FANWOOD, NJ -- Responding to confusion and outcry after residents received their estimated 3Q and 4Q tax bills in the mail, Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr hosted a special online Town Hall Meeting to discuss what the estimated bill means, how revised property assessments impact the estimated bill, and
how property owners can file tax appeals.

"People have been asking why we are trying to tax you out of Fanwood. Nothing could be further from the truth," Mayor Mahr said during the presentation. "This is why we are having a Town Hall meeting."

"I understand the confusion, anger, frustration, that many of you have as a result of receiving what you normally do not get: a stand-alone estimated tax bill," Mayor Mahr said. "Last week, an estimated third quarter tax bill hit your mail boxes.  It is the first one that you will receive that reflects the new assessment based on the revaluation that was done of 2019."

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"As a result of having a number they did not understand. Many people took the number, multiplied it by four and fell down and were very upset," added Mayor Mahr, who took questions from residents via Zoom and Facebook when the presentation was done. 

"Since these bills arrived at your door, we have understandably been inundated with calls from alarmed residents.  I think we were able to calm the fears of many, clarify the confusion for many, and unfortunately, acknowledge the pain felt by those residents who were hit with a property tax increase," Mayor Mahr said. "Although it was a hard discussion, we are all better off with a full understanding of the facts relating to our taxation."

"It is also important for those hurt by the reassessment to consider filing a tax appeal," Mayor Mahr added. "While I cannot guarantee success, it is the only route remaining for those of you who believe that your assessed value is too high."

Fanwood residents who feel that their home value has been incorrectly assessed must file an appeal by the July 1 deadline. This process begins with Union County, with application forms and instructions found at https://ucnj.org/taxation-board/tax-appeal-forms-and-guidelines. Anyone with questions or in need assistance with making the filing, may reach out to Fanwood Tax Assessor Michael Ross at mross@fanwoodnj.org or call (908) 322-8236 x131.

If you missed the presentation and want to watch the video, visit the Fanwood Facebook page, where the video is available 24–7. It will also air on Comcast ch. 35 and Verizon FiOS ch. 24 several times a day until July 1. 2020.