Author Topic: City To Conduct First Property Revaluation Since 1988  (Read 26043 times)

Online shahaggy

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Jersey City may continue legal fight over canceled revaluation
« Reply #72 on: 07-06-2017, 02:43pm »
Jersey City may ask the New Jersey Supreme Court to hear an appeal of the breach-of-contract case it lost last year over the aborted 2011 property revaluation.

The city's attorneys told the state's highest court last week, in a filing known as a notice of petition for certification, that it may ask it to hear an appeal of the $1 million judgment in the case ordered by a Hudson County judge in April 2016. The city has until the end of next week to file the necessary paperwork with the state Supreme Court.

Requests for comment from the city and from the attorney for Realty Appraisal Co., the company that filed the breach-of-contract lawsuit, were not returned.

Realty Appraisal was hired in 2011 to perform the long-stalled reval that Mayor Steve Fulop halted soon after he was elected in 2013. The mayor argued that the company was chosen after a corrupt bidding process, and he accused Realty Appraisal of hiring Brian O'Reilly, who had just retired as the city's business administrator, to help it win the $3.2 million contract.

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[10:23 PM] skwirrlking: you submitting darna for beards eating cupcakes - mca?

[03:24 PM] Darna: [03:22 PM] jeht'aimeu: skw, you are climbing up my pole as well... 

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Offline MÇA

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Timeline revealed for Jersey City reval
« Reply #71 on: 06-23-2016, 11:26am »
Timeline revealed for Jersey City reval
By Terrence T. McDonald | The Jersey Journal
on June 20, 2016 at 12:33 PM, updated June 20, 2016 at 1:36 PM

A new document reveals the timeline for the upcoming Jersey City property revaluation, which state officials have ordered must be complete by November 2017.

The city told the state in a compliance plan submitted last month that it intends to award a contract to an appraisal firm in July, begin the reval in earnest with home inspections starting as early as September and have notices of new values sent to taxpayers by Nov. 13, 2017. The new assessed values are required to be applied in January 2018.

The revaluation, ordered by the state in April, will square each property's assessed value with its true value. Assessments are used to calculate property taxes, but if a home's value has changed, the owner could be paying too much or too little.

Since Jersey City's last reval was in 1988, its ratio of assessed to true value is just 27.63 percent. State officials say any ratio below 85 percent violates state statutes regarding fair taxation.

A group of city pastors have alleged that the long-stalled reval is disproportionately affecting Jersey City's poorer and minority communities to the benefit of wealthier residents Downtown, where home values have risen dramatically in the last three decades.

Mayor Steve Fulop, a Democrat, has called the state's reval order "Trenton politics at work" — Gov. Chris Christie  is a Republican — a charge that rankled state officials who note that they also ordered GOP-led towns Dunellen, Westfield and South River to conduct revals.

The city missed an initial deadline to submit a compliance plan to the state, leading the state to declare it in violation of its April 4 order to reassess all its properties. The plan obtained today by The Jersey Journal was submitted on May 26. A request on June 9 to receive a copy from the city was not returned. The report was obtained from the state pursuant to a public-records request.

[...]

Here is the full proposed timeline for the reval:


Offline jkm@fop.net

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Re: City To Conduct First Property Revaluation Since 1988
« Reply #70 on: 04-26-2016, 08:16am »
Taxes should be fair, updating a re-val should be fair in who it helps and who it hurts.  Property values change all the time as do lives.  No one has a lock on anything.  Let the real move on and the chips fall where they may.  Favoritism has ruined JC past administrations have ignored the necessity of a real only to protect the status quo.

Offline MÇA

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Jersey City says it will move forward with property revaluation
« Reply #69 on: 04-15-2016, 02:03pm »
Jersey City says it will move forward with property revaluation
By Terrence T. McDonald | The Jersey Journal
on April 15, 2016 at 12:14 PM, updated April 15, 2016 at 1:27 PM

Jersey City, here comes the reval.

One day after the city lost a breach-of-contract case related to the long-stalled property revaluation, and nearly two weeks after New Jersey tax officials ordered the city to get a reval done by November 2017, the city announced it is moving ahead with the process.

It will be the first citywide revaluation of properties since 1988. The city said it will soon begin the search for a firm to perform the work and expects to have chosen a company by the fall.

The move comes as Fulop has faced increasing pressure to move ahead with the reval, both from state officials who say the citywide ratio of assessed to true value is so low it violates the New Jersey Constitution, and, most recently, from a group of pastors and community activists who say stalling a reval protects wealthy residents at the expense of people living in the city's less affluent neighborhoods.

Fulop also announced today that his administration will appeal yesterday's ruling in the breach-of-contract case Realty Appraisal Co. filed after Fulop in 2013 halted the citywide reval the firm was hired in 2011 to oversee. A judge yesterday sided with the West New York company, saying Fulop had acted in bad faith when he stopped all reval work and refused to pay the company nearly $1 million it was owed.

"The decision to do a revaluation now after the contrary statements of the last few weeks seems political," Phil Elberg, Realty Appraisal's attorney, told The Jersey Journal. "It is too bad that my clients and the taxpayers have been punished by the time it took to get to this point."

The mayor also said today that he will seek changes to state laws governing property revaluations. He suggested assessing properties only when they are sold so that longtime residents are protected from abrupt changes brought on by revals.

"The state law for revaluations is fundamentally flawed and compounds the issues of gentrification by squeezing out long-term residents," Fulop said in a statement. "This administration never has supported the idea of collateral damage with homeowners losing their homes in the name of social justice." Read more

Online shahaggy

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Fulop, Jersey City pastor spar over revaluation
« Reply #68 on: 04-12-2016, 03:08pm »
 A tense exchange between Mayor Steve Fulop and a Jersey City pastor on the impending property revaluation capped the launch yesterday of a new interfaith community action group.

The Rev. Alonzo Perry Sr., of the New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, pressed Fulop on why his administration has not moved forward with a citywide reval, one Perry said would shift the city's tax burden from its less affluent neighborhoods to wealthier areas. Fulop's attempts to explain his reasoning for postponing the reval were met with occasional jeers from the crowd of about 850 gathered inside Old Bergen Church for the launch of Jersey City Together.

"I did believe as I do believe today that people in this room would lose their homes," Fulop said. "I believe that."

"People are losing their homes now, Mr. Mayor," Perry said to applause. "People are leaving the city now, Mr. Mayor. There's a crisis in the city today, Mr. Mayor."

Fulop in 2013 halted the reval — a process that brings the assessments of every property in a municipality in line with their market value — and has since said that it would devastate property values citywide. The last revaluation was in 1988.

Last week, New Jersey stepped in, telling Jersey City that because it hasn't reassessed properties citywide in nearly three decades, its ratio of assessed to true value has dipped to 27.6 percent, low enough to violate state law and the New Jersey Constitution. State tax officials ordered the city, along with Elizabeth and Dunellen, to have a reval completed by Nov. 1, 2017, an order Fulop called "more politics from Trenton."

Fulop's critics contend he is protecting wealthy Downtown residents from hefty tax increases. Experts generally believe revals result in tax hikes for one third of property owners whose homes have appreciated in value since the last reval.

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[04:53 PM] Soshin: I don't think I've ever had fig spread Darna but I like figs and they make my sphincter sing power ballads

[12:48 PM] Bobblehead: Yo, you know I'm really happy for you and Ima let you finish, but soshin had one of the best meercat shouts of all time

[10:23 PM] skwirrlking: you submitting darna for beards eating cupcakes - mca?

[03:24 PM] Darna: [03:22 PM] jeht'aimeu: skw, you are climbing up my pole as well... 

[02:28 PM] propscene: I DPON"T MEAN I LOVE YOU DEEP INSIDE AS MUCH AS I LOVE HIM DEEP INSIDE OH GOD

[12:58 PM] nikki: i feel like i should like the opposite of whatever jehu says

Offline Hurtle

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Re: City To Conduct First Property Revaluation Since 1988
« Reply #67 on: 04-08-2016, 11:40am »

Quote

I think the issue should be when does the revalue go into effect?

They were saying when it started the last time that it was retroactive to when the reval started so when you find out your new tax bill you also get a bill for the difference for the prior year as well.

This happened back in the '80s as well.

Offline jehu

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Re: City To Conduct First Property Revaluation Since 1988
« Reply #66 on: 04-07-2016, 03:45pm »
Why fight the ruling if at some point in the near future you still need to do the revalue?

I think the issue should be when does the revalue go into effect?

TheFang: yeah, i gotta agree with jehu here

Darna: we had a lovely shat with mrs binky this morning

stephen: Hmm… I'm as clueless as you are.

Darna: could someone please splain to me why a person in a gang is called a gangbanger but a gangbang has nothing to do with gang activity?

shahaggy: can't believe I'm saying this but +1 jehu

[02:58 PM] MCA: it's not stalking, it's caring enough to find out things she won't tell you herself

[01:35 PM] shahaggy: fine but jehu's correct

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One time, I hired a monkey to take notes for me in class. I would just sit back with my mind completely blank while the monkey scribbled on little pieces of paper. At the end of the week, the teacher said, "Class, I want you to write a pape

Offline MÇA

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Revaluation bill for Jersey City taxpayers could top $8.5M
« Reply #65 on: 04-07-2016, 12:49pm »
:drama:

Revaluation bill for Jersey City taxpayers could top $8.5M
By Terrence T. McDonald | The Jersey Journal
on April 06, 2016 at 11:25 AM, updated April 06, 2016 at 2:25 PM

Once Jersey City finally completes the citywide revaluation ordered on Monday by New Jersey tax officials, the final tab for taxpayers could top $8.5 million.

The city has already paid Realty Appraisal Co., the firm hired in 2011 to perform the reval Mayor Steve Fulop halted in 2013, $1.98 million.

Realty Appraisal sued for breach of contract, and is seeking the $984,511 it says it is owed. A decision in the case is expected in weeks, and if Hudson County Superior Court Judge Francis B. Schultz rules entirely in the company's favor, that brings the total bill for taxpayers to $2,964,511, not counting interest and legal fees.

Jersey City hired politically connected law firm Shain, Schaffer & Rafanello to defend the city from Realty Appraisal. The last time the City Council renewed that contract, the authorized sum was $325,000, bringing the total to $3,289,511.

The city has vowed to appeal if Schultz rules in Realty Appraisal's favor, which would add to the city's legal tab. Shain, Schaffer & Rafanello billed the city on average about $17,000 per month between December 2014 and February 2016. If the city continues for another year and the firm is retained again at the same price, the legal bill for the appeal could reach $204,000. That would bring the total to $3,493,511.

That's that cost of fighting Realty Appraisal in court and possibly on appeal. However Schultz rules, the city will be on the hook for additional costs for the reval the state on Monday ordered the city to complete by Nov. 1, 2017.

The bad news for taxpayers is the data Realty Appraisal collected during the aborted reval is meaningless. New Jersey requires municipalities performing revals to use sale data from the last three years, so Jersey City would have to start almost from scratch
. Read more

Offline MÇA

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Fulop: Order forcing Jersey City reval 'more politics from Trenton'
By Terrence T. McDonald | The Jersey Journal
on April 04, 2016 at 1:25 PM, updated April 04, 2016 at 3:02 PM

Gov. Chris Christie is playing politics by forcing Jersey City to perform a citywide revaluation, city officials said today, comments that indicate a looming showdown on the issue between Christie's and Mayor Steve Fulop's administrations.

Fulop, a Democrat, has sparred with Christie in recent weeks, including by seeking the Republican governor's resignation, this morning called the state's decision to force a reval "more politics from Trenton." His spokeswoman, meanwhile, indicated the city may challenge the order.

"Obviously this is Trenton politics at work because of the documented and rocky relationship between Mayor Fulop and Governor Christie dating back to Bridgegate," city spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill said.

City Council President Rolando Lavarro, a Fulop ally, also questioned the Christie administration's motives.

"It isn't hard to figure out that politics is at work here," Lavarro told The Jersey Journal in an email.

Christie's spokesman did not return a request for comment. A spokesman for the state Treasury, which this morning announced that Jersey City must complete a citywide reval by Nov. 1, 2017, said the state would accept nothing less than full compliance with its order.

"The elected officials in these municipalities swore an oath to uphold the entire state constitution, not merely the sections that they like," said spokesman Joseph Perone. Read more

Offline MÇA

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N.J. to order property tax-changing revaluations in 3 municipalities
By Samantha Marcus | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
on April 04, 2016 at 8:27 AM, updated April 04, 2016 at 3:00 PM

TRENTON — The state on Monday will order three New Jersey municipalities that have not revalued property in at least a quarter century to conduct revaluations that will affect property taxes for thousands of residents, NJ Advance Media has learned.

State officials will take the action against Jersey City, Elizabeth and Dunellen, which they say have defied the state Constitution's calls for fair and uniform assessments, according to a person familiar with the state's investigations of those towns.

The municipalities will have until November 2017 to complete revaluations, according to the source, who is not authorized to speak publicly and requested anonymity.

The assessed value of a home is used to help determine property tax bills. But property values change over time, and when governments stall revaluations, some taxpayers wind up paying too much and others pay too little.

Fixing that through revaluations after a long period of time, however, can mean big tax increases for longtime residents. The conventional wisdom in property revaluations that taxes will go down for a third of property owners, and go up for a third.

Jersey City, the state's second-largest city and undergoing a population and real estate boom, hasn't conducted a revaluation in 27 years. The taxable value of its properties in 2015, about $6 billion, is just 27.6 percent of its $21.6 billion estimated market value. Read more

Offline speaknj

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Revaluation Hearing
« Reply #62 on: 01-29-2016, 07:58pm »
Speak NJ is a public access cable program that airs in Jersey City and Bayonne.  Mondays, Jersey City 10:30 PM and Tuesdays 9:00 PM, Channel 51. In Bayonne, channel 19, Tuesdays @ 9:00 PM

Offline MÇA

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Jersey City revaluation suit trial delayed until February
« Reply #61 on: 12-01-2015, 09:48am »
Jersey City revaluation suit trial delayed until February
By Terrence T. McDonald | The Jersey Journal
on December 01, 2015 at 7:30 AM, updated December 01, 2015 at 7:31 AM

The trial between Realty Appraisal Co. and Jersey City has been delayed until the new year.

The showdown between the West New York company and the city had been scheduled to begin yesterday. The new court date is Feb. 16.

Realty Appraisal, which was hired in 2011 to perform a citywide revaluation, sued the city in Hudson County Superior Court alleging that the city owed it more than $1 million in payments for work completed before Mayor Steve Fulop put an abrupt end to the reval when he was elected mayor in 2013.

A court employee could not say why the trial was delayed. Read more

Offline MÇA

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Jersey City mayor halted reval to shield Downtown from tax hikes, firm alleges
By Terrence T. McDonald | The Jersey Journal
on November 24, 2015 at 3:19 PM, updated November 24, 2015 at 4:08 PM

JERSEY CITY — "Downtown property owners have the most to fear from a revaluation."

Those are the words of Neil Rubenstein, the man who co-owns the company hired to perform Jersey City's tax reval in 2011 before Mayor Steve Fulop halted all work in 2013 and refused to pay the company any more money.

Rubenstein's thoughts about how the reval would affect Downtown property owners are included in dozens of documents submitted to Hudson County Superior Court by attorneys for the reval firm, Realty Appraisal Co., and for lawyers representing Jersey City in Realty Appraisal's civil action against the city. The trial is expected to begin Monday.

The West New York firm has not made public comments about its two-year battle with Jersey City — it alleges the city owes it $1.17 million for reval work performed before it was halted — but the court filings reveal the arguments the two sides intend to make.

Rubenstein alleges in a sworn statement filed with the court on Aug. 18 that Fulop called off the reval soon after he was elected mayor in 2013 because of pressure from homeowners that formed his political base and not, as Fulop alleges, because Realty Appraisal hired a former top city official to help it win the reval contract.

Owners of Downtown brownstones, townhomes and condos "knew their properties were among the most under-assessed in the city," Rubenstein said. "They had the most to gain from halting the revaluation, and that was what their councilperson promised he would do if elected mayor."

City spokesman Ryan Jacobs noted that Realty Appraisal is accused in Monmouth County of receiving inside information from a government official before receiving a six-figure contract for an Ocean Township reval.

"This proves that shutting down this company's work in our city was right because they were not operating on the level," Jacobs told The Jersey Journal. Read more

Offline MÇA

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N.J. looking into whether to force Jersey City reval
« Reply #59 on: 11-19-2015, 03:01pm »
N.J. looking into whether to force Jersey City reval
By Terrence T. McDonald | The Jersey Journal
on November 18, 2015 at 4:22 PM, updated November 18, 2015 at 5:16 PM

Jersey City could be forced to perform its first citywide property revaluation since 1988, with state treasury officials announcing today they are investigating whether the city's properties are uniformly and fairly assessed.

Because Jersey City hasn't performed a reval in 27 years, the city's total true value exceeds its assessed value by $15.6 billion, a ratio of 24.6 percent, according to treasury officials, who announced the move in a press release today.

A ratio of 85 percent or lower generally denotes noncompliance with state regulations, Dennis Shilling, acting director of the state Division of Taxation said in a statement.

The state will also investigate Dunellen and Elizabeth, saying the three municipalities appear to be "the most dramatically out of compliance with constitutional and statutory provisions requiring fair and uniform property tax assessments."

The investigations, which will include public hearings, are part of a larger effort to address noncompliance with state regulations regarding revaluations, officials said today. Here in Hudson County, East Newark, which hasn't had a reval since 1986, and Harrison, which had its last reval in 1988, will be next after Jersey City, they said.

The news is not good for Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop, who canceled a reval that was in progress almost immediately after he was elected mayor in 2013. He said then that the process the city used to choose the firm performing the reval was "flawed" and that the reval represented a "back-door tax hike" for residents.

Michael Busler, a finance professor at Stockton University, told The Jersey Journal that revals should be done once every five years to be sure the assessed value of a town's properties matches true market conditions.

"When they don't do a revaluation you end up with properties that have had market value change significantly but property taxes have not," Busler said. Read more

Offline jehu

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Re: City To Conduct First Property Revaluation Since 1988
« Reply #58 on: 08-26-2013, 12:37pm »
“That domino effect goes through the whole city,” he said.  <---- does he mean the old Hispanic men playing dominoes will take over JC?
TheFang: yeah, i gotta agree with jehu here

Darna: we had a lovely shat with mrs binky this morning

stephen: Hmm… I'm as clueless as you are.

Darna: could someone please splain to me why a person in a gang is called a gangbanger but a gangbang has nothing to do with gang activity?

shahaggy: can't believe I'm saying this but +1 jehu

[02:58 PM] MCA: it's not stalking, it's caring enough to find out things she won't tell you herself

[01:35 PM] shahaggy: fine but jehu's correct

TheFang: as much as it pains me to say, jehu might be right.

One time, I hired a monkey to take notes for me in class. I would just sit back with my mind completely blank while the monkey scribbled on little pieces of paper. At the end of the week, the teacher said, "Class, I want you to write a pape

Offline MÇA

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Jersey City Mayor Fulop has not officially canceled property revaluation two months after promising to do so
By Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal
on August 26, 2013 at 8:45 AM, updated August 26, 2013 at 8:52 AM
 
Nearly two months after Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop summarily canceled a citywide property revaluation, the Fulop administration has yet to make the cancellation formal.

Fulop promised when he ran for mayor that he would put an end to the reval, the city’s first since 1988. And he did just that, telling reval firm Realty Appraisal Co. the week before he became mayor that he was ordering its work to end.

Hudson County officials say Fulop himself doesn’t have the power to halt the reval, which was given the green light by county and state tax officials more than two years ago under former Mayor Jerramiah Healy.

Hudson County spokesman Jim Kennelly said the formal process would involve Fulop writing a letter to county tax officials seeking approval from the state Division of Taxation.

City spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill said Friday that Fulop’s administration has not petitioned for that approval yet. Morrill declined to answer why the city hasn't done so.

It’s not clear what happens if Jersey City never petitions the county to halt the reval. Kennelly referred The Jersey Journal to the state Division of Taxation, whose spokesman did not return a request for comment.

Realty Appraisal has already been paid $1.9 million for the work performed so far, according to Fulop. The City Council awarded it a $3.2 million contract back in February 2011.

Fulop has said the process used to award the bid to Realty Appraisal was flawed.

The city’s former business administrator, Brian O’Reilly, worked for the firm at the time it won the bid.

In recommending a reval, the Board of Taxation in 2011 said the true value of properties was much higher than their assessed value. The average assessed value of a property in the city is about $93,000. The average annual property tax bill is about $6,500.

Fulop said he fears a citywide crash in property values.

A Downtown property owner could see his taxes go up $12,000 but the value on his house dip by as much as $150,000, he said then.

“That domino effect goes through the whole city,” he said.

Offline MÇA

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Firm performing canceled Jersey City reval has already been paid $1.9 million
By Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal
on June 26, 2013 at 4:30 PM, updated June 26, 2013 at 5:58 PM

The West New York firm performing Jersey City’s now-canceled tax revaluation has already been paid nearly $2 million and has inspected almost 100 percent of the city’s properties, Mayor-elect Steve Fulop said today.

Fulop stunned officials yesterday when he said he was shutting down the reval and not paying Realty Appraisal Co., of West New York, any more money for their work, a move one Hudson County tax official said may be unprecedented.

The mayor-elect, who takes office on Monday, said in an interview at City Hall today that he expects the firm will “pursue whatever recourse they’re going to pursue,” including seeking damages.

Still, he said, he won’t back down.

“I have enough information, I think, to demonstrate that the process was flawed … and it would result in something very detrimental to the residents,” he said.

The City Council in February 2011 hired Realty Appraisal for $3.2 million to perform the city’s first reval since 1988. Fulop voted against the move, and has said city property owners can't afford any possible increase in their taxes.

A year later, city officials asked to postpone the reval, citing issues with tax maps and Realty Appraisal’s claim that many residents weren’t allowing them inside their homes to perform inspections.

On the campaign trail this year, Fulop attacked outgoing Mayor Jerramiah Healy over the reval, which Fulop said would result in a “back-door tax hike.” The mayor-elect also noted that Brian O’Reilly, the former city business administrator, worked for Realty Appraisal when it was awarded the bid, which came in more than $2 million lower than the next-lowest bid.

“This bid raises a red flag,” Fulop said today. “It’s so out of whack from everybody else, so either they had access to information that no one else had or they’re not doing the same sort of services the others” would have done.

Bob Schaible, assistant Hudson County tax administrator, said he’s not sure if Fulop has the authority to shut down the reval. The Board of Taxation ordered the reval back in 2011, and it was approved by state treasury officials. A spokesman for the Treasury referred questions to Schaible’s office.

When told about Fulop’s order to halt the reval, Schaible said, “Wow.”

“It’s so unusual that I really don’t know what the procedure is at this juncture,” he said.

Steve Rubenstein, a partner at Realty Appraisal, declined to comment.

Fulop said today that Realty Appraisal has measured 95 percent of residential properties and 93 percent of commercial lots.

Offline MÇA

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Jersey City mayor-elect orders end to citywide reval
« Reply #55 on: 06-25-2013, 04:33pm »
Jersey City mayor-elect orders end to citywide reval
By Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal
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on June 25, 2013 at 3:05 PM, updated June 25, 2013 at 3:38 PM

Jersey City Mayor-elect Steve Fulop today ordered the West New York company conducting a citywide revaluation to halt work immediately, and said he would audit the firm’s work because of its ties to a former city business administrator.

Fulop, who attacked outgoing Mayor Jerramiah Healy on the campaign trail for ordering the reval, today called the process “flawed,” saying in a statement from his office that it will result in tax hikes homeowners cannot afford.

“I will not allow this back-door tax hike planned by the Healy administration to take place,” he said.

In a letter to Business Administrator Jack Kelly, Fulop writes that damage from Hurricane Sandy might negate property assessments completed before the Oct. 29 storm devastated the region.

Healy, defeated by Fulop in the May 14 mayoral race, could not immediately be reached to comment.

The City Council in February 2011 awarded a $3.2 million contract to West New York firm Realty Appraisal to perform the reval, the city’s first since 1988 (Fulop voted “no”). At the time, the company had on its payroll Brian O'Reilly, the city's former business administrator.

One year later, the city requested a one-year delay in the reval process, citing problems with the city's tax maps and a higher than anticipated number of residents refusing to allow inspectors into their homes. Only about 10 percent of the city’s properties had been inspected in that year, city officials said at the time.

The reval was a hot topic during this year’s mayoral campaign, with residents saying they feared it would bring about unaffordable tax hikes. Healy argued that the city needs the reval to bring more equity to the city's tax rolls, while Fulop said a reval now would cause property values to plummet.

In recommending a reval, the Board of Taxation in 2011 said the ratio between the true value of properties and their assessed value is too cavernous. The average assessed value of a property in the city is about $93,000 and the average property owner pays about $6,500 a year in taxes, city officials said.

A Board of Taxation spokesman and Realty Appraisal could not immediately be reached to comment.

Offline MÇA

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Jersey City officials are warning residents to watch out for phony reval inspectors
Published: Sunday, July 15, 2012, 7:11 PM
Updated: Sunday, July 15, 2012, 9:12 PM
Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal

Jersey City officials are warning residents to watch out for phony reval inspectors after they received reports that men claiming to be inspectors for the citywide revaluation are gaining access to residents' homes.

Workers for Realty Appraisal Co. of West New York, which the city is paying $3.2 million to perform the reval, carry two forms of identification, one from Realty Appraisal and the other a letter from the city, officials stressed Friday.

City spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill confirmed that the city has received reports of residents who say men posing as reval inspectors gained access to their homes and took interior photographs.

Proper inspectors do not take interior photos, the city said.

If residents are not sure a person requesting to enter their home is a legitimate inspector, they should get the inspector's name and ask them to wait outside while they call the city's Reval Hotline at (210) 547-4538, available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., to confirm their identity.

If you believe an impostor inspector is at your home, call 911.

Residents are able to schedule an appointment with the reval company by calling Realty Appraisal at (201) 946-6984.

Anyone who believes they have been targeted by an impostor reval inspector should call the Jersey City Police Department at (201) 547-5477 and speak to an officer or detective.

Inspectors began going door-to-door in the city last fall to inspect homes for the city's first citywide revaluation since 1988. In February, the city announced that the reval, which was expected to be completed by the end of September, would likely not wrap up for an additional year.

The city cited problems with the city's tax maps and an unexpectedly large number of residents who wouldn't allow reval inspectors into their homes as the cause for the delay.

Offline jcgov

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City officials are reminding residents to look for the proper identification when property tax revaluation in-spectors come to their homes. This warning comes in the wake of reports of alleged imposters posing as revaluation inspectors.

All reval inspectors:
■ Always carry two forms of ID – one from the reval company and the other a letter of introduction from the City
■ NEVER take photos of the inside of your house

What to do if you think your inspector is a fake? Ask for a name, ask him to wait on the stoop, and call the City's Reval Hotline duing regular business hours Monday - Friday at 201 547 5438. If it is after 5pm or on a weekend call 911.

To see or download photos, names, and vehicle ID Numbers of Realty Appraisal Inspectors and to find more information on what to do if you believe your inspector isn't on the up and up, read more.
City of Jersey City
Office of Communications
http://www.jerseycitynj.gov/

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The Reval is in full swing across Jersey City. To see where inspectors are in your neighborhood, check out our Key Maps of the Property Revaluation Page.

While letters notifying residents of inspection dates in their neighborhoods were sent, many were returned undelivered. If you or your landlord did not receive a letter, then download the Tax Assessor's Change of Address Form on the Key Maps Page.

For more information about the Reval and a list of FAQs, don't forget to read over our Property Revaluation Frequently Asked Questions Page.

Any resident who has questions or concerns about the inspectors should not hesitate to call the City's Reval Hotline at 201-547-4538.

City of Jersey City
Office of Communications
http://www.jerseycitynj.gov/

Offline MÇA

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Jersey City requesting one-year delay of citywide reval
« Reply #51 on: 02-13-2012, 02:31pm »
Jersey City requesting one-year delay of citywide reval
Published: Monday, February 06, 2012, 5:32 PM
Updated: Monday, February 13, 2012, 11:41 AM
By Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal

About six months after property inspectors started going door-to-door in Jersey City for the first citywide revaluation since 1988, the city is hoping to put the brakes on the reval, citing problems with the city's tax maps and a "higher than anticipated" number of residents refusing to allow inspectors into their homes.

The city today formally requested that the Hudson County Board of Taxation allow a one-year extension for the city to conduct the reval, which was expected to be completed by the end of September, with new assessments effective for 2013.

In a statement, Mayor Jerramiah Healy said the city could not conduct the reval in the current timeframe because of problems updating its tax maps and because of the number of homeowners who did not allow inspectors in their homes.

The city has been preparing for the reval since April 2010, but as of last week, only about 10 percent of the city's 50,000-plus properties had been inspected, according to city spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill. A reval delay, if granted, would mean the new assessments will not be effective until after the 2013 city election. Asked if that timeline came into play as the city considered requesting an extension, Morrill said, "Absolutely not."

Ward E Councilman Steve Fulop, a mayoral hopeful, said he doesn't buy it.

"While I have opposed this reval from day one because it is a backdoor tax on residents, this speaks volumes about how disingenuous the mayor is by delaying till after the election," Fulop said. "He is setting up a classic bait-and-switch for his personal benefit."

Healy shot back by decrying Fulop's "ignorance" of the reval process.

"The singular reason for which the reval was delayed was to ensure it is conducted in the fairest and most comprehensive way possible," Healy said. "Moving the certification date of the reval forward one year does not relieve me of any political heat from my opponents who wish to incite fear in the taxpayers regarding this process."

Realty Appraisal Co. of West New York, which at the time employed former city business administrator Brian O'Reilly, is conducting the reval to the tune of $3.2 million. When the City Council awarded the contract last year, Realty Appraisal's bid came in around $2 million less than the other bidders' estimates.

Morrill said the city would not have to pay more for the reval if the one-year extension is granted, and those properties that have been inspected already will not have to be re-inspected.

The Board of Taxation last year ordered the city to perform the reval, saying the ratio of true value versus assessed value in Jersey City is too low. The city's average assessment is $92,635, while the average taxpayer paid $6,491.85 in property taxes last year, city officials said.

Offline MÇA

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Reval underway; homeowners on edge
« Reply #50 on: 01-16-2012, 01:08pm »
Reval underway; homeowners on edge
Will your taxes go up…or down?
by E. Assata Wright
Reporter staff writer
Jan 15, 2012

The city’s long-feared revaluation of privately-owned, taxable properties is now in full swing, with 22 inspectors canvassing neighborhoods in the Jersey City Heights and Greenville.

By the time the current months-long reval is complete, the vast majority of Jersey City’s approximately 54,243 taxable properties will have been evaluated.

The reval, which began last fall, is the city’s first since 1988 and will continue through the end of this year.

In a “reval,” a city reassesses all of its taxable properties so that they are paying taxes in line with the current value of the property. Because some properties (particularly older ones) are paying based on an assessment from more than two decades ago, they are paying a smaller share of the tax burden, whereas newer properties with a more recent assessment may be paying more. A reval equalizes the tax burden.

The reval process – and its outcome – has both commercial and residential property owners on edge, since many fear it will lead to higher tax bills.

In any revaluation, about one-third of property owners will see their taxes increase, according to real estate attorneys. Another third of property owners will see their taxes decrease, while a third will see little or no change in their tax rate.

But many homeowners are skeptical of the process and fear that taxes paid by others – for example, commercial property owners – are likely to go down, while their own taxes will go up.

With the revaluation now in full swing, some homeowners say the process has lessened their anxiety, while others are still concerned.

In the field
So far, about 50 percent of the properties in Jersey City Heights and Greenville have been inspected as part of the reval, according to Mark Duda, a project manager with Realty Appraisal Co., the West New York-based firm the city has retained to conduct the reval.

“We’ve inspected about 10,000 properties out of the [more than] 48,000 that we’ll be inspecting this year,” Duda said. “What we’ve done are the stand-alone [residential] properties, and stand-alone industrial and big commercial properties. We haven’t done any of the condos yet. The condos go pretty quickly. We feel good about the pace.”

The inspectors will soon be visiting properties in Society Hill and in the Journal Square-area, including Canco Lofts.

The field inspectors are trained to look for anything that might affect or determine the property’s value on the real estate market. Specifically, the inspectors measure square footage, count the number of rooms in the home, and look at other features, including the type of heating system, whether there is centralized air conditioning or a fireplace, or whether the property has a patio or deck.

Heights homeowners report mixed experiences
Homeowners in the Heights have reported mixed experiences with the reval process.

On one end of the spectrum, some of those interviewed said they were mailed notifications last summer from the city, informing them of the upcoming reval. Several of these residents said the inspections of their homes went smoothly and were handled professionally. But others said their homes received only cursory inspections. Meanwhile, other property owners report that they haven’t even been notified of the reval – months after inspectors began canvassing their neighborhood.

“I live on Summit. I do know people in my neighborhood who got the [reval] notices. But I never got one,” said Heights homeowners Jenny O’Connell. “My next door neighbors didn’t get anything either. But I know they’re still out there doing inspections.”

Duda acknowledged that some homeowners, even in the Heights and Greenville, have not been notified of the reval because the city has not yet supplied Realty Appraisal Co. with up-to-date tax maps for the city.

“The city’s last tax map was done about four years ago,” said Duda. “But sometimes lots merge or somebody makes a subdivision. So there are areas of the city where the tax map is no longer accurate. We need those property lots to be identified correctly before we can inspect those areas. We’re inspecting where we can inspect right now. We’ll go back to sections that have to be updated.”

According to Jersey City Tax Assessor Ed Toloza, another contractor is currently updating the tax map.

Cate Reilly, a homeowner in the Heights, said her husband received a notice about the reval last fall, “and some inspectors came by. They came in, looked around and asked some questions about our house. I wasn’t home when they came by. But I got the impression they were there for about 10 minutes, maybe a little less. They had some kind of checklist. I don’t know what this will mean for our taxes, but my husband didn’t feel like they were fishing for something that wasn’t there.”

Their home, which Reilly’s husband inherited from his parents, is “old and worn,” she said. She said the inspector did not appear to add artificial value to their home.

But two homeowners – Bill and Mary Denton – said inspectors did not enter their homes, preferring instead to “inspect from the doorway,” as Mary Denton put it.

“That’s disturbing,” said Duda. “That’s not the kind of inspector I want doing my inspections. That’s not proper.”

Duda noted that property owners are not legally required to give the inspectors access to their properties. However, he said, “We highly encourage all property owners to permit an inspection, because the inspection will allow us to more accurately appraise their property.”

Still, he said the company estimates there will be “about a 10 percent refusal rate.” In those cases the company has to make an estimate regarding the size and condition of the property based on comparable properties in their neighborhood.

Residents who have questions regarding the revaluation process can call the city’s reval hotline at (201) 547-4538. Realty Appraisal Co. also has a “Homeowners FAQ” page on its web site, which can be accessed by visiting http://www.realtyappraisal.net.

Offline Binky

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I'm thinking of installing lots of that wood panelling,  and resurfacing my kitchen cabinets doors with contact paper.
Maybe some low wattage light bulbs.  Clip-on lamps everywhere, strung together with extension cord.
Any other ideas?

Oh.  and indoor outdoor carpeting.
nikki: i can't keep up with rab and his George Clooney lifestyle of drinking wine, playing music and philanthropy

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