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Re: City Council to Vote Tonight on Reducing Waterfront Tax Abatement
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Greenville Councilman Michael Sottolano and City Council President Mariano Vega, who serves on the Tax Abatement Committee, argued that if the project doesn't go forward it could affect the value of a city-owned site directly across from it.


Talk about grasping at straws - this isn't a matter of whether or not the "project will go forward" (which is the point of abatements, right - to spur development.) The project has been developed. At some point, either the current developer or the next owner will lower the prices to the point that the market will accept. The Sottolano/Vega argument is that YOU should be subsidizing the difference - not in an attempt to "continue growing the development in our city" as Mr. Vega awkwardly states, but rather to make the developer whole and bail him out of his very aggressive and ill-timed bet.

Given the sad state the city's finances are in and the reality that the bill for all the city's past mismanagement is coming due in the form of a revaluation, ask yourself this: Do we really need to be giving our money to a Miami-based developer with no ties to the community so that he can remain profitable on his bad business decision?

Tonight's city council meeting should be interesting - a chance to see first hand how the council is aligned and who's interest they serve. For all the times that people moan about the status quo and wonder what can be done to make a difference, I say: Go to the meeting tonight. Make yourself heard. Shame the members of council who are in the developer's pocket into DOING THE RIGHT THING WITH YOUR MONEY!!!!!! It's not their money and they need to be reminded frequently who they serve and how they should represent our interests.

Posted on: 2009/6/17 14:33
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Re: where is the JCLIST Tax Abatement Revolt?
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come out tonight and speak up to at least have the vote postponed until after the New Jersey Policy Perspective report comes on (scheduled release is July 15).

"Fulop has the backing of the New Jersey Policy Perspective, a think tank that is due to release a study on Jersey City's tax abatement policy next month.

"We're really concerned about the precedent Jersey City is setting," said Naomi Bressler, a policy analyst at NNPP who worked on the study. She said Jersey City's policy seems to be "a tax giveaway" for "any or all developers."

Posted on: 2009/6/17 14:25
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Re: where is the JCLIST Tax Abatement Revolt?
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That this property got an abatement at all is insane. WT...???? If these guys can't make a go of it with some of the most valuable property in the city then let them default and have a developer who knows what they are doing take it over. There should be a moratorium on abatements until this city gets it's finances in order. I'm sick of seeing my tax bill skyrocket year after year while the mayor and the council keep abating the most valuable properties in the city.

I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!!!!

Posted on: 2009/6/17 13:22
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City Council to Vote Tonight on Reducing Waterfront Tax Abatement
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Council to vote on developer's request to reduce payments
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
By AMY SARA CLARK
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

The Jersey City Council is set to vote tonight on whether the developer of a luxury condo tower on the Jersey City waterfront can revise its PILOT agreement with the city due to slow sales.

According to James C. McCann, an attorney for Fisher Development Associates, the developer of Crystal Point, who came to Monday's City Council caucus to defend the request, only 24 of the eventual 269 condos have sold since going on the market a few months ago - despite a 30 percent price reduction. The 42-story building is located at 2 Second St.

Fisher is asking to extend the length of the PILOT, or Payments in Lieu of Taxes, agreement from 20 to 30 years and reduce the percentage of annual gross revenue paid from 16 to 11 percent for the first five years, with 13 percent payments for the next five years, and 16 percent payments for the final 20 years.

Jersey City's Tax Abatement Committee recommended approval, despite a memo against it from Al Cameron, deputy director of the city's Department of Housing, Economic Development and Commerce, arguing that the change would cost the city millions of dollars.

At Monday's caucus, Downtown Councilman Steve Fulop argued that the risk taken by the developer should not be shifted to the "backs of taxpayers" and that the building will sell if prices are lowered far enough. He also said that if the council gives Crystal Point a break due to the economy, every development project in the city will ask for the same.

"I would urge you all to consider that this would be a very dangerous precedence," he said.

Greenville Councilman Michael Sottolano and City Council President Mariano Vega, who serves on the Tax Abatement Committee, argued that if the project doesn't go forward it could affect the value of a city-owned site directly across from it.

"We know that the economy is not very strong right now and we want to continue growing the development in our city," Vega said in an interview yesterday.

Fulop has the backing of the New Jersey Policy Perspective, a think tank that is due to release a study on Jersey City's tax abatement policy next month.

"We're really concerned about the precedent Jersey City is setting," said Naomi Bressler, a policy analyst at NNPP who worked on the study. She said Jersey City's policy seems to be "a tax giveaway" for "any or all developers."

Posted on: 2009/6/17 12:53
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where is the JCLIST Tax Abatement Revolt?
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tonight the city council will vote on an ordinance to reduce the payments on an existing tax abatement (PILOT agreement) and extend its term to 30 years for a luxury condo building at the edge of the Hudson River.

this is it. precedents have led up to this "give away".

call it corporate socialism or crony capitalism.

the condo building is mostly built, more favorable terms only impact the sales price of the units. should we let the market work? or have the homeowners and renters of Jersey City subsidize market rate "luxury" projects on some of the most desirable land in the world.

whose interests will our city council represent tonight - your interests or special interests.

please come out tonight, watch your government in action / inaction and take the opportunity to speak on this pivotal issue.

Posted on: 2009/6/17 11:49
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Re: City Council to Renegotiate Abatement For Developers
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icechute wrote:
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The argument that if you grant the first one it will open the floodgate is bogus as the city can always say no to it!


"the city can always say no to it"

You're kidding, right?


nah if i was kidding, i would said something like "crime is down, healy said so!"

Posted on: 2009/6/4 19:27
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Re: City Council to Renegotiate Abatement For Developers
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The argument that if you grant the first one it will open the floodgate is bogus as the city can always say no to it!


"the city can always say no to it"

You're kidding, right?

Posted on: 2009/6/3 19:14
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Re: City Council to Renegotiate Abatement For Developers
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You can pretty much bet the brunt of any property tax increases will fall on downtown owners. The more a person earns and the more expensive their home is basically inverse to the odds they voted for Healy (if at all).

What does he care if the yuppies get stiffed on property taxes, that's not his voter base. Plus it plays well with the populist theme going on around the country... My cynical 2 cents...

Posted on: 2009/6/3 15:41
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Re: City Council to Renegotiate Abatement For Developers
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regulator wrote:
... however from reading others' firsthand experiences with the reval from last time, i tend to believe that taxes would likely go up more than $200 per year.. maybe $2000 per year is more likely


Exactly. All you need to do is look at Hoboken for a real world, very recent example (47% property tax hike last year.) Think about it this way - the city had what would have been a $50 million hole in the current budget if it weren't for a spate of large, non-recurring revenue items.

On top of that, the city is expected to take on a larger share of school funding - increases on the order of $15 million to $20 million a year aren't unrealistic. That's a $70-ish million hole. I don't know the statistics on ratables - Yvonne knows that stuff well - but if you spread that $70 million across the ratable tax base, there's your answer. Well thought out mathematical equations with EQ ratios and other niceties aren't really going to protect anyone. The math is really much simpler: The city needs. The city takes.

Posted on: 2009/6/3 15:06
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Re: City Council to Renegotiate Abatement For Developers
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Lafayette wrote:
HOw about Crystal point put the rest of the Affordable housing there....that would completely fill up the place!
They can get the Offsite affordable money from the other developments at the waterfront that have to comply by COAH and be done with it! .........by affordable meaning a condo would go from say, 600,000 to 250,000..... 8-
$250k is not affordable maybe 60k to 125k is. I am assuming that you meant 60k and not six hundred ?? Think about the down payment you would have to make to keep the monthly payments low enough for affordablity. At 250k with no down payment the monthly payment would be $1419 a month. Plus what is the maintenance fee on top of that ?

Posted on: 2009/6/3 14:18
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Re: City Council to Renegotiate Abatement For Developers
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wibbit wrote:
If a high rise building like crystal point is running into real danger of failing, then they should be bailed out by the city because otherwise it will be stuck in legal limbo for at least a year and the city wont get any payment at all on top of eroding confidence from potential buyers across the area, and may end up lowering the abatement anyway. In this particular case, the city should just wait and see, and if they do grant abatement it needs to have conditions for example x % of the units must be sold by certain date, forcing the developers to lower the price.


Abatements are tools to encourage development. This tower is already built; no encouragement is needed to get the developer to invest. The majority of the investment has already been made; if they stop work now, the developer will be walking away from a 80 to 90 percent completed building having already spent the vast majority of the capital. They are already on the hook for their current PILOT payments. This is not at all like the Monaco towers or the Journal Square towers that had not broken ground, where revised abatements were used to ensure that the projects continued to move forward, and in the case of Monaco, to move forward within a specific timeline.

Posted on: 2009/6/3 14:01
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Re: City Council to Renegotiate Abatement For Developers
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Bravo Lafayette. Wish you had run for city council!Brilliant idea using abatements for what they were actually meant to do!

Quote:

Lafayette wrote:
HOw about Crystal point put the rest of the Affordable housing there....that would completely fill up the place!
They can get the Offsite affordable money from the other developments at the waterfront that have to comply by COAH and be done with it! .........by affordable meaning a condo would go from say, 600,000 to 250,000.....

Posted on: 2009/6/3 13:59
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Re: City Council to Renegotiate Abatement For Developers
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by thelimey on 2009/6/3 9:46:43

from where does a 26.12% \"EQ ratio\" originate?


speculation/wishful thinking?


No. It is comes from the office of the State Treasurer who calculates it every year based on the change in the median sale prices of homes in each City.

Look in the column \"RATIO\" on the row for Jersey City 2008 on this table:

http://www.hudsoncountytax.com/html/RatesRatios.aspx

Just as an FYI, \"GEN TAX\" is the all-in tax Rate for each municipality.

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this would make the most sense to me.. however from reading others\' firsthand experiences with the reval from last time, i tend to believe that taxes would likely go up more than $200 per year.. maybe $2000 per year is more likely


The problem of a huge increase arises only for homeowners whose homes have appreciated significantly more than 400% since the last reval. Indeed there will be people with this situation.

Also the City will probably sneak in a rate increase into the mix since they can politically claim they are \'cutting\' the tax rate from 5.52% to say 1.65% instead of a natural correction point of 1.44%. Incidentally, the new condos have all been paying at about 1.65% of sale price so this is likely what the city will surreptitiously hike the new rate to.

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Where can I find my properties assessed value?


What does your last bill say? Otherwise call the City Tax Assessor.

Posted on: 2009/6/3 13:58
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Re: City Council to Renegotiate Abatement For Developers
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wibbit wrote:
calm down all you folks with pitchforks. I think granting further abatement reductions should be judged on a case by case basis. The argument that if you grant the first one it will open the floodgate is bogus as the city can always say no to it! .


I suppose this is theoretically true. But the city's track record stinks, and that has to be taken into account when judging these decisions. The bottom line is that in Jersey City, developers have assumed that they have abatements as of right.

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wibbit wrote:

If a high rise building like crystal point is running into real danger of failing, then they should be bailed out by the city because otherwise it will be stuck in legal limbo for at least a year and the city wont get any payment at all on top of eroding confidence from potential buyers across the area, and may end up lowering the abatement anyway. In this particular case, the city should just wait and see, and if they do grant abatement it needs to have conditions for example x % of the units must be sold by certain date, forcing the developers to lower the price.


At one point, the City just has to bite the bullet. Repeatedly giving approval to overpriced and overbuilt luxury towers distorts the housing market. If this means that a couple of projects are put on hold for a few years, then so be it. Let development continue when developers competently assess the market and build appropriately.

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wibbit wrote:
Now those guys who developed crystal point are pretty stupid. In today's market, instead of cutting back to bare essentials and have a significantly lower maintenance cost like gulls cove and A condo have done, they went all in. Really half of their "luxury amenities" are useless fluff - if i wanted a massage i goto a real spa, and why the hell would i want someone to park my car in my own home, so everytime i take a short drive to the supermarket now i have to wait for the attendant to get my car on top of dealing with tipping them etc.. what a bright idea. Do they really think this is manhattan's luxury with all 7 figures buyers.


Exactly. So why bail them out?

Posted on: 2009/6/3 13:56
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Re: City Council to Renegotiate Abatement For Developers
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HOw about Crystal point put the rest of the Affordable housing there....that would completely fill up the place!
They can get the Offsite affordable money from the other developments at the waterfront that have to comply by COAH and be done with it! .........by affordable meaning a condo would go from say, 600,000 to 250,000.....

Posted on: 2009/6/3 13:49
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Re: City Council to Renegotiate Abatement For Developers
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from where does a 26.12% "EQ ratio" originate?


speculation/wishful thinking?

Posted on: 2009/6/3 13:46
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Re: City Council to Renegotiate Abatement For Developers
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JCLAW wrote:


In Real Dollars
------------------------------------------
Your home's original value
$75,000

Current JC Tax Rate
5.552%

Your Current Taxes = $4,140 / year

Your home's new value
$300,000

Current JC Rate x EQ Ratio
5.552% x 26.12% = 1.44%

Your New Taxes = $300,000 x 1.44% = $4,320 / year


this would make the most sense to me.. however from reading others' firsthand experiences with the reval from last time, i tend to believe that taxes would likely go up more than $200 per year.. maybe $2000 per year is more likely

Posted on: 2009/6/3 13:32
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Re: City Council to Renegotiate Abatement For Developers
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Where can I find my properties assessed value?

Posted on: 2009/6/3 13:10
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Re: City Council to Renegotiate Abatement For Developers
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Can someone explain to me how my property will be effected in a reevaluation? I'm debating moving? Not because of property taxes, but if I can get out before and the reval may effect my bottom line perhaps its time to consider it. Also what is the time frame for something like this? Does it happen in one year or does it happen over many years with the option for people to appeal etc etc.


CURRENT TAXES
----------------------------------------

Assuming your property is not subject to a PILOT agreement, it is currently taxed as follows

Originally assessed value which is the value determined at the last Reval (about 15 years ago)

x

Current tax rate

=

Your Tax Payment

AFTER REVAL
-----------------------------------------

Your property will be re-evaluated based on recent sales data for your neighbors similar homes. You can appeal the valuation or hire a lawyer to do so if you think the city got it wrong. Generally, to avoid fighting with most home owners, the City will value your home at about 80% of what your neighbor paid for his similar home.

The City wide tax rate will be changed from the current rate to something close to the current rate x the current equilization ratio. So going forward the

NEW TAX RATE = CURRENT RATE x EQ RATIO

NEW TAX RATE

x

YOUR NEW HOME VALUE

=

YOUR NEW TAX PAYMENT


In Real Dollars
------------------------------------------
Your home's original value
$75,000

Current JC Tax Rate
5.552%

Your Current Taxes = $4,140 / year

Your home's new value
$300,000

Current JC Rate x EQ Ratio
5.552% x 26.12% = 1.44%

Your New Taxes = $300,000 x 1.44% = $4,320 / year

Posted on: 2009/6/3 10:15
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Re: City Council to Renegotiate Abatement For Developers
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Fisher Development Associates...
"Within the last 10 years alone has developed more than 3, 500,000 square feet of new construction and approximately 2,000,000 square feet of tenant installations. The company's distinguished portfolio in the New York/New Jersey region spans thousands of residences, plus many millions of square feet of prime Manhattan and New Jersey office, retail and hotel space."

Fisher Development Associates have been developing throughout the biggest boom in the real estate market. Now they have one bad year. I doubt that they are suffering.

Posted on: 2009/6/3 6:29
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Re: City Council to Renegotiate Abatement For Developers
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calm down all you folks with pitchforks. I think granting further abatement reductions should be judged on a case by case basis. The argument that if you grant the first one it will open the floodgate is bogus as the city can always say no to it!

If a high rise building like crystal point is running into real danger of failing, then they should be bailed out by the city because otherwise it will be stuck in legal limbo for at least a year and the city wont get any payment at all on top of eroding confidence from potential buyers across the area, and may end up lowering the abatement anyway. In this particular case, the city should just wait and see, and if they do grant abatement it needs to have conditions for example x % of the units must be sold by certain date, forcing the developers to lower the price.

Now those guys who developed crystal point are pretty stupid. In today's market, instead of cutting back to bare essentials and have a significantly lower maintenance cost like gulls cove and A condo have done, they went all in. Really half of their "luxury amenities" are useless fluff - if i wanted a massage i goto a real spa, and why the hell would i want someone to park my car in my own home, so everytime i take a short drive to the supermarket now i have to wait for the attendant to get my car on top of dealing with tipping them etc.. what a bright idea. Do they really think this is manhattan's luxury with all 7 figures buyers.

Posted on: 2009/6/3 5:04
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Re: City Council to Renegotiate Abatement For Developers
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This tower has already been built, they should definitely not get the extension. If they don't want to finish off the remaining condos, so what.

Posted on: 2009/6/3 4:15
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Re: City Council to Renegotiate Abatement For Developers
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The reval is when people who live in properties that haven't been assessed in many years get re-assessed and have to start paying the taxes that they are responsible for. Example: Say your house was valued at $100,000 in 1990 and you paid $1000 in taxes. Chances are your property will be re-evaluated to be worth $175000 today and your taxes will now be $1750. I dont know what the actual numbers will be but thats the general idea, it's very unpopular with politicians for obvious reasons.

Posted on: 2009/6/3 3:41
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Re: City Council to Renegotiate Abatement For Developers
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Garyg wrote:
So can you explain to me the process of revaluing my condo? Will they bring someone in to my home and look through it? I mean that kind of increase is bonkers. How is that even legal? There would have to be some kind of appeal process. Lets say I move to one of those new fangled will my reevaluation also increase? When I was looking around JC about 6-7 years ago places that were very similar to mine but recently renovated had property tax or Pilots that were 3x my taxes. I wasn't entirely sure what the reason for this was. But just sorta thought I'm getting a great deal.
As I recollect, the city hired an outside company that simply took current sales within each district and applied them to all similar homes and condos throughout that district; there were no individual inspections, just a broad stroke.

The first appeals were denied and when we hired a lawyer for a class action suit, he told us after thousands of dollars spent, to just pay the taxes. Each year after that, when I appealed individually, I managed to get an assessment reduction but then the city would just increase the rate, resulting in the same or greater tax.

I hate to sound bitter, but it was neighbor against neighbor, trying to prove your property was worth less than theirs; you missed such fun times. The reval resulted in a complete halt to new businesses, suppression of the market, and it took 12 years to start seeing new growth.

I think the only owners that will not be appreciably affected by a new reevaluation will be those that have tax abatements; the rest of us will pick up the tab.

Ask your councilperson and see if you can get a straight answer as to what is to be expected.

Posted on: 2009/6/3 3:08
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Re: City Council to Renegotiate Abatement For Developers
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This is why that Scam artist Healy is calling for an Amnesty on illegal units in homes.
He will say "well when we inspect the homes for Reval we will find all these illegal apts. and reap the benifits.
Its coming People,just a matter of time.

Posted on: 2009/6/3 2:50
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Re: City Council to Renegotiate Abatement For Developers
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So can you explain to me the process of revaluing my condo? Will they bring someone in to my home and look through it? I mean that kind of increase is bonkers. How is that even legal? There would have to be some kind of appeal process. Lets say I move to one of those new fangled will my reevaluation also increase? When I was looking around JC about 6-7 years ago places that were very similar to mine but recently renovated had property tax or Pilots that were 3x my taxes. I wasn't entirely sure what the reason for this was. But just sorta thought I'm getting a great deal.

Posted on: 2009/6/3 2:02
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Re: City Council to Renegotiate Abatement For Developers
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I feel like I am going to throw up. Yikes.

Posted on: 2009/6/3 1:41
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Re: City Council to Renegotiate Abatement For Developers
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Garyg wrote:
Can someone explain to me how my property will be effected in a reevaluation? I'm debating moving? Not because of property taxes, but if I can get out before and the reval may effect my bottom line perhaps its time to consider it. Also what is the time frame for something like this? Does it happen in one year or does it happen over many years with the option for people to appeal etc etc.
As Yvonne said, the last time we had a reval in ?88, it was catastrophic for most of us downtown. We were the one section of the city that bore the brunt of the tax burden because it was the area that was being renovated, had new businesses opening, and supposedly, had the funds to pay for the increase of taxes. The result was that long time elderly owners lost their homes, new owners who purchased their property based on current taxes, had to default due to the increase, and property values plummeted without our appeals reflecting this reduction.

From my understanding, a reval is State mandated within a 15-year period and it has now been 21; I?m sure the reason for the delay is as usual, political. Now that the Mayoral election is over, that shoe is about to drop.

My concern, is that once again, downtown will be the ones most affected by the reevaluation, with houses purchased years ago for $350,000, now worth $1,000,000 on the open market, will add thousands of dollars in taxes on these properties without concern for the income of these owners or whether or not they want to sell.

The last time this happened, the increase of taxes was retroactive a full year, my taxes went from $1,800 a year to $12,400; I received a bill from my bank for $24,800 and it took me 5 years to pay it back.

It?s coming, I just hope it won?t be as lopsided as the last time and that we have more community involvement, if it happens.

Posted on: 2009/6/3 1:26
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Re: City Council to Renegotiate Abatement For Developers
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If Crystal Pointe gets something, won't the Trump building and 77 Hudson come knocking?

Posted on: 2009/6/3 0:01
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Re: City Council to Renegotiate Abatement For Developers
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Can someone explain to me how my property will be effected in a reevaluation? I'm debating moving? Not because of property taxes, but if I can get out before and the reval may effect my bottom line perhaps its time to consider it. Also what is the time frame for something like this? Does it happen in one year or does it happen over many years with the option for people to appeal etc etc.

Posted on: 2009/6/2 22:43
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