HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, NJ - Two resolutions were approved by Hasbrouck Heights Council Tuesday evening, but not without dissent from Councilman Christopher Hillmann.
Resolution 119, which authorized a contract with Associated Appraisal Group, Inc, of Cranford, for a four-year rolling reassessment program throughout the Borough of Hasbrouck Heights effective for the tax years 2021 through 2024.
Borough Administrator Michael Kronyak explained the benefits of a continual reassessment to the Council.
According to Kronyak, it is very important to have a 100% ratio-to-assessed value for tax appeals, particularly in commercial appeals. By having a 100% ratio, the tax rate can be applied directly to the property, resulting in the tax bill. If the ratio is less than 100% a commercial property owner can appeal, saying that "we agree with your valuation, but tax my at the ratio (say 85%) which is a near automatic win for the commercial property owner. And since commercial property appeals tax years to go through the process, the Borough could be in a position to have to pay back several years of taxes."
Additionally, the constant reassessment prevents huge spikes in assessed value, which historically caused homeowners to experience large jumps in the taxes in the past.
Kronyak also explained that the cost, $45,000 per year, is cheaper than the cost of a reassessment being done once every five years, which is estimated to be a one-time cost of $300,000,
The Borough also saves money as there are fewer tax appeals since we have gone to the rolling reassessment.
“As you can see,” Kronyak stated. “I obviously think this is a good idea.”
When put up for vote, the measure passed 5-1, with Hillmann being the lone “no’ vote.
A measure to add Borough Attorney Richard Malagiere, PC to enter an appearance on behalf of the Borough and Mayor Jack DeLorenzo in the matter of Michael Colaneri v The Borough of Hasbrouck Heights BER-L-003820-20122 had to be moved to a closed session at the end of the meeting.
At the end of the meeting, the Council announced that they would meet in private session with the likelihood of taking action when they broke from private session. The following was passed by a 5-1 vote, with Hillmann voting against.
“WHEREAS, the Borough has tendered this Litigation to its insurance carrier who has or will assign attorneys to defend the Borough and Mayor DeLorenzo in the Litigation; and WHEREAS, the Borough has determined that the Borough attorney Richard Malagiere, Esq. should be assigned to enter an appearance in this Litigation in light of Mr. Malagiere’s firm’s considerable experience in these type litigations to participate in the defense and provide the Mayor and Council with information and to provide a conduit to the Borough for the attorneys assignedby the Borough’s insurance carrier.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Hasbrouck Heights, County of Bergen, State of New Jersey, that The Law Offices of Richard Malagiere, PC is authorized to enter an appearance in the Litigation on behalf of the Borough and Mayor DeLorenzo to participate in the defense of the litigation, to provide the Mayor and Council with updates of the Litigation and to act as a conduit between the insurance defense counsel and the Borough;
and it is further RESOLVED that The Law Offices of Richard Malagiere, PC legal fees exclusive of expenses are capped on pre-answer motion practice to 30 hours.
The following items were also passed:
Communications: A letter from the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority that they are applying to build a 119,554 square foot warehouse building and related site improvements in Teterboro.
113. Authorize grant application submission with the NJDOT for the Henry Street Phase II project.
114. Payment of fees to state- State Training Fees
115. Payment of fees to state - Dog License Fees
116. Payment of fees to state - Marriage/Civil Union License Fees
117. Authorize redemption of Tax Sale Certificates
118. Authorize Shared Services Agreement for Snow Plowing with the County of Bergen
120. Authorizing Radio Maintenance Contract
122. Authorizing Tricky Tray Raffle License for Corpus Christi Church
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