At some point in January, the Asbury Park Press reported that the citizens of Oceanport in Monmouth County have a big problem. It seems that their Town Council was forced to do a revaluation of the township’s properties during the height of the real estate bubble. The end results? Read below…
Now, Councilman Gerald Briscione is looking into ways to relieve borough property owners. “We did the revaluation at the top of the market, but we were forced to,” said Briscione, noting that the state orders such measures and the county Board of Taxation enforces it.
Briscione said he did an analysis of property sales from November 2008 through the middle of January, and found the overwhelming majority of properties listed for sale were now assessed at 163 percent of market value.
During a time when people are looking for immediate tax relief and “change,” is there a better way to deliver it than at the local level? Coucilman Briscione understands what his constituents have to deal with better than anyone at the national or even state levels of government, so why not undertake immediate change right now? The article went on to talk about how the township is considering holding off on revaluing the properties until this summer to see if the real estate market stabilizes.
This represents a fundamental misunderstanding of what the problem is with the real estate market in the first place! The market was in a bubble because prices were inflated – dramatically inflated. Apparently values were inflated some 63% in Oceanport, but the percentages vary around the nation. Due to this inflation, many people woke up one morning to the harsh reality that the home they live in is NOT worth what they were led to believe. In other words, even if the market stabilizes, the value of these properties is not going to shoot up 63%!
The best path forward in Oceanport is to do the revaluations and put this issue to bed. If that doesn’t happen, then I have to imagine that there will be a flood of tax appeals coming in the near future.