Manchester – The Manchester Reassessment has been completed by the Tax Assessor’s Office. The Ocean County Board of Taxation ordered the Township to conduct a reassessment. This happens when the Township’s assessed values fall below 85% of market value. The County granted an extension, which changed the completion date to 2009. The real estate market has gone through significant changes since the start of the reassessment. This additional year allowed the Assessor’s office to continue to review sales that have been impacted by the changes in the overall market.
Reassessment is the process of appraising all real estate in a municipality according to its full market value, to ensure that each property owner pays their fair share of taxes. The process is revenue neutral, meaning the purpose is not to raise property taxes. The purpose of the reassessment is to bring the assessed value of all properties within the Township to 100% of market value and to ensure that the property tax assessments are fair and equitable. The last reassessment in the township was in 1997.
The inspections of the more than 15,500 homes and commercial properties have been completed. All properties are physically inspected and outside building dimensions are noted, to help insure the same standard of value. Recent sales in the market place, construction costs, and income & expense data for commercial properties were analyzed as part of the valuation process.
The mailing of the notices of the new assessed values for each property started November 5, 2008. The notices will also include the property owner’s projected taxes for 2009. Due to the large number of properties the notices are were mailed over a two month period. All property owners will receive their notice by the middle of January. Residents were given the opportunity to arrange for an informal review of the new assessments. A property owner planning to attend the review should be prepared to support any disagreement regarding the appraised value. For example, recent sales of similar or comparable properties are an indication of value. A recent purchase price of the property may also help to support a view as to value. The impact of the new assessments will not affect the property owner’s tax bill until July of 2009. The new tax rate for the 2009 tax year will be substantially reduced. That rate cannot be finalized until the new assessments are filed with the Ocean County Board of Taxation and operating budgets for schools, county and local government is fixed. Budgets are not completed until several months after filing the tax list. You should not apply the 2008 tax rate to your new assessment. The projected tax rate has dropped from $3.156 per $100 of assessed value to $1.716 per $100 of assessed value. One third of property owners are expected to see an increase in their property taxes, one third will stay approximately the same, and one third will see a decrease in property taxes.
The Township of Manchester would like to take this opportunity to thank the property owners of Manchester Township who provided their assistance and cooperation during the Reassessment process. If any resident should have a question or concern related to the reassessment, they should contact the Tax Assessor’s office at 732-657-8121.
NOTICES OF NEW PROPERTY TAX ASSESSMENTS
Due to the large number of properties in Manchester we will be mailing the new assessment notice in five separate mailings. The following is a description of what areas were mailed and on what dates.
FIRST MAILING ON NOVEMBER 5, 2008 – This mailing will include the following areas of the Township:
- All Commercial Properties
- Holly Oaks
- Leisure Village West
- Oak Knoll
- Richard Estates
- Ridgeway Areas
- Summit Park
SECOND MAILING ON NOVEMBER 18, 2008 – This mailing will include the following areas of the Township:
- Leisure Knoll
- Leisure Ridge
THIRD MAILING ON DECEMBER 1, 2008 – This mailing will include the following areas of the Township:
- Commonwealth Woods
- Pine Lake Park
- Savannah Acres
FOURTH MAILING ON DECEMBER 15, 2008 – This mailing will include the following areas of the Township:
- Country Walk
- Crestwood Village 5
- Crestwood Village 6
- Crestwood Village 7
- Meadows at Lake Ridge
- Reserve of Lake Ridge
- River Pointe
- Whiting Station
FIFTH MAILING ON JANUARY 5, 2009 – This mailing will include the following areas of the Township:
- All non-senior areas of Whiting
- Fox Hollow
- Roosevelt City
- Timber Green
THE REASSESSMENT OF OUR COMMUNITY
Questions That Are Often Asked When
A Municipality Is Undertaking A Reassessment
WHAT IS A REASSESSMENT?
A reassessment is a program undertaken by a municipality to appraise all real property inside its borders according to its “full and fair value.” A revaluation and a reassessment are synonymous, the difference between them is that a reassessment is completed by the municipal Tax Assessor and a revaluation is completed by an outside firm.
The goal of a reassessment program is to spread the tax burden equitably throughout a municipality. Real property must be assessed at the same value standard to ensure that every property owner is paying his or her fair share of the property tax. For example, two properties having essentially the same market value should be paying essentially the same amount in property taxes.
WHAT IS MEANT BY “FULL AND FAIR VALUE?”
“Full and fair value” is the price at which the municipal assessor believes a property would sell for at a fair and bona fide sale by a private contract on October 1 of the pretax year. The sale must be between a willing buyer and a willing seller where the buyer is not obligated to buy and the seller is not obligated to sell. New Jersey courts have held “full and fair value”, “true value” and “market value” to be the same.
WHY REASSESS NOW?
Reassessment may be needed when properties in a taxing district are being assessed substantially below or above true market value. The Ocean County Board of Taxation ordered the township to conduct a revaluation in January of 2005 to be completed by tax year 2009. The last reassessment in the township was in 1997. According to New Jersey Division of Taxation records, the average township property is assessed at only 60.73% of its market value.
WHO WILL CONDUCT THE REASSESSMENT?
The reassessment will be completed by the municipal assessor’s office. Two additional property inspectors have been hired to assist in the inspection of Manchester’s 15,000 homes. The inspections will be completed between October 1, 2005 and October 1, 2007.
WHAT OCCURS DURING THE REASSESSMENT PROCESS?
During a reassessment, both the interiors and exteriors of each property are physically inspected and building dimensions are noted. The exterior of the property may also be photographed by the inspector.
In addition, recent sales of comparable properties are analyzed and may be adjusted to estimate the value of property that has not been sold. Property, typically purchased for investment purposes, is studied in terms of its income-producing capability.
The Real Property Appraisal Manual for New Jersey Assessors, prepared by the New Jersey Division of Taxation, is used in estimating replacement cost values, especially for residential properties.
All information believed to influence value will be gathered, reviewed and analyzed in order to make a proper determination of each property’s full and fair value.
A word of caution: Each property inspector should have a photo identification visibly displayed. It should show the name of the municipality as well as the individual’s name. The inspector should provide a Letter of Introduction on municipal letterhead that contains a telephone number for questions or concerns. Ask to see the credentials of anyone seeking to enter your home and do not admit anyone who cannot produce this identification.
WHAT IS EXPECTED OF PROPERTY OWNERS?
Equitable reassessment depends on the cooperation of property owners.
Interior inspections, especially, require that residents cooperate with the property inspectors.
The validity of a market value depends on the collection of accurate data.
Property owners have a stake in the outcome of the reassessment program.
Any assistance a taxpayer can provide will aid in the total data collection process. If there is information you believe should be considered in the valuation, tell the inspector. Better yet, write it down and give the inspector a copy. We will make every effort to cause property owners the least possible inconvenience.
Remember, the property inspectors are not necessarily responsible for developing the market value estimate. Their job is usually to collect pertinent information to be used later to develop the property’s value.
WHAT WILL INSPECTORS LOOK FOR?
Inspectors will record such items as the type of interior wall construction, the number of bathrooms, type of heat, central air conditioning, size, and the percentage of finished attic and/or basement areas, in ground pools and number of fireplaces. The exterior inspection includes measurements of each structure, such as garages or other accessory buildings, determination of story height, roof structure, and type of foundation and exterior wall construction. The physical condition of the structure is noted to establish depreciation factors. All factors relative to market value are considered.
Examples of what would not be noted would be interior decorations, fences, window air conditioners, gas grills, and lawn furniture.
WHAT IF I’M NOT HOME?
If you’re not home on the inspector’s first visit, a notice will be left asking you to call for an appointment. If you don’t call for an appointment, a second visit to your property will take place within a few weeks of the initial visit. If the representative is unable to inspect your home or if you refuse entry, the interior information will be estimated. This may cause you home’s valuation to be at the highest level for your property type.
WILL MY TAXES GO UP?
Depending on the value of your property and relative tax levies, your taxes may increase, decrease or remain stable. Although a reassessment usually results in a change of nearly every individual assessment, it does not mean that all property taxes will increase. Assessments are the base used to apportion the tax burden. The tax burden is the amount that your municipality must raise for the operation of county and local government and the support of the school system.
A reassessment does not necessarily mean an increase in taxes for every homeowner. The tax rate will go down significantly in 2009 to compensate for the increase in the assessed values. Since not all properties have appreciated in value at the same rate, some tax bills will go up, some will stay the same and others will go down.
WHAT IS A TAX RATE?
The tax rate is determined by dividing the tax levy (annual amount to be raised through taxation by the county government, schools and the municipality) by the total assessed value within the municipality.
HOW ARE TAXES CALCULATED?
(Assessed value ÷ 100) x Tax Rate = Amount of Taxes
WILL TAXPAYERS BE INFORMED OF THEIR PROPOSED ASSESSMENT?
The notice of the new assessed values for each property will be mailed in the fall of 2008. The impact of the new assessments will not affect the property owner’s tax bill until the 2009 tax year.
WHAT IF A TAXPAYER IS DISSATISFIED WITH THE PROPOSED ASSESSMENT?
A notice with the new assessed value will explain how to arrange for a personal informal hearing with a representative from the tax assessor’s office to review the proposed assessment. Taxpayers attending the review should be prepared to support any disagreement regarding the appraised value of their property. For example, recent sales of similar or comparable properties are an indication of value. A recent purchase of the property may also help to support a view as to value. Also, the cost of recently constructed comparable buildings could support a belief of fair market value.
WHAT CAN A TAXPAYER DO IF HE IS UNSUCCESSFUL IN HAVING THE VALUATION OF HIS PROPERTY REVISED AT THE INFORMAL HEARING?
If the valuation dispute is not resolved prior to the filing and certification of the tax list on January 10, a formal appeal may be filed with the Ocean County Board of Taxation on or before April 1 of the tax year. The county board of taxation may be reached at:
Ocean County Board of Taxation
118 Washington Street
PO Box 2191
Toms River, New Jersey 08754-2191
Voice – 732.929.2008
Fax – 732.506.5197