NORTH WILDWOOD — The city has set aside $100,000 to pay for a property reassessment designed to bring North Wildwood’s assessed values in line with their actual worth.
Two full-time inspectors and a part-time inspector are already moving across the city, hoping to conduct interior inspections of at least 60 percent of the city’s 7,800 residential and commercial properties, Tax Assessor Louis Belasco said Tuesday.
The inspectors, hired specifically to perform the reassessment, are going door to door to evaluate properties and their condition.
Belasco said Tuesday he also was preparing to send property summaries, or data mailers, to each property owner.
The mailers contain information about each property, and owners are asked to note any changes and return them to the city so records can be updated.
North Wildwood last underwent a revaluation in 2006 using the inflated sales prices of 2005, so the Cape May County Board of Taxation determined that the town, now valued at $3.5 billion, is assessed well above its actual worth.
Prior to that, the town’s last revaluation was in 1989.
According to the county, a town should be assessed at 100 percent of market value. But last year, North Wildwood was assessed at 113 percent.
Mayor Bill Henfey said Tuesday that the in-house reassessment follows a year in which the city saw numerous tax appeals, which essentially meant that for owners who did not appeal, “they’re subsidizing the others.”
According to the city, 449 tax appeals were filed for the year, and half were successful in receiving a reduction.
“It got so out of balance that we need to get everything back in line again,” Henfey said.
The city had the choice of doing an in-house reassessment or hiring an outside company to do a revaluation, and the city chose the former to save money.
A revaluation was expected to cost about $800,000 compared to the $100,000 or less it is expected to cost Belasco and his staff to do the work.
The goal is to have all the adjustments on the tax roles by the end of February.
The average assessment in North Wildwood for all properties is $449,111, while the total tax rate is 84.5 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, including a local purpose tax of 47.2 cents.
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