Dear Fanwood Homeowners:

It is appalling that in the middle of major health and economic pandemic, the Borough of Fanwood and Mayor Colleen Mahr would push through the largest property tax increase of our time.  Under the guise of a township-wide revaluation, the majority of Fanwood homeowners will now have to pay an additional 25% or more in property taxes.  Yet, our jobs and savings have been severely negatively impacted by the COVID government shutdown.

New Jersey is the highest property tax state in the nation.  Even without the revaluation, our home values and taxes were high based on other counties and states.  If the town was required to conduct a revaluation program (and failed to do so over the last 30 years), they could have done that and left current property tax burden in tact.  The greediness of squeezing every last dime from Fanwood homeowners, especially at time when most of us are not able to earn our full potential incomes or have been laid off, is beyond tone-deaf leadership.  It is also likely we will enter a second wave of COVID this fall which will cut even deeper into our earnings and savings.

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Mayor Mahr has said “the timing is unfortunate.”  Make that seriously unfortunate, harmful and demoralizing. You just need to walk by the Fanwood Train Station on any work day and see few cars when there once an overflow. 

How can Mayor Mahr justify this economic blow to the good citizens of Fanwood?  Why not hold off their money-grabbing tax increases until our economy and jobs stabilize? Why does the political leadership in Fanwood want to drive us out of our beloved homes?  We cannot afford these increases, especially in a recession with high unemployment.  

The homeowners of Fanwood cannot be the township’s personal ATM machine.  We have our own mortgages and expenses to pay. Also, putting us over the $10,000 property tax threshold will make it impossible to create a diverse community with affordable housing options.

Finally, why are Mayor Mahr’s quarterly taxes going down $1,000 a quarter when the great majority of Fanwood homes are going up?  See chart here https://wipp.edmundsassoc.com/Wipp/?wippid=2005#taxPage1491.

Since 2006, Fanwood property taxes have nearly doubled.  Our home property taxes were $7,100 when we moved to Helen Street in September 2006.  Now they are $10,300. With the revaluation program, we will be over $13,000.  In 15 years, our property taxes have doubled?  That is not the rate of inflation or consumer price index. That an unchecked, reckless government and school board.  We used to say “Home is where the heart is.”  Well, now “Home is where the hurt is.” 

If you disagree with your new assessed value, I urge you to submit an appeal to Union County.  The Appeal Deadline is July 1, 2020 up until midnight or must be received by their office by no later than 4 pm.  Appeals postmarked on or before July 1 but not received until after July 1 will be rejected. 

To begin the appeal process, visit https://ucnj.org/taxation-board/  and select “File A Tax Appeal Online.”  Send a message to Mayor Mahr that we are sick and tired of paying high property taxes and to find other ways to raise money via spending sacrifices and shared services.  

Don’t let the Borough of Fanwood take anymore of your hard earned money.  It belongs to you, your children and your future, not their pockets.

Fight for your beloved home. Say no to higher property taxes. Appeal your revaluation by July 1st.  Call Mayor Colleen Mahr at 908-322-8236, ext. 124 or mayor@fanwoodnj.org and tell her to stop raising taxes and start finding savings in her bloated budget.

"The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin." Mark Twain

Carolyn Brink
Fanwood, NJ 

Editor's Note: For every dollar of taxes paid by Fanwood residents, 60% goes to the SPFK12 school district, while the remaining 40% is split roughly evenly by Union County and the Borough of Fanwood. There will be an online Town Hall Meeting on Property Taxes on Thursday, June 25 at 7:00 p.m.

Related Fanwood Tax Stories

Fanwood Cuts $100K in Costs But Residents Will See a Small Increase (June 19, 2020)
Fanwood Property Revaluation Update (September 18, 2019)
Fanwood Revaluation Process Explained at Town Meeting (April 5, 2019)
Fanwood Budget Introduced at Council Meeting Includes Reduction in Municipal Tax Payments (April 18, 2019)
Fanwood Council Proposes Budget with $6.1 Million Tax Levy (May 28, 2018)