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Mayor Proposes Revaluation in 2013

Mayor David Stahl proposed a revaluation of East Brunswick in his State of the Township address Monday night.

East Brunswick may see a township-wide revaluation this year, if the council agrees with suggestions made by Mayor David Stahl on Monday night.

During his State of the Township address, revaluation was one of four points Stahl specifically touched upon as a focus area for the coming year.

Over the past four years, a loss in property values in East Brunswick has resulted in a budget shortfall of $2 million, Stahl said.

"That necessitates the need to raise municipal taxes to make up for this shortfall," he said. "In my opinion, this can't continue."

East Brunswick has not had a revaluation since 1983, he said.

Stahl acknowledged that revaluation is an unpopular topic among both residents and politicians alike, but said it was a matter of fairness.

Tax appeal refunds chip away at an already shrinking tax base, he said. Revaluation will help to end the loss of funds.

"We must ensure that the proper value is assessed to our homes and the distribution of costs are spread correctly," he said.

To view Stahl's State of the Township address and read the transcript of his speech, click here.

Tell us: Do you think revaluation is the answer to making up budget losses in East Brunswick?

Leon January 31, 2013 at 02:36 PM
It's not about the valuation, but the multiple used against that value to calculate the final tax rate. East Brunswick taxes are already higher than neighboring towns for homes with the same dollar value. This will work to make our properties less competitive and further drive down their values. The solution needs to revolve around effective budgeting.
Chris January 31, 2013 at 03:04 PM
Does this announcement have anything to do with tomorrow being February 1st. It's the first eligible day to appeal your property tax. I wonder if the township is expected to be flooded with applications.
Steve January 31, 2013 at 03:50 PM
It's an unpopular issue, however many homes in town are held to a higher assessment than other homes that are clearly worth more and have lower assessments.....with the assessment to value ratio being 26% its time for a change to bring assessments more in line with values so everyone can pay their fair share.
marilyn bruce January 31, 2013 at 05:25 PM
Since there a few foreclosed abandoned homes in East Brunswick (one is located where I reside) I will be filing a tax appeal if they do not take this into consideration.
Jarhead January 31, 2013 at 11:42 PM
I thought the " Golden Triangle" development was supposed to be a tax lowering development. Stahl, instead gave the tax payers a " Golden Shower". Want lower property taxes? Let's have the public workers , teachers, and administrators pay 30% of their health care premiums, not 1.5% of their salaries. If a public worker, teacher, or administrator pays 1.5 % of their salary, they would pay on average two months worth of the health care premiums that they receive for the entire year.The poor saps (tax payers) that foot the rest of the bill will pay for the rest in addition to to their own costs. Hey Stahl, Revaluate This!)
Unfair February 01, 2013 at 12:11 AM
There is an issue with out of control salaries for our educators, police and fire force.
John Romano February 01, 2013 at 02:30 AM
..."effective budgeting" ........Bwahahahahahaaaa!!!
Ralph Wiggums February 01, 2013 at 03:05 AM
Let's not reduce spending or anything. We're short money, so since people are legally reducing their property taxes, we now need to reassess the property taxes to make sure everybody pays in the end anyway. Great. Just put a red light camera at every single light in town. That should help raise your money, I mean "balance" the budget. After all, it's in the name of safety anyway.
John Romano February 01, 2013 at 03:32 AM
"Over the past four years, a loss in property values in East Brunswick has resulted in a budget shortfall of $2 million, Stahl said." ....so let me get this straight ....property VALUES have steadily declined ...and the town wants to assign higher tax rates to them? Oh ...okay ...sounds like a plan ...drawn up by a kid with a box of crayons. ....and ....then I hear that the town is forking over a few million to buy ....A FARM, so that we can "sustain East Brunswick’s agricultural history". Pretty soon that's all you'll have ....a pocket full of history. Tell me, will that "history" help to add a high gloss coat of warm & fuzzy feelings to all the residents whose homes have decaying values ...and then get handed a heavier tax bill. ....quick ....someone poke me with a pitch-fork and hopefully let me awaken to find that it's only been a one-bad-decision-after-another dream.
Edward Miller February 01, 2013 at 03:45 AM
Overall a bad idea. Property taxes are high enough. Changing the valuations will result in some homeowners payng much more and some much less. Overall there is no guarantee of an increase from tax revenue unless the revaluation is geared to make that happen. This is therefore another way to increase home ownership taxes without specifically saying its a tax increase.
John Romano February 01, 2013 at 06:51 PM
....wishful thinking Jarhead. He'd never even consider proposing that because he'd frost some of his prime voter base.
John Romano February 01, 2013 at 06:58 PM
....and don't even get me started on the whole Triangle debacle. The only thing that will end up lowering (even more) is our property values.
Jarhead February 01, 2013 at 07:58 PM
Let me get this straight. If I do a home improvement project to my 60 year old home, the town will raise my taxes? Great. Let's just let the homes go unkempt so it looks like south Camden. Is that what Stahl wants? I guess if I have two cars up on blocks in my front yard they will call for an increase in my property taxes. It's just like the feds, tax and spend and cave in to the special interests that buy the politicians in exchange for votes. Look at the governors race. Buono will get the endorsement of the teachers and public workers unions in exchange for more entitlements that will have to be paid by the taxpayers. Keep voting for Democrats and you will get what you deserve. Elect a retired teacher to the Board of Education and think you will get any concessions on health care benefits for the education cartel? Think again! If they do pull off this re-evalue, challenge every increase. Look what just happened in Monroe. Challenges to tax increases were successful and their budget went south.
Charles February 01, 2013 at 08:02 PM
Jarhead, the town council who passes the budget (not the Mayor) has been controlled by Republicans for several years now. How does "keep voting for Democrats" factor into whether a reevaluation is a good idea or not?
Charles February 01, 2013 at 08:04 PM
Why would you like the mayor to evaluate teacher and administrator salaries? The mayor has absolutely nothing to do with teacher salaries.
Joyce K February 01, 2013 at 08:33 PM
Makes sense to me. All of the people who've filed appeals are paying an amount based on a current appraisal, while the rest of us are paying on outdated ones. How can we budget without knowing how many people will appeal this year? Just reassess everyone, so that we're all getting billed on an even keel.
Jarhead February 01, 2013 at 08:53 PM
Because instead of reeling in the costs of government the Democrats use increased taxes to pay for their programs. Why not do the reevaluation a few years ago when home values were lower? Now that home values have started to rebound, we hear the need for a reevaluation. Don't get me started with the Republicans on the town council. Those people are closet Democrats. How else do you think you can get elected to any office in East Brunswick? To answer your question, a reevaluation is not a good idea because it is a temporary solution to the tax revenue problem. The only real solution is to reel in entitlements for the public sector workers.
Jarhead February 01, 2013 at 09:56 PM
Earth to Joyce K. If your house is new and my house is 60 years old my tax burden to the town has been paid many times over. Further to that theme, I haven't had kids in the school system for over 15 years. Why should I be " billed on an even keel" when 65% of my tax bill goes to something I get no benefit from? I especially wonder what the statement " how can we budget without knowing how many people will appeal this year" means because we haven't had the reassessment yet??? I still say we should be billed on the township services we use. That was the statement that councilwoman Nancy Pinkin used when the town decided to raise the dog and cat licensing fees. " Let those who use township services pay for them". I totally agree. Those of us that don't use the school system shouldn't have to pay taxes to support it. Thanks, Joyce K. when the dust settles after the reassessment, my taxes will go down and yours will raise to make up the loss. Feel like a winner?
Chris February 02, 2013 at 07:57 AM
Hey John, it's better that the town buys up farmland and open space. Could you imagine if a developer bought up that much space. We'd have hundreds of more town homes that would put a burden on the community. More traffic and crowded schools. I'd rather see open space than be over crowded. The amount of money to upkeep that property is nothing in comparison to what it would cost the town to foot the bill for so many extra people.
John Romano February 02, 2013 at 08:10 AM
.....the property was slated to have 10 homes built ......on 26 acres. Discounting access roads / drives, that's about 2 acres per house. I would guess that the homes would be +3,000 SF each .....and would have +$25,000/ yr tax bills. The town would not be on the hook for post development maintenance ....nor the potential added cost for soil remediation (site has pesticide contamination). The town has zero need to being in the landlord business when they can't properly manage their basic day to day affairs with responsible budgets.
Chris February 03, 2013 at 01:07 AM
I didn't know of the proposed plans for the site. If that's the case then it would have been alright for the development. I did know about the soil there and that the town is gonna pay to fix the problem. I'm originally from Staten Island so when I hear of developable land I immediately think that it's going to be grossly over developed.
John Romano February 03, 2013 at 01:29 AM
.....well Chris, let me introduce myself as someone that was indirectly responsible for the complete over-development of Staten Island. I lived there ...and worked there (site develoment engineering) for several years ...and am acutely aware of the irresponsible development that took place for many years. I know of the insane townhouse development that was thrust upon that island...and the toll it took on the infrastructure. Those developments are the "semi-slums" of today ...and I understand your concern.
Eloise February 03, 2013 at 04:09 PM
Chris and John, there are already many empty +3,000 SF homes along this section of Riva Ave and they aren't selling. There are even more undeveloped lots on those same roads off this section of Riva, because the developers know there's no use building there, because there are no buyers. So, why would you want to have more vacant lots sitting there? The people who bought homes in this community did so with the knowledge of that land being farmland and might prefer to keep it that way.
Christopher February 03, 2013 at 04:29 PM
Houses aren't selling over there because they're all overpriced and most are still stuck in the 80s.
John Romano February 03, 2013 at 07:30 PM
....Eloise ....it's perfectly fine, dandy and I may add ...wondrous, that some people want that land to remain as farmland. However, I don't want it to be farmland that will in any manner, shape, or form, add to MY tax burden..not one penny! And...by the town taking possession of it ...that's exactly what it's become. Will we be told at some opportune juncture that "the town" is going to lease the land in some manner and then reap a positive return on the investment that will offset tax burdens elsewhere? Of course we will ...."the town" always knows what will work and what is best for us ...just look how we all get that warm & fuzzy feeling when the words "Golden Triangle" are uttered.
disgusted resident February 05, 2013 at 07:06 AM
raising our taxes...can't even get recycling calendars..costs township too much to print & send out..WTH. Disgusting.....
Norman March 09, 2013 at 02:34 PM
disgusted resident...you are pissed off because you cannot get a recycling calendar.....are you serious? Here is a solution for you...just stick your head out of a window and look for those blue and yellow containers your neighbors place at the curb and follow the herd.... Better yet here is a link to the monthly calendar...try hitting the "print" key and you will have an instant copy....http://www.eastbrunswick.org/filestorage/202/285/1957/March_2013_Recycling_&_Solid_Waste_Calendar_Revised.pdf

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