The new Monmouth County assessment program has been signed into law in New Jersey. The concept is to appraise land on an annual basis to allow municipalities for fewer costs on appeals and more budgeting stability. On the surface, this sounds reasonable. The problem is that the execution has been tainted with increased annual costs and (alleged) nepotism.
We have lived in Freehold Township for 25 years. We own an adjacent lot that is landlocked. It is rough terrain, in a deep ravine, essentially unbuildable. This lot has no access and no utilities. The 2016 tax assessment is a 325 percent increase in value in one day.
All past assessments since 1957 have treated this lot as a low quality, low value lot, which it is.
The prospectors are on task to find those hidden gems of untapped wells of cash; a speculator panning for gold with tax maps via computer.
The assessor responded via email to my initial inquiry stating that the owners have “control” of an easement; therefore his point is that the new projected inflated value is based on improvements that do not now exist. No road frontage, no engineering, no easements, no utility access, planning, zoning or approvals are in place, nor have ever been on the table.
(This is) an appraisal based on future speculation of improvements and approvals. Our position is that the lot should stand on its own merit, as it is. If you buy a rusty unrestored 1968 Chevy Camaro for $4,000, I cannot sell it for $65,000 until it has been restored and money has been invested. Wishing don’t make it so.
It is painful to be stewards of this land, doing the right thing for nearly a quarter of a century and getting pushed out of this state with kaleidoscope eye taxes and valuation opinions, not sales comparison and fact.
The problematic Assessment Demonstration Program is a train wreck. The Monmouth County ADP is layered with extra cost, contracts and (alleged) nepotism. This needs to be reversed. The county should have rolled out a municipal consolidation pilot program for cost savings, not a new tax program. The well is dry.
Joseph and Anne Marie Ferdinando