Property Tax Woes In New Jersey - New York News

Property Tax Woes In New Jersey

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Hamilton, New Jersey (MY9NJ) - Property taxes have always been a concern amongst New Jersey homeowners. In recent years however, many New Jerseyeans have faced skyrocketing hikes in their property taxes, leaving them wondering where all the extra money is going.

A perfect example of this unfortunate trend is Hamilton native Tony Osmond's property tax predicament. Osmond has lived on Perilli Drive in Hamilton since 1972. Over time, he says his property taxes have gone up from $900 a year to more than $7,000 annually.

"Give me the $7,000 and I'll have the front of my house repaved. I'll get my neighbors together, give us the money for one year, and we'll get together and pave our own street," Osmond said.

It's this kind of frustration that is driving many residents to City Hall to have their properties and taxes reassessed within the community.

In order to get a better understanding of why property taxes are consistently on the rise, Morristown attorney Tom Olsen, who specializes in these appeals, sat down and discussed the various circumstances regarding this issue.

"As costs have risen over the years, and as more and more money needs to be utilized in municipal budgets and school budgets, it has to come from the property tax. It’s really the only way. So that’s why we’ve seen a sharp rise in the amount of property tax that people are paying," Olsen said.

Olsen also noted that although other states rely on more varied income sources, Garden State towns run mainly on property tax income.

With property taxes being as they are, businesses, especially large ones, will appeal their assessments. This appeal however, can get tied up in court and become very expensive. Although the property tax issue seems like an unsolvable problem, many towns like Hamilton Township are doing their own reassessments. For Hamilton, this will be the first reassessment of property taxes in almost 20 years.

Hamilton business administrator John Ricci spoke in depth about reassessments.

"Once you’ve established a true value at today’s market rates, we should see very few tax appeals for a while. That’ll save us money on tax appeal attorneys, on giving money back to taxpayers because they’ve proven their case that their assessments were too high," Ricci said.

As for Tony Osmond, he is retired and old enough that he is trying to get is property taxes frozen. Regardless of what municipality you may live in, the property tax issue within the Garden State is not going away, and it’s the individual municipalities that must take it upon themselves to reassess their individual issues in order to hopefully bring down costs for everyone within the community.


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