The county tax board says Lavallette officials should conduct a revaluation of its tax base, a borough councilman said, spurring ample groans from residents who were in attendance.
Councilman James Borowski said there is so formal order demanding Lavallette must conduct a revaluation, but the formula the county uses to determine when a revaluation is needed calls for it.
“We’ve been talking about it and trying to put it off for quite a while, waiting for the construction dust to settle,” said Borowski.
Revaluations consist of surveys conducted at every property in town to bring the properties’ assessed value into parity with its market value. In revaluations, most public officials explain that about a third of a town’s residents would face higher taxes, a third would see a lower tax bill, and a third would remain at essentially the same rate. If a town’s overall land value is higher than the county average, however, revaluations could lead to a higher county tax burden.
Mayor Walter LaCicero, who vocally opposed a revaluation at Monday night’s meeting, said conducting one could cost $500,000.
“I would like to push that as far into the future as we can so we can account for new construction,” said LaCicero, referencing dozens of construction projects still going on in town as rebuilding continues following Superstorm Sandy’s impact in 2012.
State and county governments rarely force towns to revaluate, but in theory could contest valuations in court to force the issue.
“They cannot actually force you to do it, however there could be legal action filed to force a reval, which would take about two years to make its way through the courts,” Borough Attorney Philip George said.