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Assessor: Most Cinnaminson Property Owners Have Taxes Lowered

Not sure why your taxes went up even though your property value went down? Tax assessor Dennis DeKlerk explains.

Approximately 57 percent of Cinnaminson property owners will see their taxes lowered as a result of reassessment, according to the township tax assessor. Credit: Patch file photo
Approximately 57 percent of Cinnaminson property owners will see their taxes lowered as a result of reassessment, according to the township tax assessor. Credit: Patch file photo
Nearly 70 percent of Cinnaminson property owners will see their taxes decrease or only slightly increase following the recent reassessment, according to tax assessor Dennis DeKlerk.

A number of property owners have come forward with questions since the new values went out in the mail last week, and DeKlerk shed some light on the numbers—and the numbers behind the numbers—at Monday's township committee meeting. 

According to DeKlerk, the ratable base of the township—which now stands at roughly $1.5 billion—shrunk by 18 percent since the last revaluation in 2007. Since the township (and school district and county) still has to collect the same amount in taxes to provide services, the tax rate had to go up.

Here's what that means for you: If the value of your property dropped by 18 percent, your taxes likely won't change very much. If the value dropped by less than 18 percent, you'll see an increase.

The majority of property owners—57 percent—will have their taxes lowered as a result of reassessment, DeKlerk said, while 11.8 percent will only pay between $0-200 more.

The remaining properties are broken down as follows:
  • 738 properties (11.6 percent) will increase $201-500
  • 527 properties (8.3 percent) will increase $501-1,000
  • 704 properties (11 percent) will increase $1,000+
DeKlerk attempted to soften the blow somewhat by explaining the estimated 3.12 tax rate included in last week's letters assumes a full 2 percent increase in the aggregated municipal, school and county tax levy. However, he said, the trend over the last few years indicates a smaller increase is in store.

The levy in 2010-11 decreased .12 percent from 2009-10, the 2011-12 levy was a 1 percent increase, and the 2012-13 levy only went up by .04 percent, DeKlerk explained.

"So even though that’s not a daunting amount of relief for some people, it certainly does suggest the lowering of the estimates in some of the letters," he said.

Taxes aside, Mayor Anthony Minniti told DeKlerk a number of residents have also expressed concern over the decreased value of their properties. Among them is Deputy Mayor John McCarthy, who—though happy his taxes dropped $150—expressed some dismay that his property value had shrunk by 20 percent.

While the drop in values is obviously primarily attributable to the downturn in the economy and the overall shrinking of the market, DeKlerk explained that there's a strategy involved as well. 

"There is concern among some real estate professionals that New Jersey is in store for another downturn," he said. "So part of the thinking is if you set your baseline for assessments just a few points below the actual market, it will protect the ratable base from this type of fluctuation (in the future)."

The average home value in Cinnaminson dropped by $50,000 as a result of reassessment—from $282,600 in 2013, to $232,600 today.

The new taxes will be split between the August and November tax bills, with no change to the first and second quarter bills, DeKlerk said.

Property owners with questions about their new assessment have until Jan. 20 to set up an appointment for an informal review with Professional Property Appraisers. Following that, the formal appeal period begins—tentatively—on Feb. 25 and lasts until May 1.
Kathy Johnston January 16, 2014 at 07:57 PM
Well, unfortunately all...we can fight the taxes but we will not win. e.g. when the town wanted to get rid of the dispatchers and go to central. Central 911 costs our town more than having our own dispatchers. There were hundreds of Cinnaminson residents at the High School. The Township Committee had their minds already made up before the meeting ever started. The key here which many may not want to hear is...the same people are re-elected year after year after year in this town, so changes will never happen until these people are voted out. New people bring new thoughts and ideas. Let's not forget the "Sewer Department Incident". The Mayor and Committee claim they knew nothing but they approve the budget so they knew. Let's not forget the hundreds of thousands of dollars paid for another park (the land off of Route 73 Next to Winner's Farm on Fork Landing Road). How many parks does Cinnaminson need??? Right now that land sits empty after they cleared it. Well guess what we have to pay for it so that's why our taxes go up. My only suggestion to all is that when I spoke to the assistant to the tax assessor currently the form we all got has our taxes ESTIMATED for 2014 going up slightly more than 2%. Therefore since NJ law says it can only go up 2% your taxes and mine should be slightly less than what they say on that form. So keep that in mind. And unfortunately like many of us we are unable to move especially since the value of our homes have significantly decreased and after putting a lot of money into our home we will take a huge loss. It's a sad situation going on all over NJ.
Robert Sexton January 16, 2014 at 08:15 PM
I would love to run for Mayor or council, if I got in I would def not let this BS happen that's for sure.
Kathy Johnston January 16, 2014 at 10:42 PM
I agree!!!
John January 17, 2014 at 10:41 AM
I wonder what the old gas station slabs are going for now...Its apparent that since the buildings are gone whats the new tax rate for concret...And not to mention the Old Triboro site which is half in Cinnaminson and Delran who's doing what there????
Kathy Johnston January 17, 2014 at 03:34 PM
Let me make a correction on my previous post. Cinnaminson received a Green Acres Grant for the property located at Route 73 and Fork Landing Road. However tax payers still have to pay for maintenance of our parks.
Hugh J. Hall January 17, 2014 at 09:08 PM
Oh my Gad. Same people complaining about the same crap IN EVERY thread on Patch. Go away if you don't like it here! Shut up you whining complainers! Cinniminson is tired of this over and over and over and over.. Go move to some other area and go complain about your taxes there instead! PLEASE! LEAVE!
Kathy Johnston January 17, 2014 at 10:15 PM
Gosh some people are so nasty. What ever happened to be kind to your neighbors?
Barb Rivera January 18, 2014 at 01:32 AM
He must be one of the "so called" 57% that had their taxes reduced!
Deborah Stevens Buckwald January 18, 2014 at 06:39 AM
The only way you make change is to attend meetings and make your voice heard. You will not win in everything but you still try. The last meeting I attended, maybe 5 other people were there. if you don't go then what is the use in complaining if you are not doing anything about it, makes no sense.
Hugh J. Hall January 18, 2014 at 08:02 AM
Like Brian says, you don't like it so leave.. You will be happier maybe in.. say... Pennsauken, Camden or over in Philly where you taxes are nice and low..
Joe Mikus January 18, 2014 at 08:38 AM
Off topic but had a post requiring a reply. Affordable insurance does not translate to affordable health care. Misnomer , should have been affordable insurance act. Even in Cinn. ,a 70\30 would bankrupt some residents.
Joe Mikus January 18, 2014 at 09:11 AM
One can always appeal their reassessment , unfortunately does require time. The appeal hearings are reasonably fair. Just make sure you have documented\relative facts and follow the guide lines to the "T" A $500 decrease is surely , for most people, worth a couple hours of one's time. The housing disaster has "birthed" many problems. The 330,000 house now worth 260,000 , the 100,000 now worth 250,000. Many variables in both but with the re assessment , approaches "fair"
Joe Mikus January 18, 2014 at 09:19 AM
"Since the township (and school district and county) still has to collect the same amount in taxes to provide services, the tax rate had to go up" Had to go up? The only thing you have to do in life is die, everything else is subject to negotiation.
Barb Rivera January 18, 2014 at 12:56 PM
I have attended almost every monthly meeting for the past year.. Their decisions have been made prior to the meetings. Like I said I just appealed my taxes last year & new amount was agreed to in August. Now a few months later I have to repeat the process. Dont think the assessing company had the proper info prior to reassessing.
Sarah January 18, 2014 at 02:17 PM
No complaints here. My taxes went down.
noyb January 18, 2014 at 02:31 PM
Well I must be one of the few. The new assess value with the estimated rate will lower my tax by about $200. But I am also getting a refund from last year cause because I was one of the appeals. It was an easy win. My new tax burden is lower than the pre-appeal amount I paid but obviously much higher than the post appeal. Unfortunately the values here in cinnaminson have dropped drastically and that's bad for all of us. Suck it up people it's a redistribution of tax burden. If you are going way up then you have been getting away cheap for years you are lucky but it's over. Fight it if you like. Most people will be within couple hundred of their old tax burden. It's 10 to 20 a month for MOST people who went up and IMO that's not bad.
Elisa Rooney January 18, 2014 at 03:12 PM
Come on folks! The town has to make up for the money that Christies' policies have taken away from us. He keeps saying he has reduced our taxes, but it's a shill game. He completely destroyed the school district's budget then says he has given more to education then any governor in history. His policies are forcing local communities to tax their citizens more. Let's put the blame where it needs to be put, Governor Christie's policies!
Hugh J. Hall January 18, 2014 at 07:21 PM
my taxes went down too. Love it.. Pundit(what IS a pundit?) all you ever do is complain, complain and, guess what? complain! Don't like it here, then leave! Your insistent complaining is not going to lower anyone taxes and honestly I don't want them to lower. It keeps out the rift raft.
Barb Rivera January 18, 2014 at 10:34 PM
NOYB you are only saying suck it up because it worked in your favor. Hugh you aren't worth a response.
noyb January 19, 2014 at 08:59 AM
I'm saying suck it up because you have to pay taxes. It you thing your getting the shaft then by al means fight it. It's your right to do so and I would do the same. What I am saying is that most people will see a $10-$20 a month change. Some will go up some will go down. If you are one of the few going up by $500+ then you most likely have been paying waaaaay too little for years. I encourage you to fight it. This system isn't perfect and no doubt there will be a mistake or 2. For the average home owner here a $20 a month hike isn't going to put you into foreclosure. If it will them your problems are most likely far beyond the property tax bill you are getting.
noyb January 19, 2014 at 09:03 AM
I'm not headed to the fight club over $20 a month. Yeah my share of the pie is going down a bit but it's not worth my time if it went up. I'll pick up a Saturday of ot somewhere this year and that will more than cover the increase. Fortunately I don't have to.
noyb January 19, 2014 at 11:08 AM
I did feel my taxes were too high. So I filed an appeal. As I said I don't have a problem. I didn't come here to complain I fought it and won. I did what I am suggesting that you do. I'm not fighting a lower tax bill. I feel they got my assessment right. If my tax went up by 500 I probably would fight it. $200 increase isn't worth the aggravation IMO. You may feel differently it's your tax bill if you think they got your share wrong then fight it. You have until tomorrow to call the company who did the assement and make an appointment to discuss it.
John January 19, 2014 at 11:24 AM
Well, lets see now, the company did a drive bye and did not go into the house so what is there basis of taxation good looks its sure not market value....I have a house next to me that has been vacant for 7 years and did it effect my value, I bet it did so All this stuff is secondary....We have to many vacant houses now where people can gain access and destroy them....Last week there was a pump pumping out water and it did not look good....And do not tell me its b/c of the schools...Good Luck people
Brian N January 19, 2014 at 02:01 PM
John, what would you like the township to do about the vacant homes. You bring this up often so I am curious. They are owned by the banks or owners that walked, so what would you like the township to do. I'm just asking an honest question here.
Barb Rivera January 19, 2014 at 03:23 PM
I fought it and won to! To the sum of over a $2000 refund just to have to fight for it again 5 months later is pure Stupidity! Waste of my time & taxpayers $$ to pay the assessor & the assessing company to sit through a meeting.
Hugh J. Hall January 19, 2014 at 03:50 PM
wrong pundit. I can afford a tax increase.. No big deal. Like I said, I don't want the taxes to drop. Ya get quality when you pay quality. .. I'm serious.
noyb January 19, 2014 at 05:33 PM
It's not an appraisal. They don't new to go in the house. Only time they were going into a house is if the foot print changed since the las assement. The vacant house next to you should not affect your assessed value. Does it affect your market value in the real world? Absolutely. It's a shame there are more that we need here in cinnaminson
John January 19, 2014 at 06:36 PM
Well if they can charge U for not cutting the grass and public works can charge U for putting branches and leafs out before the pick up time, the town should be able to charge the banks for there property to be vacant or do something about it...After all they got rid of gas stations and left slabs there, plant some trees etc, get my drift,,,,,
noyb January 20, 2014 at 06:08 AM
Agreed john. Sometimes it does seem one sided. A bank owned property is still supposed to be maintained. The bank is supposed to still cut the grass and take the leaves and shovel the sidewalk. We all know that doesn't happen but they are responsible for the property. They are also responsible for the taxes.
Hugh J. Hall January 20, 2014 at 07:33 AM
You are not getting it are you pundit? I'm saying by keeping taxes a bit higher we won't ever turn into a Pennsauken or the like.. Do you think high taxes of Haddonfield has the same effect? Of course it does..

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