TRENTON, NJ – Elizabeth is one of three municipalities named by the New Jersey Division of Taxation as being “dramatically out of compliance with Constitutional and statutory provisions requiring fair and uniform property tax assessments.”
The Division of Taxation sent letters to Elizabeth, Jersey City, and Dunellen announcing it will conduct an investigation to determine whether to order a revaluation of properties. According to a statement from the Division, “The municipalities are in the three counties in which tax boards have not required towns to uniformly and fairly assess properties.”
Elizabeth has not updated its assessments in 39 years. Based on an analysis of current data, Elizabeth’s 2015 true value of property exceeds its assessed value by approximately $5.7 billion, resulting in one of the lowest Director’s Ratios (the average ratio of assessed value compared with true value) in the state at 13.4 percent. This means that homes in Elizabeth are assessed at only 13 percent of the true market value for real estate.
“A Director’s Ratio of 85 % or lower generally denotes noncompliance,” said Dennis Shilling, Acting Director of the Division of Taxation, which is part of the Department of the Treasury. “Based on this and other available data, the Division will conduct an investigation and convene public hearings for taxpayers so it can determine whether to order the three municipalities to conduct a revaluation.”
So far, there has been no comment from the city.
These three municipalities are the first of several to be the focus of noncompliance investigations. Westfield, Roselle, and Winfield are also on the list.
Notice of public hearings in those municipalities will follow at a later date.