PARAMUS, N.J. — The borough has begun a five-year reassessment process of all 9,063 of its properties — a solution officials are hoping will alleviate the town’s current inundation with tax appeals, according to Borough Tax Assessor James Anzevino.
This past summer, the governing body signed a $600,000 contract with Associated Appraisal Group, Inc. to undertake the reassessment. The Cranford-based, full-service real estate valuation firm provides professional appraisal and consulting service to a myriad of establishments from governmental entities to public agencies and corporations boasting “the highest quality, result-driven appraisal services,” according to their official website.
A daily inspection of borough homes, churches, schools, and businesses began three weeks ago, entailing a 15-minute walkthrough evaluating and accounting for basements, kitchens, and bathrooms, among other areas of assessment. To date, at least 900 residential properties in addition to a portion of commercial properties, including tax-exempt, have been inspected and will continue until all are completed by year’s end, Anzevino said. The assessment will continue every year until 2024.
Taxpayers can expect to know the updated market value of their homes in January and will have until May 1 to file an appeal with the Bergen County Board of Taxation if they deem necessary.
According to Anzevino, Paramus’s current year’s assessment-to-sale price ratio — which is calculated by dividing the assessed value of the property by the sale price — is 81%. Under state law, a ratio of 85% or below signifies noncompliance with the true market value standard.
Around the time the inspection started last month, there were a reported 140 tax appeals, most of which were filed from commercial properties with less than 10 coming from residential properties, Anzevino said.
The goal of the assessment, he explained, is two-fold: Lower taxes for residents, and cutting back on refunds to taxpayers and achieving greater success over pending appeals, for the town.
“The borough gets to save on refunds for tax appeals, which will also affect the residential [properties] and the rest of the property owners who didn’t file an appeal,” Anzevino said.
Should taxpayers have any questions about the assessment, they are encouraged to call the appraiser’s office at 908.967.6137 or Anzevino at 201.906.2469.