CORRECTION: A previous version of this story erroneously reported that the tax rate would not be impacted by reassessment. The tax rate will change as a result of the reassessment. However, the amount of revenue raised by the township will not. Patch apologizes for the error.
The value of Cinnaminson’s ratables has dropped by roughly $200 million to $300 million over the last five years, according to preliminary results of the township’s latest reassessment.
Tax assessor Dennis DeKlerk said the field work by Professional Property Appraisers (PPA) is about “99 percent complete,” and professionals have just begun to crunch the preliminary numbers.
According to DeKlerk, the results of the reassessment show a 12 to 15 percent drop in the township’s ratable base since the last revaluation in 2007—right before the market crashed. The ratable base stood at $1.9 billion at the beginning of the year, so a decrease in value of that magnitude would be roughly between $230,000,000 to $290,000,000. He said those numbers were reflective of countywide trends.
However, DeKlerk said those figures are subject to change.
You’ll have to wait until early December to find out how the changes impact your tax bill however. DeKlerk said PPA, which is based in Delran, will be mailing out letters to property owners the first week of December that include the proposed new assessment, the estimated taxes, and a schedule of when and where those with questions can meet with PPA representatives.
The new taxes will take effect in the second half of 2014, with any increase or decrease being split between the third and fourth quarter tax bills, DeKlerk said.
It’s possible many property owners didn’t even notice the reassessment was taking place. In most cases, PPA field workers didn’t perform interior inspections, unless the property had changed since the 2007 revaluation, or hadn’t been entered at that time.
Township committee OKed a reassessment earlier this year, primarily in response to significant lost revenues over the last few years due to tax appeals. According to DeKlerk, the township lost more than $1.6 million in tax revenue through appeals from 2010 to 2012, and Mayor Ben Young said the losses have come to about $630,000 in 2013.
“That’s one of the driving needs of reassessment,” said Young.
If the 12 to 15 percent decline projected thus far holds, Young said those numbers are better than the 20 percent drop he'd anticipated based on appeal results.
Despite the drop in ratables, DeKlerk stressed that reassessment will not impact the amount of revenue raised by the township. There will be a reslicing of the pie, so to speak, meaning some will pay more in taxes and some will pay less.
“The burden is not being fairly distributed,” explained Young. “People who appealed will get clipped. People that didn’t appeal will get a break.”Of course, property owners will have the opportunity to appeal their new assessments. DeKlerk said the window for appeal has been extended for Cinnaminson property owners—Feb. 1 to May 1—due to the reassessment.