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Re: 2017 Reval ~ Property Inspections
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brewster wrote:
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Monroe wrote:
I know in Millburn the taxes are high (even with some nice ratables, like the billion dollar Mall at Short Hills, pays almost 90% of its school costs through taxes.


As I say to Yvonne every time, define what you mean by "high". High relative to other North Jersey towns? It's not, it's average to low, go to the page of all the town rates in the state and compare. Too high for your taste or sense of fairness? Whatever.


Millburn pays the highest real estate taxes in NJ, with the exception of a town in South Jersey with 6 houses. Highest percentage? No. Highest dollar? Yup.

http://www.nj.com/essex/index.ssf/201 ... operty_taxes_from_lo.html

Getting back almost nothing for schools (to support Abbott's like JC/Hoboken/Newark) causes a lot of this, as more than half the Millburn budget is for its schools. I think now it's over 22K for the average home.

Posted on: 5/19 15:51
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Re: 2017 Reval ~ Property Inspections
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City/township real estate taxes aren't wealth taxes, they are used to pay for the service and needs of your towns. If one town is lower it may be that they don't provide much, or that the level of waste and corruption is low.

Posted on: 5/19 15:41
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Re: 2017 Reval ~ Property Inspections
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QFT...

So much resolve to fight the inevitable, and yet not a peep about demanding more accountability from our local government.

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mfadam wrote:
The percentages don't lie brother. No amount of "it's not fair" changes this fact.

If you want to yell about something - how about demanding some accountability on where your tax dollars are going. I guarantee the JC schools could be run much better with far less budget if managed better. Yell at every poltiician who green lit some of the ludicrous pension deals for public servants without any regard to who/how it would be paid...

Posted on: 5/19 15:05
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Re: 2017 Reval ~ Property Inspections
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Monroe wrote:
I know in Millburn the taxes are high (even with some nice ratables, like the billion dollar Mall at Short Hills, pays almost 90% of its school costs through taxes.


As I say to Yvonne every time, define what you mean by "high". High relative to other North Jersey towns? It's not, it's average to low, go to the page of all the town rates in the state and compare. Too high for your taste or sense of fairness? Whatever.

Posted on: 5/19 15:02
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Re: 2017 Reval ~ Property Inspections
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The percentages don't lie brother. No amount of "it's not fair" changes this fact.

If you want to yell about something - how about demanding some accountability on where your tax dollars are going. I guarantee the JC schools could be run much better with far less budget if managed better. Yell at every poltiician who green lit some of the ludicrous pension deals for public servants without any regard to who/how it would be paid...

Posted on: 5/19 14:22
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Re: 2017 Reval ~ Property Inspections
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yorkster wrote:
As a DTJC homeowner, I don't have an issue with paying my fair of taxes, but for me, there is a clear line between fair and ridiculous. When I bought 10 years ago, I had accepted that my taxes would be eventually raised to $24K-$25K, but now that I'm hearing that it would be more like mid-$30K then that's when it gets into absurdness. I've done some comp in other parts of NJ (e.g., Chatham, Milburn, Tenafly, etc.) and their taxes on a property similar in value don't even come close. Mind you, these municipalities have the best school systems in the state.


Had many of those suburban towns you mention been getting even a whiff of fair school funding their taxes would be better. I know in Millburn the taxes are high (even with some nice ratables, like the billion dollar Mall at Short Hills, pays almost 90% of its school costs through taxes.

Posted on: 5/19 14:03
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Re: 2017 Reval ~ Property Inspections
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yorkster wrote:
As a DTJC homeowner, I don't have an issue with paying my fair of taxes, but for me, there is a clear line between fair and ridiculous. When I bought 10 years ago, I had accepted that my taxes would be eventually raised to $24K-$25K, but now that I'm hearing that it would be more like mid-$30K then that's when it gets into absurdness. I've done some comp in other parts of NJ (e.g., Chatham, Milburn, Tenafly, etc.) and their taxes on a property similar in value don't even come close. Mind you, these municipalities have the best school systems in the state.

Chatham 1.665%
Millburn 1.854%
Tenafly 2.182

You're right by only 13% on #1, 2.5% on #2, and wrong by 15% on #3. This does not support "taxes on a property similar in value don't even come close". For the record, you can't even appeal your taxes until they're 15% out of wack.


http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/lpt/taxrate.shtml

Posted on: 5/19 14:02
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Re: 2017 Reval ~ Property Inspections
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As a DTJC homeowner, I don't have an issue with paying my fair of taxes, but for me, there is a clear line between fair and ridiculous. When I bought 10 years ago, I had accepted that my taxes would be eventually raised to $24K-$25K, but now that I'm hearing that it would be more like mid-$30K then that's when it gets into absurdness. I've done some comp in other parts of NJ (e.g., Chatham, Milburn, Tenafly, etc.) and their taxes on a property similar in value don't even come close. Mind you, these municipalities have the best school systems in the state.

Posted on: 5/19 12:38
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Re: 2017 Reval ~ Property Inspections
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I think a link between the reval and school aid is tenuous at best. The state stepped in because JC's taxes are fucked up. The state law says to do a reval when the ratio falls below 80%, and we're at 23%. A reval was nearly 20 years overdue. Nothing to do with schools.

It will be a mess when they do cut aid. Will the residents of JC actually demand accountability in the school system once we're paying the tab? Ever look at the "User friendly" budget. Holy crap is it impenetrable. I was once wondering how much is spent on special ed. Nope, it appeared to be spread over at least a dozen line items. There were category names that had no definitions when I googled them. "User friendly"?

Posted on: 5/19 12:14
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Re: 2017 Reval ~ Property Inspections
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Erica wrote:
I don't disagree, I just think that it's useful to understand the anti-reval perspective and not simply dismiss it as "people can't do math, and also they're entitled jerks." (I am strongly pro-reval, if that matters.)


But, we *do* understand what they are saying, and not just dismissing it out of hand. But, in the end, it is just a lot of whining and rationalizations to try and preserve the status quo which is an untenable situation.

It doesn't matter what people "believe"...! Lots of people believe they are paying just enough, and no amount of explaining will disabuse them of that notion. For those people, a conversation is an exercise in futility and a waste of time.

As for the other point about joining forces in fighting losing Abbott designation (unlikely to happen anytime soon) or an increase in school funding from local coffers (very likely) well... if they want to cut off their nose to spite their face, that's their choice. It would seem rather silly and self-destructive (not to mention highly unlikely) for DTJC homeowners to collectively decide to sit out opposition to increased local taxation to fund local schools because the state decreases funding.

Posted on: 5/19 11:29
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Re: 2017 Reval ~ Property Inspections
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Erica wrote:
My deeper concern is that dismissing the reval opponents misses the opportunity to engage them on more important issues - like, for example, planning for the day when the Abbot designation goes away or the funding formula changes or NJ simply runs out of money to do anything but pay pensions (I hope I'm joking about that last one) and we need to come up with a way to replace lost state revenue. Making enemies on the reval seems short-sighted when we have a much broader and deeper discussion about property taxes and other sources of city revenue coming down the pipeline.


Completely agree, and therein is the reason the State forced JC to move forward with this long overdue reval. The State wants to shift as much spending as it can back to JC (and a few other municipalities). Obviously they can't proceed until the reval is completed. Doing otherwise would inflict undue economic harm and probably be illegal (disparate impact), if the present wide variations in tax rates across neighborhoods isn't fixed first.

Yes, the reval will be overall revenue neutral for JC, but the actions of the State shortly thereafter wont be. Think for a minute what happens if the State shifts even 10% of the roughly $500 million they provide, about $50 million, for schools back to the JC taxpayer.... And all those arguments about fairness and equity across JC neighborhoods, those arguments sound just as compelling when applied across other school districts and towns as well. Of course it should be fair and that means JC is going to pay more of it's own bills.

No doubt you'll remember the tax hike Fulop implemented when he was elected mayor, well get ready for another one following the next mayoral election. This time it won't be Healy getting the blame, it will be the State.

Posted on: 5/19 10:55
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Re: 2017 Reval ~ Property Inspections
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I don't think it's right to engage a group who is using specious arguments to convince people that they are getting screwed when it is quite the opposite. As for hardship, is it a hardship that their property is worth 2X or 5X what they paid for it? Yes cash flow may be tricky, but as you noted there are possible solutions.

It would do JC a huge disservice to back down to a vocal minority whose entire argument defies simple math and any sense of fairness. You are absolutely correct that JC has a serious problem if you get the combo of Reval plus declining state aid for schools. JC is a school welfare queen and is very much in the state's crosshairs for a cut.

Bottom line is JC's financial position could get pretty ugly in the next couple years. I too hope that revenues are put to better use than paying out bloated pensions, but if the state cuts aid that is gonna be a huge gut check.

Posted on: 5/19 10:54
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Re: 2017 Reval ~ Property Inspections
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Just thinking about how many tax appeals are going to be filed after the revaluations of those purty DTJC brownstones come in.

Guess you can have your Raval and eat it too :)


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Posted on: 5/19 10:49
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Re: 2017 Reval ~ Property Inspections
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mfadam wrote:
I get his argument but it is irrelevant to the reval conversation. The Reval is revenue neutral to JC. JC won't get anymore money post reval.

Property tax is nothing more than a fixed percentage of the fair market value of one's home. Plain and simple: Home value x .019 = property tax.

Do you think Paulus Hook can make the case that they pay more than Van Vorst park and that is unfair? It is irrelevant.

It blows me away that such a simple concept like percentage is being made into such an existential argument.

DTJC owners- count your lucky stars that you have had a massive run up in value all the while enjoying an unfair tax advantage...


I don't disagree, I just think that it's useful to understand the anti-reval perspective and not simply dismiss it as "people can't do math, and also they're entitled jerks." (I am strongly pro-reval, if that matters.)

There are homeowners who believe that the property taxes collected from the neighborhood they live in already constitute the lion's share of the City's property tax revenues, so asking them to pay more strikes them as very unfair. (And, hyperbole aside, some of them, particularly older residents living on fixed incomes, will suffer real hardship when their tax bills increase.)

Again, I disagree with the anti-reval perspective and think there are both private (reverse mortgages, selling and using increased value to fund retirement in a cheaper area) and public (phasing in increases for seniors, legislating a better system for ongoing reval) solutions to alleviate any actual hardship caused by allowing the situation to get this bad in the first place.

But trying to understand that perspective makes it easier to understand why the opposition to such a simple and logical procedure is so vehemently felt. I think that understanding is important b/c without it we aren't as able to craft compelling arguments in our favor and run the risk of a vocal anti-reval group swinging the political pendulum back in the direction of ignoring revals for decades.

My deeper concern is that dismissing the reval opponents misses the opportunity to engage them on more important issues - like, for example, planning for the day when the Abbot designation goes away or the funding formula changes or NJ simply runs out of money to do anything but pay pensions (I hope I'm joking about that last one) and we need to come up with a way to replace lost state revenue. Making enemies on the reval seems short-sighted when we have a much broader and deeper discussion about property taxes and other sources of city revenue coming down the pipeline.

Posted on: 5/19 10:05
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Re: 2017 Reval ~ Property Inspections
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I get his argument but it is irrelevant to the reval conversation. The Reval is revenue neutral to JC. JC won't get anymore money post reval.

Property tax is nothing more than a fixed percentage of the fair market value of one's home. Plain and simple: Home value x .019 = property tax.

Do you think Paulus Hook can make the case that they pay more than Van Vorst park and that is unfair? It is irrelevant.

It blows me away that such a simple concept like percentage is being made into such an existential argument.

DTJC owners- count your lucky stars that you have had a massive run up in value all the while enjoying an unfair tax advantage...

Posted on: 5/19 9:22
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Re: 2017 Reval ~ Property Inspections
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In fairness to 135jc, his/her logic is correct even though Brewster and others are also correct that (for example) Greenville residents are overpaying while Downtown residents are underpaying as a percentage of their homes' values (generally speaking).

I think what got lost is that 135jc was making a different point about the total value of all homes in the different neighborhoods and the total value of taxes paid - not as a percentage but simply as a whole number.

Basically, Downtown homes can be paying less than their fair share of taxes and Greenville homes can be paying more than their fair share of taxes in percentage terms, yet the absolute amount of money collected Downtown can still be greater than that collected in Greenville. (Both can be simultaneously true.)

I have no idea if 135jc's point is backed up by numbers b/c I don't know the total property taxes paid by non-Downtown residents vs Downtown residents. But, to use completely made-up numbers just to clarify the point, if Greenville property taxes total $400,000 (all homes in Greenville are really worth a total of $10M and are paying effective tax rates of 4%) and Downtown property taxes total $1M (all homes in Downtown are really worth $100M and are paying effective tax rates of 1%) then Downtown homes contribute more to the tax base than Greenville homes do *in absolute terms* since $1M > $400,000. Again, this doesn't negate the point that Greenville residents in this scenario are [unfairly] paying 4x more than Downtown residents, *as a share of home value*.

Posted on: 5/19 9:05
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Re: 2017 Reval ~ Property Inspections
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mfadam wrote:
the amount of nonsense I have heard from seemingly intelligent people regarding the inevitable DTJC RE property tax increases is staggering. Everything from, it's not fair...that's too much...why can't they phase it in...how is this legal?...etc. How about you were majorly subsidized for the past 20 years and you really need to STFU?

City Hall is completely to blame as the longer DTJC owners got away with a ridiculously low tax rate the more "anchored" owners became to those numbers. Now they're fighting and clawing as if they are the victim. Please.

I'm surprised a class action lawsuit hasn't been filed by every non-DTJC owner who has been overpaying for the past 20 years. I'd be willing to bet the average Greenville owner has overpaid to the tune of 60K per home since the last reval in '88. That ain't chump change...


100% correct.

You also you left out the various little bombshells statements from Fulop trying to justify and rationalize his decision to cancel the reval as something other than a politically motivated move. Among them:

- people arguing for the reval are disingenuous and are simply motivated by "hatred" of him

- the reval is not worth it because those overpaying were doing so by so little, so what is the big deal of saving a couple of hundred dollars per year, when DTJC could get crushed by the resulting increased taxes?

There have been other brilliant soundbites, of course. This whole charade is almost impossible to believe.

Posted on: 5/19 8:52
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Re: 2017 Reval ~ Property Inspections
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the amount of nonsense I have heard from seemingly intelligent people regarding the inevitable DTJC RE property tax increases is staggering. Everything from, it's not fair...that's too much...why can't they phase it in...how is this legal?...etc. How about you were majorly subsidized for the past 20 years and you really need to STFU?

City Hall is completely to blame as the longer DTJC owners got away with a ridiculously low tax rate the more "anchored" owners became to those numbers. Now they're fighting and clawing as if they are the victim. Please.

I'm surprised a class action lawsuit hasn't been filed by every non-DTJC owner who has been overpaying for the past 20 years. I'd be willing to bet the average Greenville owner has overpaid to the tune of 60K per home since the last reval in '88. That ain't chump change...

Posted on: 5/19 8:17
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Re: 2017 Reval ~ Property Inspections
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Everyone says people should pay their 'fair share', until they're the ones who need to pay their fair share.

Posted on: 5/19 6:46
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Re: 2017 Reval ~ Property Inspections
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Never underestimate the power of denial

Posted on: 5/19 6:18
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Re: 2017 Reval ~ Property Inspections
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You have missed the point. Goodnight.

Posted on: 5/18 23:47
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Re: 2017 Reval ~ Property Inspections
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135jc wrote:
You guys don't get it. What Brewster is saying is correct in that most dtjc will see higher increases but to say they are being carried by Greenville is not accurate. It is downtown that supports the city


Lets see if you understand in 3rd grade speak, then I'm done.

Bobby and Tommy each buy houses for $100k in 1988 right after the reval. Bobby's is DT and Tommy's is in GV. 30 years later Bobby's is worth $1m and Tommy's is worth $300k. The city, trying to guess how much the average property values have risen says the ratio of assessment to fmv is 23.66% , so both their properties are taxed like they are worth $420k, $7,700 (7.7% on their identical $100k assessments). But Bobby's is actually worth $1m! So he's paying an effective tax rate of only 0.77%. And Tommy is paying an effective rate of 2.56%!

The sad part of the story is no one was telling Bobby that he really needs to be paying his fair share because loudmouths like Yvonne have terrified the politicians, so they just kick the can down the road. So for years Tommy and several of his neighbors have had to pay a rate 3x Bobby's to make up for the shortfall, because the books have to balance. If Tommy was sharper about real estate, he could have appealed his taxes, but only down to the effective rate of 2.1%. And Bobby would still be paying only a fraction of that rate.

Now in the reval, if Bobby's taxes go up to his fair share, Tommy and his neighbors will see a reduction because they no longer have to carry the load. Our Mayor once said fuck em, their individually smaller reduction was not nearly as important as Bobby keeping his tremendous tax savings. Perhaps Tommy and his neighbors will remember on election day.

All the number I used are here.
http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxat ... df/lptval/2016/Hudson.pdf
http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/pdf/lpt/gtrHudson16.pdf

Posted on: 5/18 23:00
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Re: 2017 Reval ~ Property Inspections
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I'd say that is happening all over the city in all neighborhoods?

Posted on: 5/18 22:51
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Re: 2017 Reval ~ Property Inspections
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135jc wrote:
You guys don't get it. What Brewster is saying is correct in that most dtjc will see higher increases but to say they are being carried by Greenville is not accurate. It is downtown that supports the city


So... what do you call it when DTJC homeowners are paying half or less of the tax they should be paying thanks to the residents of Greeneville and BeLa paying for that discrepancy through higher taxes than appropriate?

Posted on: 5/18 22:11
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Re: 2017 Reval ~ Property Inspections
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You guys don't get it. What Brewster is saying is correct in that most dtjc will see higher increases but to say they are being carried by Greenville is not accurate. It is downtown that supports the city

Posted on: 5/18 21:50
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Re: 2017 Reval ~ Property Inspections
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brewster wrote:
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135jc wrote:
That's fine.however you are simply stating that Greenville due to lower property values might be paying a larger percentage of its property value to property tax. That hardly equates to Greenville subsdizing the downtown taxpayer. Over the last 10-15 yrs downtown has exploded it's is paying the lions share of Jersey City taxes . Without it Greenville would have a much higher rate.


Nope. That is not what I said. Greenville's property values appreciated at a slower rate than DT, resulting in them paying a far higher effective tax rate in the absence of a reval, which is supposed to correct this error every ten years. That rate is often 2x to 3x, meaning they are subsidizing DT, because tax is zero sum, if someone is underpaying, someone else is overpaying.

Many DT properties are paying <1% of their FMV when the effective rate is supposed to be 2.2%. Many Greenville properties are paying >3%, subsidizing those underpaying DT. Got it?


He will not get it, because many (most?) DTJC homeowners are in denial about the gravy train they have been riding for the past 10 years, or so. Every few months, some new yahoo comes here (or, Nextdoor.com) to explain how it is SO unfair that DTJC will see a tremendous increase in property taxes, and that all homes should pay the same. They put forth all kinds of rationalizations and twisted logic machinations, but the fact remains that DTJC is by and large paying effective rates of under 1% while most properties in Greenville, BeLa and elsewhere pay effective rates of 4 to 6 percent. But, sure, Greeneville and BeLa are not subsidizing DTJC...

Posted on: 5/18 20:55
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Re: 2017 Reval ~ Property Inspections
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135jc wrote:
That's fine.however you are simply stating that Greenville due to lower property values might be paying a larger percentage of its property value to property tax. That hardly equates to Greenville subsdizing the downtown taxpayer. Over the last 10-15 yrs downtown has exploded it's is paying the lions share of Jersey City taxes . Without it Greenville would have a much higher rate.


Nope. That is not what I said. Greenville's property values appreciated at a slower rate than DT, resulting in them paying a far higher effective tax rate in the absence of a reval, which is supposed to correct this error every ten years. That rate is often 2x to 3x, meaning they are subsidizing DT, because tax is zero sum, if someone is underpaying, someone else is overpaying.

Many DT properties are paying <1% of their FMV when the effective rate is supposed to be 2.2%. Many Greenville properties are paying >3%, subsidizing those underpaying DT. Got it?

Posted on: 5/18 20:45
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Re: 2017 Reval ~ Property Inspections
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brewster wrote:
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135jc wrote:
Brewster,. The tax payers of Greenville are not subsidizing the downtowner tax payer. That statement is just absurd


I've proven this here with numbers more times than I can count. Do you just have a feeling?

Here, just for you I'll repost something I wrote a few years ago. The various tax numbers have changed:

Here's a quick primer on JC property tax. In theory all JC property tax should be based on the actual property value equaling assessed value times a "ratio" the city updates according to it best guess of property appreciation, currently about 3.3. The actual tax rate of 7.184 is applied to the assessment, that rate being the effective tax rate (~2.2%) times the adjustment ratio (http://www.hudsoncountytax.com/html/RatesRatios.aspx). But in the 25 years since the last reval (when the assessments were set to market value and the Ratio was reset to 0), many properties values have drifted away from this theoretical value. One thing I've discovered perusing the official tax records, (http://tax1.co.monmouth.nj.us/cgi-bin ... istrict=0906&ms_user=monm) is there's a data field for each property called "Ratio", which is not always occupied (I have not determined why). This field might as well be called the "tax fairness quotient". This Ratio = (assessment/sale price) x 100. If it's over 33, you're paying too much, if it's under 33, you're paying too little. In a tax appeal, up to 15% variance from the 33 Ratio is considered normal, but in a reval, everyone get set at the new Ratio using their appraisal.

While looking at recent sales I stumbled on a really juicy one. A magnificent townhouse on Montgomery sold to a hedge fund last October for $1,800,000; assessment $245,000; tax $17,601. That's a real rate of 0.98% versus the "theoretical" rate of 2.2% (7.184% / 3.272%) with a ratio of 13.61, rather far from the city's ideal 33. Were they paying the 2.2% that city says we all should be, their tax would be $39,600! Clicking at random on Zillow among the recent sales in 07304 it was hard not to find places well over a 40 ratio, 3rd try got one in Bergen-Lafayette with a 51.5! That makes a real tax rate of 3.7% per year. That owner pays $3.77 for every dollar the hedge fund owner on Montgomery does on the value of their respective properties. THIS IS THE STORY HERE!!!!! 6 owners of property worth $300,000 have to overpay as much as this one underpays to make up for this under assessment. There are real people on the other side of the equation paying the taxes owed by the undertaxed properties!

The research to substantiate what I say is easy. Go to Zillow.com, Trulia.com or any other real estate site, search a zip code for recently sold properties, pick one at random. Divide the assessment by the sale price, and multiply by 100. If it's over 33, they're paying too much, under, they're not paying enough. In general, Downtown historic properties are dramatically underpaying, and other wards are overpaying. This is not a intended to be a divisive argument, but why should the family who struggles to afford their little $250,000 house in the Heights or Greenville be paying the taxes of someone who can afford a million dollar Downtown home? If you're a property owner, find your tax card, divide your assessment by your best guess of your property value, and multiply by 100. If you're much over 33, this cancellation is going to cost you money. And if you're only moderately over, between 33 and 38, you don't even qualify for an appeal because of the 15% allowed deviation.

Whatever problems there may be with the reval contract, the answer is to fix it, not to perpetuate this injustice on the people who are often the least sophisticated about these tax issues.


That's fine.however you are simply stating that Greenville due to lower property values might be paying a larger percentage of its property value to property tax. That hardly equates to Greenville subsdizing the downtown taxpayer. Over the last 10-15 yrs downtown has exploded it's is paying the lions share of Jersey City taxes . Without it Greenville would have a much higher rate.

Posted on: 5/18 19:53
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Re: 2017 Reval ~ Property Inspections
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135jc wrote:
Brewster,. The tax payers of Greenville are not subsidizing the downtowner tax payer. That statement is just absurd


I've proven this here with numbers more times than I can count. Do you just have a feeling?

Here, just for you I'll repost something I wrote a few years ago. The various tax numbers have changed:

Here's a quick primer on JC property tax. In theory all JC property tax should be based on the actual property value equaling assessed value times a "ratio" the city updates according to it best guess of property appreciation, currently about 3.3. The actual tax rate of 7.184 is applied to the assessment, that rate being the effective tax rate (~2.2%) times the adjustment ratio (http://www.hudsoncountytax.com/html/RatesRatios.aspx). But in the 25 years since the last reval (when the assessments were set to market value and the Ratio was reset to 0), many properties values have drifted away from this theoretical value. One thing I've discovered perusing the official tax records, (http://tax1.co.monmouth.nj.us/cgi-bin ... istrict=0906&ms_user=monm) is there's a data field for each property called "Ratio", which is not always occupied (I have not determined why). This field might as well be called the "tax fairness quotient". This Ratio = (assessment/sale price) x 100. If it's over 33, you're paying too much, if it's under 33, you're paying too little. In a tax appeal, up to 15% variance from the 33 Ratio is considered normal, but in a reval, everyone get set at the new Ratio using their appraisal.

While looking at recent sales I stumbled on a really juicy one. A magnificent townhouse on Montgomery sold to a hedge fund last October for $1,800,000; assessment $245,000; tax $17,601. That's a real rate of 0.98% versus the "theoretical" rate of 2.2% (7.184% / 3.272%) with a ratio of 13.61, rather far from the city's ideal 33. Were they paying the 2.2% that city says we all should be, their tax would be $39,600! Clicking at random on Zillow among the recent sales in 07304 it was hard not to find places well over a 40 ratio, 3rd try got one in Bergen-Lafayette with a 51.5! That makes a real tax rate of 3.7% per year. That owner pays $3.77 for every dollar the hedge fund owner on Montgomery does on the value of their respective properties. THIS IS THE STORY HERE!!!!! 6 owners of property worth $300,000 have to overpay as much as this one underpays to make up for this under assessment. There are real people on the other side of the equation paying the taxes owed by the undertaxed properties!

The research to substantiate what I say is easy. Go to Zillow.com, Trulia.com or any other real estate site, search a zip code for recently sold properties, pick one at random. Divide the assessment by the sale price, and multiply by 100. If it's over 33, they're paying too much, under, they're not paying enough. In general, Downtown historic properties are dramatically underpaying, and other wards are overpaying. This is not a intended to be a divisive argument, but why should the family who struggles to afford their little $250,000 house in the Heights or Greenville be paying the taxes of someone who can afford a million dollar Downtown home? If you're a property owner, find your tax card, divide your assessment by your best guess of your property value, and multiply by 100. If you're much over 33, this cancellation is going to cost you money. And if you're only moderately over, between 33 and 38, you don't even qualify for an appeal because of the 15% allowed deviation.

Whatever problems there may be with the reval contract, the answer is to fix it, not to perpetuate this injustice on the people who are often the least sophisticated about these tax issues.

Posted on: 5/18 18:45

Edited by brewster on 2017/5/18 19:06:54
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Re: 2017 Reval ~ Property Inspections
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helios_nj wrote:
Does anyone know if the new rates will be phased in or will they be applied in full come next year?


The new rates will be on the tax bill for the 3rd and 4th quarters of 2018. They will be larger to make up for the 1st and 2nd quarter which will be estimated bills. Likewise they might be lower if your assessment is less than four times.

Posted on: 5/18 17:08
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