Tax appeals continue downward trend

Successful tax appeals continue to decline since a record number of settlements in 2012 but this year still saw almost 70 successful appeals totaling more than $90,000 in tax credits.

City Council approved some 66 properties for 2014 property tax overpayments as a result of successful judgments in the county tax board. AR-212 unanimously was approved at the Nov. 10 council meeting.

The 66 properties had a total assessment of about $11.6 million, and property taxes of almost $717,000. The credits of $90,066 represent a reduction of about 12.6 percent off the tax bills.

Every $13.30 in municipal taxes on the average home generates about $149,000 in tax revenue. If the city were to try to make up the $90,000 in tax credits through raising property taxes, that would translate to about $8 for the average assessed home.

Some of the largest credits settled this year were for commercial properties, as much as 29 percent or more than $13,000 in one case. A spreadsheet detailing more information on the properties and assessments can be found here.

The properties represented in AR-212, however, don’t include some multi-year tax appeals won at the state tax court level by assorted apartment complexes and commercial and office properties, some of which won appeals for 2011 through 2014.

The $90,000 is about half of last year’s $182,000 in tax credits and the total of 66 properties is about half of the 120 or so appeals last year. Tax appeals are up every year since 2010 when 52 appeals were settled in the county tax board. The 2012 tax year remains the recent high for Rahway, with more than 350 appeals totaling more than $505,000 in credits. The successful tax appeals accounted for about $25 of the overall $116 increase in municipal taxes.

A tax appeal settlement with Merck over a multi-year tax appeal covering 2010-2012 accounted for about $66, some 45 percent of a $146 municipal tax increase in 2011.

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