More than 100 properties win tax appeals

More than 100 properties successfully reduced their tax assessments for 2011, securing reductions in their property tax bills totaling $117,704.

The tax appeal amounts were approved by City Council at its November meeting, following property judgments by the county Board of Taxation. The 104 properties successfully reduced their collective tax assessments by more than $2 million, from $16.74 million to $14.7 million. Included among the reduced assessments were two dozen Riverwalk townhouses and two units at Carriage City Plaza. These judgments were appeals that reached the county level, and could be appealed to the state Tax Court.  In all, the city received about 200 individual property appeals this year, according to Tax Assessor Richard Kulman.

The number of appeal judgments approved are twice as many as the 52 settled at the county level in 2010, which were twice as many as 2009. The totals do not include the tax appeal settlement with Merck. The pharmaceutical giant had its assessments for 2010, 2011 and 2012 reduced as part of the settlement.
Averages among the 100+ properties, followed by high/low, were:

Original assessment: $162,551 — $82,800 / $305,700
New assessment: $142,729 — $61,200 / $250,000
Reduction: $19,822 — $2,100 / $47,900
Appeal amount: $1,143 — $121 / $3,211

Here’s a Google Docs spreadsheet with all the properties and details on the assessments and reductions. If that’s not cool enough, here’s a link to a Google Map of all 104 sites (which can also be found below). [It was pretty tedious and laborious to put together, so it’d be great if you could click the link to at least make me think it was worth the time and effort…].

There seem to be a couple of pockets or clusters around town. In addition to the new construction, some two dozen properties around the Rahway River Park neighborhood won tax judgments and another handful in the Inman Heights area.


In case you missed last week’s drama between the City Council and Mayor Rick Proctor, Sunday’s Star-Ledger had an editorial about the ongoing debacle (“Rahway mayor’s overreach may cost him his job”). In addition to calling Proctor’s veto of an anti-nepotism ordinance “tone deaf,” the 258-word piece essentially said the council is trying to push Proctor out by reducing his salary.

8 thoughts on “More than 100 properties win tax appeals”

  1. Yeah well for skyview, I'm happy the some of the units were able to lower taxes but this is for the owner of the blg and units he rents out. What about the owners of units? These units are all the same, owners have contacted the assessor and were told go through the appeal process after Jan and wait until June meanwhile escrowing the full amount all year. Where's the fairness in that. We don't get street parking and we don't get garbage pickup. If you reassess half the units it's discrimination not to reassess the others.

  2. Interesting. Within the properties that received a tax reduction, I wonder what the breakdown is between single-family and multi-unit properties (which presumably also closely tracks the breakdown between owner-occupied and investment properties).I have no idea, but I always wondered if Joe Homeowner is more or less likely to have the time and inclination to petition for a tax reduction than an investor.

  3. Anonymous- In order to get the reduction YOU HAVE TO APPEAL. If there are other units that recieved a reduction it may be easier for you to get it, BUT YOU STILL HAVE TO APPEAL. That is the process and is not controlled by Rahway, but by the County as I have recently found out. Good Luck.

  4. True… but all the units are the same, I don't see why each unit owner has to pay for their own apprasial in order to appeal since there are no recent sales in the blg it's the only way to get a comparable. Seems like a waste of time and money in such a bad economy especially when they already know the result of what their reassessment would be.

  5. To the comment about Homeowner vs investor. I can tell you that ALL of the units at Riverwalk that filed the appeal are owner occupied. It was done as part of our Homeowners association to offer relief to those that paid move the 500K for properties that are worth about 1/2 that now.

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