Bayonne has finished the citywide property tax revaluation, and a large percentage of residents will see a decrease in their property taxes, according to Mayor James Davis.
The purpose of the revaluation is to bring fairness and equity to how properties are assessed and ultimately taxed, Mayor Davis said, maintaining that each property is now assessed at its true market value.
In 2018, the City of Bayonne was ordered to conduct a reval by the Hudson County Board of Taxation. According to the mayor, Bayonne has not undergone a reval since 1991.
“As you are all aware, the City of Bayonne was ordered to perform a revaluation on all property within our city,” Mayor Davis said in a statement on Feb. 8. “We have not gone through this exercise in many years, in fact, it’s been since the early 1990s, and as you can imagine, values have changed quite a bit.”
The mayor acknowledged that many residents are nervous about their homes being reassessed but said the process is designed to bring fairness to property owners by assessing their property at market value.
Initial estimates predicted only a third of residents would see their property taxes decrease, according to Davis. This estimate was originally calculated using the “thirds theory.”
The thirds theory says that as a result of the revaluation process, the result will be evenly split. Davis said this would mean one third of the properties would see an increase in taxes, one third would stay the same, and one third would go down.
Following the thirds theory, the mayor first estimated that approximately a third of residents will see their taxes increase while one third will see a decrease, and one third will see no change in their taxes.
Davis said that whether a property receives a decrease or increase in taxes can depend on various factors such as if the property owner filed a tax appeal in the past or made improvements and or additions.
After Appraisal Systems, Inc. (ASI), the company contracted to do the reval, completed its work, the results for residential properties were found to be quite different than anticipated. ASI is the same company that performed the property tax reval in Jersey City.
“Approximately 60 percent of taxpayers will see a decrease in their taxes, approximately 5 percent will stay relatively flat, while approximately 35 percent will see an increase,” the mayor reported.
Revals in the mail
Starting the week of Feb. 8, residents began to receive letters advising them of their adjusted property values and estimated taxes for the year.
Over the next several weeks, Bayonne property owners will be receiving letters from ASI, according to Davis.
The mailing will go out in stages over a period of days, and property owners won’t necessarily get their mailings on the same day as relatives and friends.
The letters will include the new proposed total assessed value for each property along with the estimated annual taxes for 2020, the mayor said. Davis said that the tax figure is an estimate because the tax rate cannot be computed until county, school, and municipal budgets are adopted.
Residents can also visit ASI’s website for more information regarding the property tax revaluation.
If you disagree with the assessment or have questions, the Mayor advised residents to contact ASI at 201-493-8530 or the Tax Assessor’s office at 201-858-6050.
Property owners can also schedule an informal hearing with ASI to review how their property value was determined and to discuss or present relevant information concerning their 2020 assessed value.
According to the mayor, informal hearings will be held at the council chambers in city hall in February and March. These hearings can be scheduled Monday to Friday, between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Residents who wish to schedule a hearing can visit the scheduling page at www.asinj.com/scheduling.htm or call ASI at 201-493-8530.
Property owners have the right to appeal to the Hudson County Tax Board.
For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.