The county-mandated revaluation of all Wall Township property is about to begin in earnest following a Township Committee vote to borrow nearly $1 million to pay for the undertaking.
The committee adopted a $950,000 bond ordinance at its regular meeting Wednesday to cover the cost of the revaluation, a process that has not taken place since 2000.
The money will pay $715,000 to West New York-based company Realty Appraisals, which will conduct the physical assessments of township property. Another $152,000 will pay for an update to the township's tax maps and the township is also giving itself an $88,000 cushion that may be refunded if it is not used during the course of the revaluation, which is expected to take several months, said Township Administrator Jeff Bertrand.
“It’s a rather handsome expense,’’ Bertrand has said.
The County Board of Taxation about two years ago ordered the township to conduct a revaluation of all property in town, business and residential, to determine its current value. It’s a process that is conducted about once a decade.
But the town fought the order, delaying the revaluation for two years.
One reason: the expense. The other: timing.
“We’re not happy about it,’’ Committeeman Jeffrey Foster has said. “It couldn’t come at a worse time for people – a down economy, and now all this with Sandy. I think it’s just uncalled for.’’
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Revaluation: Determination of which property is worth how much in today's money.
Why? To get an accurate assessment of properties in town, a revaluation is required about once every 10 years. Wall's last revaluation was in 2000.
When?: Residents will be notified before inspectors come out to individual properties, beginning October, 2013.
Will my taxes go up?: Maybe. Conventional wisdom says that 1/3 of property values increase, 1/3 decrease and 1/3 stay roughly the same in any given revaluation.
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The new tax bills to township residents and businesses reflecting the new valuation would come in 2015, officials have said.
Assessors will travel to each home and business in town to conduct an evaluation of property value. Those inspections are to be completed by September, 2014, according to the settlement with the county.
Bertrand on Thursday said residents would be given notice before that occurred, as a heads-up.General guidelines suggest that a revaluation – a determination of which property is worth how much today – increase property taxes for about 1/3 of the properties, decrease taxes for 1/3 of properties and leave 1/3 unchanged.