ROXBURY, NJ – The market value of all property in Roxbury will soon be scrutinized as the township embarks on its first tax revaluation in more than a decade.
Township officials will soon send out requests for proposals (RFPs) seeking firms to conduct the revaluation. They hope the study can begin later this year and continue through some of 2017, with the revised values being valid for 2018..
The market value of property changes over the years and a tax revaluation is an effort to bring up to date the tax assessments of homes, businesses and land. A good explanation, published by the state, can be found here.
“The last revaluation was in 2000 and it went very well,” said Roxbury Tax Assessor Joseph McKeon at last week’s meeting of the mayor and council. “We were able to go to 2012 before the county tax board asked for a revaluation.”
He said the revaluation was postponed for various reasons, but now a “firm date” of 2018 has been set as a deadline to have the new information in place. McKeon said starting early will be vital in ensuring a smooth process.
“We want to have real good data to give everybody a fair reassessment or revaluation of their property,” he said. “We can have the work start in the field as soon as the end of this year and into next year. They can stop if need be because of weather conditions. There will be ample time to do the inspections and follow-ups if people aren’t home, and it won’t be in any way hurried.”
McKeon said the process usually takes about six months.
Mayor Jim Rilee said the last revaluation was “rather smooth,” at least compared to those that took place in some other towns. “We saw a lot of issues with other municipalities,” he said. “I think it was because this council and administration was very involved because we recognize the importance of this and how it can affect every property within the township.”
He said it is important to keep residents informed. “We need to make sure our public is comfortable with what’s happening,” said Rilee.
Township attorney Anthony Bucco said it’s also vital to remind people that the revaluation is required by law. “This is not something the township just elects to do,” he said. “This is something we have to do. The town has no choice.”
Roxbury Councilman Fred Hall recalled that the last revaluation took place right after he was first elected. “It was my first year on the council and all of a sudden there was a revaluation,” he said. “It was a very humbling experience. I agree with the mayor. A lot of things were done right."
Roxbury Councilman Bob DeFillippo agreed that there should be “no surprises” if possible. “I think we all understand there’s a lot of anxiety on the part of the public,” he said, adding that it is imperative the township “communicate, communicate, communicate” with taxpayers before and during the revaluation.