Print Page   |   Sign In   |   Register
Search
Calendar
News & Press: Recent News

Monmouth tax pilot: Who’s in, who’s out?

Friday, June 3, 2016   (0 Comments)
Share |

Asburyparkpress.com 06/03/16

Two towns rejoined and another two towns dropped out of Monmouth County’s property tax pilot program ahead of a looming end-of-the-month deadline. And still another town, Freehold Township, decided Tuesday to opt out of the controversial program that changes property tax values year to year. Allentown and Highlands were the latest towns to drop the pilot program. Eatontown, which was the first town to opt out, decided a week ago Wednesday to return to the pilot program. Shrewsbury, another opt-out town, also returned in May.

The tax board in December voted to allow towns to opt out of the pilot program in response to public outcry stemming from an Asbury Park Press investigation that revealed questionable business relationships behind the program. In towns that opt out, taxpayers won’t see their assessments, the value on which their property is taxed, change each year. Those numbers essentially stay the same until a town undergoes a revaluation, a process to recalculate the tax values. That happened roughly decade or when the value used for taxes shifted too far off what property would sell for on the real estate market.

But Moore said the tax board will be monitoring opt-out towns more closely to make sure tax values stay close to market values — the goal of the pilot program — and may order revaluations more frequently than they had in the past. Moore said the closer analysis of opt-out towns is not meant to punish them, but rather to be fair to the towns that stayed in the pilot program. “In my perspective, none of this should be punitive,” he said. The deadline to opt out is today, but most towns have already made their decision. Avon, Belmar, Manasquan, Marlboro, Millstone and Wall all opted out months ago and official in each say they did not intend to change their positions. Freehold Township passed a resolution Tuesday that dropped the town from the pilot program.

Allentown council saw the pilot program as part of the reason why their residents will likely end up paying on average $500 more in school taxes, Mayor Greg Westfall said. The pilot program triggered a provision in state law that reduced the pool of property sales used to calculate how much Allentown pays for schools, he said. Only three home sales were used in that state formula, and local officials say it made the borough look more valuable on paper than it is. Had Allentown not been in the pilot program, as many as 20 sales could have been used for that formula, which would have prevented an outlier from skewing the calculation. The vast majority of Monmouth County’s towns are staying in the pilot program. Many said they think the program itself is good despite problems with how the program was rolled out.

 


Sign In


Latest News