“Day of Reckoning” for Monroe Township following Years of Successful Tax Appeals

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
27 Aug 2012

The Township of Monroe says it has lost millions of dollars, and exhausted cash reserves, due to successful tax appeals by property owners.  The Township’s total assessed value has fallen over $140 million dollars in the last two years, in large part because of bulk appeals by the ten retirement communities in the Township.  The Township expects an average increase of $393 for a home assessed at $165,900, although that figure will be higher once school and county taxes are added to the bill.

Monroe Township will be undergoing a revaluation, the first since 1993, to reset the property assessments to current market values.  The revaluation was ordered by the Tax Court in 2010 after more than 1,000 residents filed a complaint alleging that the Chapter 123 ratio for the Township is skewed and discriminatory based on the Township’s failure to properly categorize sales between 2001 and 2005.

New Jersey residents have a constitutional right to be uniformly assessed with similar properties in their taxing districts.  Specifically, the Uniformity Clause of the New Jersey Constitution provides that property “shall be assessed according to the same standard of value, except as otherwise permitted herein, and such real property shall be taxed at the general tax rate of the taxing district in which the property is situated.”  Municipal budget woes are arguably created by towns who are unwilling to revise assessments to reflect current market values, and not by the property owners who successfully appeal their property assessment to only pay the taxes due on a correctly valued property.

For more on this story in the Star Ledger, please click here.

For more blog posts on municipalities addressing revaluations and budget woes, please see the following blog posts:

Atlantic City Borrowing to Pay Property Tax Refunds

Tax appeal refunds continue to take bite out of municipal budgets

Lyndhurst Borrows Nearly $4 Million to Refund Successful Tax Appeals

Property Tax Appeals in New Jersey – Increased Volume Meets Resistance

Mercer County Board of Taxation Orders Four Municipalities to Undertake Revaluations

Towns Nationwide Swamped with Property Tax Appeals

Municipalities Reassessing Properties Despite Recent Revaluations