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Invasion of Privacy?
While some Montclairians may not be open to the prospect of increased taxes as a result of the upcoming revaluation of their homes and businesses, they will have to open their doors and let inspectors in.
From the Montclair Times:
Appraisal Systems representative Rick Del Guerico noted every taxable property in Montclair must be inspected inside and out. "People need to know how to make appointments for the property to be assessed if they are not there,” Del Guerico said. “The assessors will need to know how to gain entry to every home and every commercial establishment.
And those inspectors will be looking closely at what’s inside: From an ASI brochure sent out by the Township this week:
It’s important to point out that the valuation of your home will be based on the total living area in terms of square footage rather than a room by room count, although the inspector will list the total number of rooms for descriptive purposes only. Aside from the living area, other features which will affect the valuation of your home include: remodeled bathrooms and kitchens, finished basements, central air conditioning, decks and patios, pools, garages and the overall condition of the home.
In a letter from the Township sent with the brochure, home and business owners are warned not to let anyone into their property without a photo ID authorized by the Chief of Police.
May 5, 2006 in Controversy | Permalink
Let the decay begin!
I have been using this as an excuse for chores with Mrs. ROC for months!
Posted by: Right of Center | May 5, 2006 2:46:32 PM
When does this all start up?
Posted by: PS | May 5, 2006 2:50:36 PM
The way they are assessing this makes no sense. If I decide I want to fix up my house and put in a new kitchen why should I pay more taxes than the shlub next door who is still usign the same kitche from 1970? Taxes should be based on the size of your property and then take into considerations the size of your. The fact that I fix up my house should not affect the taxes I pay.
Posted by: d | May 5, 2006 2:51:04 PM
Is the homeowner allowed to review this valuation information for accuracy?
Posted by: ccl | May 5, 2006 2:51:41 PM
" The fact that I fix up my house should not affect the taxes I pay."
I disagree sort of D. Sort of.
I think if you fix up your house you should pay less tax for keeping the area nice, and not over burdening local services.
If you let your house rot or look like a junk yard you should be taxed higher - eventually the town will have to deal with rodents, or something as the result so you should pay for the future service.
Growing up my friend’s neighbor almost never mowed his lawn. The amount of critters that lived and came out of that yard was awful. It was an ongoing pest control problem.
I had another friend who had relatives in town whose basement was filled with so much junk the meter man couldn’t get in to read the meter and the fire chief had to be called in, even after the lame clean up attempt it became junk dumped on the curb and left until bulk trash day.
Posted by: hrhppg | May 5, 2006 2:59:16 PM
I just called and they already started today on block 31. The Tax Assessment phone number is 973.509.4920. Apparently they are going to show the schedule on chanel 34. Also they are going to just come by and if you are not home they will leave a card and you can call and schedule them to do the inside. I just hope they do me before I redo my attic.
Posted by: d | May 5, 2006 2:59:16 PM
When a homeowner makes an improvement such as those listed...the town requires a building permit...not that everyone gets one when they should. But isn't that how they keep tabs on their residents and ultimately raise their property tax? I thought that's how it works.
Posted by: Surrounded | May 5, 2006 3:02:24 PM
Say it isn't so!~~~
mmm soooo I guess my neighbor who put on a new roof & new kitchen and didn't take any permits will be caught!! :O
ccl: Yes, there is a period of time that you can refute a new Assessment.
Posted by: JT | May 5, 2006 3:05:24 PM
For once I'm happy about my 1970s kitchen!
And I will proudly show off my crumbling, depressing old bathroom to the assessor man.
Posted by: latebloomer | May 5, 2006 3:09:46 PM
Will I be taxed on my brand new 64 inch plasma flat panel HDTV?
Posted by: walleroo | May 5, 2006 3:15:15 PM
Be careful that your tax assessment shows the right description. When Bloomfield was revaluated 15 or so years ago, ours said we had a garage - which wasn't true since the previous owner had torn it down before we even bought the house. We protested and got a lower assessment.
Posted by: mauigirl52 | May 5, 2006 3:18:09 PM
"Will I be taxed on my brand new 64 inch plasma flat panel HDTV? "
maybe not if you take of Tony Sopranos' guys
Posted by: JT | May 5, 2006 3:18:22 PM
What of those who will, under no circumstances, let people into their houses? They get screwed I imagine.
Posted by: State Street Pete | May 5, 2006 3:19:35 PM
No, they will be annexed by Glen Ridge and taxed at twice the rate... :)
Posted by: Conan the Grammarian | May 5, 2006 3:23:26 PM
When we put our addition on with updated kitchen and baths, we got the required permits and oh, YES, the taxman knew about us. About 1 year after our addition was completed, our taxes went up considerably.
Posted by: justeL | May 5, 2006 3:44:06 PM
If I decide I want to fix up my house and put in a new kitchen why should I pay more taxes than the shlub next door who is still usign the same kitche from 1970? Taxes should be based on the size of your property. The fact that I fix up my house should not affect the taxes I pay.
Value is value. Mortgage companies appraise the value of a home for buyers and sellers. Towns appraise the value of a home for property tax purposes. When you go to sell your home someday, you'll want the highest value possible. But you want the town to rate your home with the lowest value possible. Is that fair?
The important (and difficult challenge) is to have everyone arriving at a true accurate value of your home. Some town appraisers have gotten it wrong, and that is why homeowners have the right to appeal their appraisal if they think the town over-valued their home.
Posted by: Jim | May 5, 2006 3:44:50 PM
hrhppg: you speak of taxes as a penalty for not being a good homeowner or resident. Rather, taxes pay for the services of your town. Larger properties put a larger burden on those services (more trash, more water, etc), hence the sliding scale.
Posted by: Jim | May 5, 2006 3:51:35 PM
We intend to renovate the attic. In the meantime, I should do some demolishing -- we use it only as storage, but someone in the 1970's (apparently) plopped down hideous blue shag carpet and plopped up some hideous (and now wrinkled and falling) panelling. I don't want an assessor seeing that & declaring it as living space!
Posted by: appletony | May 5, 2006 3:53:50 PM
Should I ask the inspector if there is any kind of *special fee* I could pay on the spot for *special consideration* ?
Though in the old days when you travelled in Eastern Europe, that's what you had to say to get your luggage on on the train.
Posted by: Right of Center | May 5, 2006 3:54:29 PM
I have the sinking feeling that everyones taxes are headed up big time. Some will get killed worse than others, but I cant imagine taxes going down for anyone, ever. Just one mans pessimistic opinion.
Posted by: Jimmy229oz | May 5, 2006 3:54:37 PM
Ok, folks! Time to build some fake walls!
"Gee... this place looked bigger from the outside."
Posted by: Captain Vegetable | May 5, 2006 3:55:02 PM
How about giant, 2 foot thick foam rubber floor moulding?
Posted by: Right of Center | May 5, 2006 3:57:40 PM
I guess they are looking for basement apartments. It was a problem in Bloomfield a few years ago. Letting a inspector into your home does seem a little excessive. Can't they figure this stuff out by an external inspections and perform internal inspections during the sale of houses?
Posted by: lasermike026 | May 5, 2006 3:59:55 PM
I don't think you are obligated to let them in.
Posted by: Right of Center | May 5, 2006 4:02:40 PM
"The important (and difficult challenge) is to have everyone arriving at a true accurate value of your home. Some town appraisers have gotten it wrong, and that is why homeowners have the right to appeal their appraisal if they think the town over-valued their home."
Jim, you're right, in theory, about what you stated.
However, when our taxes went up, we appealed because we saw that people that had larger homes and lots than ours were paying significantly less than we were. (looked it up online, it's a matter of public record). We appealed and got nowhere. The taxman said we were right where we should be. (Screwed!!)
Posted by: justeL | May 5, 2006 4:03:05 PM