growing budget deficit on to municipalities.

The NJ push to force revals is mostly politically motivated - but for me - it only spotlights the serious structural issues that can only be fixed at the state level.




You have it backwards; the avoidance by the towns, in some cases for decades and decades, has been political. The state is merely enforcing the existing statutes, starting with the most egregious offenders.


And who ultimately is responsible for setting and enforcing the rules on revals? The state created the mess in the first place. They also made property tax and revals incomprehensible to the average homeowner - and that's the only reason there isn't an angry JC mob burning down city hall.


Yes, ultimately-but I think (and stateaidguy can correct me) the Hudson County Board of Taxation also has a role in forcing (or not) its towns to comply. In any case, yes, Trenton should've been more pro-active in forcing towns to reval within state statutes. But they are doing it now.

Posted on: 2016/5/22 12:12
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dtjcview wrote:
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135jc wrote:
Why has NJ stated forcing cities to reval it's properties if it does not effect money sent to the state?


In theory, the reval itself should result in a net zero impact to city, county and state revenues.

This thread goes off in many tangents - particularly on abatements and school funding. The truth is - the state's budget is a huge mess, particularly in the areas of pensions and education funding. And there's a clear agenda (rightly or wrongly) to push the state's growing budget deficit on to municipalities.

The NJ push to force revals is mostly politically motivated - but for me - it only spotlights the serious structural issues that can only be fixed at the state level.




You have it backwards; the avoidance by the towns, in some cases for decades and decades, has been political. The state is merely enforcing the existing statutes, starting with the most egregious offenders.


And who ultimately is responsible for setting and enforcing the rules on revals? The state created the mess in the first place. They also made property tax and revals incomprehensible to the average homeowner - and that's the only reason there isn't an angry JC mob burning down city hall.

Posted on: 2016/5/22 11:34
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135jc wrote:
Thanks for the replies. I had thought that the delay of the reval which resulted in now higher property values would cost the city. It was pointed out to me in earlier posts that cities does not fund the state. Is it true that no portion of our tax dollars go to support the state?


Your property taxes do not go to the state.

The state will not gain a cent of additional taxes out of the reval.

Posted on: 2016/5/22 10:58
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Thanks for the replies. I had thought that the delay of the reval which resulted in now higher property values would cost the city. It was pointed out to me in earlier posts that cities does not fund the state. Is it true that no portion of our tax dollars go to support the state?

Posted on: 2016/5/22 9:53
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135jc wrote:
Why has NJ stated forcing cities to reval it's properties if it does not effect money sent to the state?


In theory, the reval itself should result in a net zero impact to city, county and state revenues.

This thread goes off in many tangents - particularly on abatements and school funding. The truth is - the state's budget is a huge mess, particularly in the areas of pensions and education funding. And there's a clear agenda (rightly or wrongly) to push the state's growing budget deficit on to municipalities.

The NJ push to force revals is mostly politically motivated - but for me - it only spotlights the serious structural issues that can only be fixed at the state level.




You have it backwards; the avoidance by the towns, in some cases for decades and decades, has been political. The state is merely enforcing the existing statutes, starting with the most egregious offenders.

Posted on: 2016/5/22 7:26
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135jc wrote:
Why has NJ stated forcing cities to reval it's properties if it does not effect money sent to the state?


Are you asking why the State is forcing a reval ?

If that is the question, the answer is simple. The state will often assume a "parental" role in which it must ensure that all of its kids (municipalities) play nice (and fair) with each other, and to its residents.

Posted on: 2016/5/22 7:11
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135jc wrote:
Why has NJ stated forcing cities to reval it's properties if it does not effect money sent to the state?


In theory, the reval itself should result in a net zero impact to city, county and state revenues.

This thread goes off in many tangents - particularly on abatements and school funding. The truth is - the state's budget is a huge mess, particularly in the areas of pensions and education funding. And there's a clear agenda (rightly or wrongly) to push the state's growing budget deficit on to municipalities.

The NJ push to force revals is mostly politically motivated - but for me - it only spotlights the serious structural issues that can only be fixed at the state level.



Posted on: 2016/5/21 20:43
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Why has NJ stated forcing cities to reval it's properties if it does not effect money sent to the state?

Posted on: 2016/5/21 19:45
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JPhurst wrote:
Many of the examples you give of "underaided" areas are usually tiny rump municipalities that often don't even have a high school. When you whine about East Newark getting more funding it shows the absurdity of the argument. East Newark is a 10th of a square mile with little reason for existence, let alone a school district of its own, let alone increases in state aid.

Abbott was not just about tax base. Although the strains on those tax bases were part of the decision.

You want to redistribute state aid? Fine. Allow Jersey City to keep 1/2 of the sales tax for purchases in the city (the little amount we had under the UEZ program was taken by Christie to "balance" the budget). Give it 25% of every toll the PANY/NJ collects.

And while you're at, ensure full compliance with Mt. Laurel obligations that does not involve buying out, require merger of school districts that do not have a full K-12. Better yet, combine school districts as was done in Delaware so that municipal and county boundaries are not used to segregate the schools. Then maybe we can talk about "overaided" districts.


JPHurst, you made these arguments a few weeks ago and they were too ignorant for me to respond to.

I thought of you again when I found this neat logical fallacy poster. After all, of all the arguments I've gotten into with people about state aid in the last couple years, you've made the worst arguments.

https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/poster

Your fallacies are

1 "Special Pleading," (eg JC is different from every other town in NJ because it gets commuters)

2. "Appeal to a Higher Authority" (eg, the NJ Supreme Court said something about urban districts in 1990, therefore its opinion is infallible.)

3. "Black or White" (suggesting anyone wants to see JC's aid totally eliminated and not just reduced).

4. I wasn't sure if "Tu quoque" would apply to your argument that no district's North Bergen's or Clifton's underaiding cannot be addressed through redistribution until Millburn merges with East Orange.

Tu Quoque refers to attacking the attacker with a "you too," but what Millburn does that some might object to is class segregation through zoning, not aid hoarding.

However, Millburn is not a participant in any argument about state aid. So you have tried to attack Freehold Boro's case through attacking Millburn, which would be like the US attacking Switzerland after 9/11.

I think there are a few fallacies rolled into one with your Millburn argument, but I can't disentangle them.



Posted on: 2016/5/21 15:20
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Many people indeed find themselves stretched very thin, and are ill equipped to handle such an increase.


No dispute that it will hurt some people a lot - very bad for over-extended borrowers, and for residents that have paid-off their mortgages.

The impact though is quantifiable: it's like a 2% hike in variable rate mortgages. And I don't believe that is enough to crater the current "white hot" property market downtown.


Of course. And, if you were cautious in choosing how much you were willing/able to spend on a monthly basis, absorbing that extra burden should be doable. But, as we learned in 2008, most people tend to bite off more than they can chew.

I wonder if banks will ever get back to that old rule of thumb of 33% of gross income. For all the talk about stricter guidelines, it seems like banks have continued to allow people to get into situations where homeownership costs approach (and, exceed) 50% of income.

Posted on: 2016/5/17 14:46
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Many people indeed find themselves stretched very thin, and are ill equipped to handle such an increase.


No dispute that it will hurt some people a lot - very bad for over-extended borrowers, and for residents that have paid-off their mortgages.

The impact though is quantifiable: it's like a 2% hike in variable rate mortgages. And I don't believe that is enough to crater the current "white hot" property market downtown.

Posted on: 2016/5/17 8:51
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Think the problem might be overblown:

- Taxes are around 2% of purchase price.
- A mortgage is 3-4%.
- Say you are undervalued 1% - your monthly payments increase by 20-25%.
- Percent of take-home - that's 12.5% of your spend - assuming 50% spend on housing

People who can afford million dollar homes would have no problem with that hit - unless they're complete financial idiots.

I've seen mortgage rates over 10% - and house prices still go through the roof. I'd be willing to bet...no major developed city in the world has properties as affordable as JC, as close to a city like NYC. Lived in a few - and why I picked JC.

The only surprise to me - is that this "problem" didn't happen sooner...and by problem - I mean rising JC house prices.


It took me a little while to figure out the logic of the numbers in your post but, even after I figured that out, I think you are underestimating the impact of having to spend an additional quarter of take home pay in more housing-related costs. Many people indeed find themselves stretched very thin, and are ill equipped to handle such an increase.

Posted on: 2016/5/16 23:00
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Think the problem might be overblown:

- Taxes are around 2% of purchase price.
- A mortgage is 3-4%.
- Say you are undervalued 1% - your monthly payments increase by 20-25%.
- Percent of take-home - that's 12.5% of your spend - assuming 50% spend on housing

People who can afford million dollar homes would have no problem with that hit - unless they're complete financial idiots.

I've seen mortgage rates over 10% - and house prices still go through the roof. I'd be willing to bet...no major developed city in the world has properties as affordable as JC, as close to a city like NYC. Lived in a few - and why I picked JC.

The only surprise to me - is that this "problem" didn't happen sooner...and by problem - I mean rising JC house prices.

Posted on: 2016/5/16 21:11
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mfadam wrote:
I dunno, taxes going from 13k to 29K would certainly get my attention!


That's what I think, but JadedJC is right that people do go into serious denial mode as they make the jump into homeownership.



Problem I see is I'm kind of feeling damned if I do, damned if I don't.

We're looking at 1brs downtown. I know that my landlord is paying 14k in taxes on what is likley a 1.5mm brick rowhouse. Come 2018 we'll be looking at a $300+ rent increase when he passes that expense down.

May as well start paying a similar rent sooner and start building some equity. I also don't think 1br/1ba condos in 8-10 unit buildings will really get hit that hard. I can't see them getting nailed with assessments beyond 300k despite recent sales in the low to mid 400's.

Maybe I'm being naive, but it seems like the townhouses/brownstones combined with the large land owners in Newport will take the brunt.

Posted on: 2016/5/16 20:52
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mfadam wrote:
I dunno, taxes going from 13k to 29K would certainly get my attention!


That's what I think, but JadedJC is right that people do go into serious denial mode as they make the jump into homeownership.

Quote:

It is astounding to think that brokers would not disclose this sort of information. You think they would get a single repeat customer after failing to provide that major detail??


When the market is hot, you can afford to not care about repeat business! It's not a great long term strategy but, as the saying goes, a sucker is born every minute. I am sure there are a ton of really bad, crappy real estate agents that do very well. I have met a few myself. Hot markets invite lots of yahoos looking for an easy buck.

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DTJC was a much easier pitch for families when the taxes were 1% or so. I'm not sure how people without kids feel about high taxes, but I'd want something in return beyond short commute to Manhattan...


But, that's the thing... taxes were never really that low. Well, they were, but they weren't supposed to be. And, yes, the idea of paying suburban type taxes in exchange for mediocre schools, Third World level road conditions, severely lacking infrastructure (subpar sewers and flooding!) just doesn't make much sense. The homeownership equation starts to shift really quickly once you add up all costs and tradeoffs.

Posted on: 2016/5/16 20:12
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Re: Jersey City mayor-elect orders end to citywide reval
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I dunno, taxes going from 13k to 29K would certainly get my attention!

It is astounding to think that brokers would not disclose this sort of information. You think they would get a single repeat customer after failing to provide that major detail??

I still think psychology is going to be key. It used to be you could get a decent place with relatively low taxes DTJC. Now you have to pay more psf, pay suburbs level taxes and have mediocre schools/infrastructure/quality of life.

DTJC was a much easier pitch for families when the taxes were 1% or so. I'm not sure how people without kids feel about high taxes, but I'd want something in return beyond short commute to Manhattan...

Posted on: 2016/5/16 16:45
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Re: Jersey City mayor-elect orders end to citywide reval
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bodhipooh wrote:
I also expect LOTS of pissed off new homeowners in 2018.


This is why the whole "kick the can down the road" game by a succession of mayors was so irresponsible. Better to bear the sting of disinfectant than deal with amputation without anesthesia. A reval should be as unavoidable as the census. How did it EVER get discretionary?

Posted on: 2016/5/16 12:10
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Re: Jersey City mayor-elect orders end to citywide reval
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JadedJC wrote:
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bodhipooh wrote:
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brewster wrote:
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K-Lo wrote:
....but it has been in the local news a lot. Anyone plunking down that kind of money might be doing some market research. Just a thought.


If one thing has been clear about this issue, it's that the majority of locals are pretty ignorant of it. What does that mean for non-locals coming from Brooklyn etc? Who is going to tell them? Their brokers? Sellers? Non-local attorneys?

Look at all the people who kept buying "newly renovated garden level apartments" in DTJC. Shouldn't they have somehow known better?


Exactly! It seems like most locals don't even know about the reval, so I wouldn't expect out of towners to know about it either. There should be a rule/law requiring realtors and/or sellers to disclose a potential drastic change in fees and/or taxes directly related to the property being sold. I think it is downright wrong to unload a property you marketed as "low tax" knowing full well that taxes could potentially double or triple in less than two years.


Even if you do try to counsel would-be buyers, there's a fair chance they won't hear you. It's amazing how people willingly bury their head in the sand even if it involves the biggest financial decision they'll make in their lives. I refuse to give advice anymore to friends who are in the market, especially first-time buyers. They're in that zone that I call "new home bliss," where they're too busy fantasizing about their future perfect life in the dream home. Even when they directly ask you for your opinion, what they really want is to hear validation of their choice - perhaps with a little envy thrown in. They don't want hear about taxes or that roof that will likely leak in the next spring thaw. But you can rest assured you WILL hear them whine about it - despite your best attempts at warning them - when reality (and the bill) catches up.

It's not unlike people who don't save for retirement, or don't save enough for it and then magically think everything will somehow work out.


Sadly, you are probably right. But, I would assume that *some* people would want to be informed of this. Perhaps an easier solution would be to make this part of the due diligence that is part of the drawn out process that is buying a home in this region. Regardless, I expect (and the early signs are already there) that more and more high end properties in 07302 will hit the market soon. I also expect LOTS of pissed off new homeowners in 2018.

Posted on: 2016/5/16 11:59
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Re: Jersey City mayor-elect orders end to citywide reval
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bodhipooh wrote:
Quote:

brewster wrote:
Quote:

K-Lo wrote:
....but it has been in the local news a lot. Anyone plunking down that kind of money might be doing some market research. Just a thought.


If one thing has been clear about this issue, it's that the majority of locals are pretty ignorant of it. What does that mean for non-locals coming from Brooklyn etc? Who is going to tell them? Their brokers? Sellers? Non-local attorneys?

Look at all the people who kept buying "newly renovated garden level apartments" in DTJC. Shouldn't they have somehow known better?


Exactly! It seems like most locals don't even know about the reval, so I wouldn't expect out of towners to know about it either. There should be a rule/law requiring realtors and/or sellers to disclose a potential drastic change in fees and/or taxes directly related to the property being sold. I think it is downright wrong to unload a property you marketed as "low tax" knowing full well that taxes could potentially double or triple in less than two years.


Even if you do try to counsel would-be buyers, there's a fair chance they won't hear you. It's amazing how people willingly bury their head in the sand even if it involves the biggest financial decision they'll make in their lives. I refuse to give advice anymore to friends who are in the market, especially first-time buyers. They're in that zone that I call "new home bliss," where they're too busy fantasizing about their future perfect life in the dream home. Even when they directly ask you for your opinion, what they really want is to hear validation of their choice - perhaps with a little envy thrown in. They don't want hear about taxes or that roof that will likely leak in the next spring thaw. But you can rest assured you WILL hear them whine about it - despite your best attempts at warning them - when reality (and the bill) catches up.

It's not unlike people who don't save for retirement, or don't save enough for it and then magically think everything will somehow work out.

Posted on: 2016/5/16 9:31
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