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North Bergen property tax revaluation in early phases

The township awaits state approval on two items

Currently, the township is in a holding pattern on the reval while waiting for the state to approve the township tax maps.

North Bergen is also awaiting state approval on the award of the contract to the entity conducting the reval. At a December board meeting, the township Board of Commissioners voted to award the contract to Appraisal Systems, Inc. (ASI) for $995,000.

ASI has conducted revals in Jersey City in 2018, and Bayonne in 2020.

Beginning the reval

At its November meeting, the board voted to adopt an ordinance that began a tax revaluation of all properties. It authorized a special emergency appropriation of $900,000 for the preparation and execution of the revaluation.

At the meeting, Mayor Nicholas Sacco said that during COVID-19 the tax revaluation would be difficult, pointing to home inspections, among other things that would need to occur amid the pandemic.

North Bergen has been hit hard by the virus in recent months, with hundreds of new cases each week.

Defining a revaluation

The property tax revaluation is occurring because the assessed value of properties has fallen too far out of sync with the true value.

All municipalities are required by statute to perform property revaluations when the ratio of true value dips to 80 percent of assessed value. The ratio of true value is calculated by dividing the assessed value of a home by its true value, or what that property would go for on the market.

If a property on one side of town is assessed at $70,000, and that same property’s current market value is $100,000, the ratio of true value would be 70 percent. The objective is to assess all properties at 100 percent true market value.

A revaluation tries to distribute the tax burden within a tax district by appraising each property according to its true value and assessing it for taxation based on that true value. Revals are theoretically not supposed to increase total property tax revenue for a town, but rather more fairly distribute the tax burden in accordance with market rates.

True property values will be determined using statistical studies composed of local property sales data. Property revaluations are known to take a long time to complete because of the arduous map-making process and the requirement that a tax assessment firm gain access to every property using a tape measure. Inspectors are required to make three attempts for each property.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.

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