Murray Street building wins tax appeal

A small commercial property just off St. Georges Avenue will get a refund of more than 20 percent of its tax bill for the years 2015 and 2016, after a tax appeal judgment in state Tax Court.

City Council adopted a resolution¬†(AR-220-17) during its regular meeting last night that authorized the “refund of overpayments due to successful judgments in the Tax Court of New Jersey.”

Murray St.41.GoogleStreetViewThe settlements pertain to two lots along Murray Street: Block 8, Lot 2/41 Murray St. and Block 8, Lot 3. Both are owned by Somerville-based S2T Rahway, LLC, according to property records.

Across the two tax years 2015 and 2016, the two lots paid about $60,392 in total property taxes and will receive a total refund of about $12,706. That works out to about 21 percent of property taxes over the two years.

The refunds were identical amounts for each lot in each year but the refunds accounted for about 28 percent of taxes for Lot 2 and 17 percent for Lot 3 because Lot 3 has a higher property tax bill (about $19,000 last year for Lot 3, compared with $11,353 for Lot 2).

A breakdown and total of both property taxes and the tax refunds for both years, and how I arrived at the percentages, can be found in the accompanying Excel spreadsheet in this link.

The single-story commercial building was built in 1966 and is located at the end of Murray Street, the short one-block stretch that extends south across St. Georges Avenue where Stewart’s Drive-In is located. The 0.7-acre property abuts the Amtrak railroad tracks at the end of Murray Street and is adjacent to the parking lot behind the Galaxy Diner. It currently houses Emergi-Clean, Inc., a 22-year-old company that specializes “in the containment, cleanup, and decontamination at biohazard scenes.”

The property last changed hands in March 2015 for $600,000, according to property records. Prior to that, it sold for $230,000 in 1995, according to property records.