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Interesting article about the Maplewood reval, same company as the one handling Jersey City’s own upcoming revaluation

Published On: March 21st, 2017Categories: Tax Appeal

This article touches on several of the issues that effect my client’s property taxes. These poor homeowners did not realize when they bought their house that their taxes would go way up due to renovations by the previous owners that did not show up in the tax bill until months after closing. It is so important that any attorney handling closings for clients in New Jersey have a firm grasp on the basics of municipal taxation!

But compounding the problem was that the reval company and tax assessor for the town apparently failed to correct (or at least verify) possible mistakes in their own records that could easily have been corrected.​ This is the same company that won the contract to do Jersey City’s upcoming revaluation, despite no-votes by at least one Council member due to the Firm’s possible connections with the same law firm that represents Jersey City for tax appeals. They appear to share at least one office address and the principal of this law firm had a say in which reval bid got picked for Council approval.

We don’t yet know for sure whether the reval will actually take place in 2018 (they have to attempt inspections of about 74,000 properties and appraise them by November or the reval will be delayed). My guess is still that it will take place in 2019, but I heard from a colleague that a similar situation came up in Paterson last year and Appraisal Systems got it done in time. However it is the opinion of some in this business that the Paterson reval was rushed, leading to many mistakes in valuation which had to be corrected by the filing of tax appeals. Good for attorneys I guess, but bad for taxpayers.

In defense of reval companies generally I want to say that appraising 74,000 properties in a City as diverse as Jersey City or Paterson is extremely difficult. I hope that Appraisal Systems, located in Glen Rock, NJ, will take its time and work closely with the local tax assessors to ensure that they get the neighborhoods and property types right. We will see soon enough!

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