Monday, April 4, 2016

State Orders Jersey City Reval

The State Department of the Treasury has announced that it will order Jersey City, Elizabeth, and Dunellen to conduct revals to be completed by November 2017.

Jersey City's property taxes are the state's most unfair.  Whereas most towns have Coefficients of Deviation below 15% and only 27 even have Coefficients of Deviation above 20%, Jersey City's is an ever-climbing 39%.  This effectively means that some Jersey City taxpayers in ungentrified sections of Jersey City are paying triple what they should pay whereas Jersey City taxpayers who live in gentrfied sections are paying a third.

Although Dunellen and Elizabeth have also gone decades without doing revals, their Coefficients of Deviation are not even close to Jersey City's and while their assessments are out of date, they are much less unfair.

"In the Marines we had a saying 'Never Reapportion
Property Taxes, Never Redistribute State Aid.'"
Steve Fulop's years-long opposition to a reval shows an indifference to fair taxation and basic good government.  His attack on a reval as motivated "purely by hatred of me" is delusional and is just a cover of the real reason, ie, he doesn't want gentrified parts of Jersey City to pay their fair share.

Now Jersey City's FY2018 will be CHAOS as taxpayers experience immense swings in property assessment, taxation, and even the value of their homes.  The changes in property value themselves will inspire thousands of tax appeals from people whose houses now have higher tax burdens.

Since Jersey City's last reval was in 1988, chaos was inevitable, but by delaying the reval for four years as mayor, Steve Fulop has made it worse.

Woe to fair aid and New Jersey's underaided districts if Fulop were to become governor and employ the same logic he used to to block redistributing state aid.

Update:   Steve Fulop said on his Facebook page that the state's attempt to make Jersey City tax itself fairly is bullying:

As a city, we aren't going to let a bully pick on Jersey City without calling him out. We will do the reval when the same rules apply to the other 30 municipalities in the state. We will do the reval fairly and properly in order to protect residents, but not in a format dictated by Governor Christie's politics. 
We didn't create this problem but the Governor has a long track record of using government resources to push around political opponents and we will call it out when we see it.

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