The townships of South Orange and Maplewood will be performing a reassessment of property values in 2016 and will partner on the hiring of a vendor to perform the reassessment.
The South Orange Village Board of Trustees discussed the pending property reassessment at its October 12 meeting. Village President Sheena Collum said that township was being ordered to perform the assessment due to the disparity in home values in South Orange vis-a-vis assessed values.
Maplewood Mayor Vic DeLuca confirmed that Maplewood has been informed by the Essex County Board of Taxation that it will order a reassessment of properties in 2016 with the new values effective January 1, 2017. “South Orange is in a similar situation,” wrote DeLuca in an email to Village Green. “We decided to do the reassessment together as a way to achieve savings.”
Collum said that in both Maplewood and South Orange the assessed values had fallen below 85% of the market values, necessitating the reassessment.
The Essex County Tax Board website explains that “a reassessment program like a revaluation program seeks to spread the tax burden equitably within a municipality by appraising each property according to its true value and assessing it based on such value.” However, the site says that although revaluations are usually performed by an outside revaluation firm, reassessments are “in most instances” performed “in-house without the aid of an outside revaluation/appraisal firm. In addition, it may be completed without interior inspections of every property if a revaluation was recently completed.”
Maplewood last performed an assessment in 2012, after a full revaluation in 2010. At a special meeting in 2012, a representative of Appraisal Systems Inc., which performed the 2010 revaluation explained that the reassessment was taking place because “home values are changing much more frequently and not in tandem anymore.” The representative also said that the State of New Jersey “allows municipalities the discretion to reassess properties as often as every year.”
Collum reported that South Orange performed a full revaluation in 2007 which “hit the books” in 2008. The last reassessment took place in 2011, with the new home values effective as of Jan. 1, 2012.
Although the upcoming process is a reassessment due to recently performed revaluations and reassessments, DeLuca wrote, “There will be home inspections. The reassessment will be done by an outside, independent firm. The cost splitting will be by the number of properties in each town.”