Would Produce Cost Savings and Eliminate Tax Shock for Homeowners
Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) has introduced legislation which would require counties and municipalities to transition to a fair, cost-effective, and technology-based property assessment system, which would reduce volatility in property tax assessments and prevent tax shock for homeowners.
Sen. Declan O’Scanlon’s legislation would require counties and municipalities to transition to a fair, cost-effective, and technology-based property assessment system. (SenateNJ.com)
“Four years ago, Monmouth County implemented the Real Assessment Demonstration Program,” said O’Scanlon. “We learned a number of lessons along the way in our effort to achieve a fairer and more accurate system to assess properties. I’ve taken those lessons into account and incorporated what works into this new legislation.”
S-2029 would require assessors to perform annual reassessments on 100 percent of properties, maintaining assessments at current market value. Currently, many municipalities do not perform regular in-house reassessments, leading to large numbers of properties being over- or under-valued, resulting in major discrepancies in the assessments of similar homes and the unfair distribution of the annual tax levy.
“The bottom line is that the system that we have currently instituted in Monmouth County is the result of the best practices existing in 49 other states, said O’Scanlon. “This is the least expensive way to assess valuations and the most consistent way to ensure that taxpayers are treated fairly relative to their neighbors. It costs the State an estimated $175 million every ten years when we do revaluations, in addition to the millions in budgetary shortfalls from residents appealing inaccurate assessments.”
Implementation of the Technology-Based Real Property Assessment Transition Act would take place over a 10-year period, with all municipalities required to have assessments at true value no later than 10 years after the bill’s implementation. Municipalities would be provided computer assisted mass appraisal software if necessary to assist them in implementation.
“With this initiative, we can eliminate the massive cost for towns to complete wholesale reassessments every 10 years,” added O’Scanlon. “This will also protect homeowners from the tax shock that many currently receive when their home is reassessed for the first time in a decade or more. Nobody should risk losing their home because their tax bill changed massively to account for years of accumulated value discrepancies.”