LITTLE EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — The dispute between the Township Committee, administrator and tax assessor continues with claims that Assessor Joseph Sorrentino is not making himself available to discuss performing a revaluation or reassessment.
Sorrentino and the Township Committee have been in disagreement recently since residents at several senior communities questioned a decision to undergo a $750,000 revaluation instead of a reassessment.
Sorrentino has previously said that two years ago he suggested a reassessment, stressing the inhouse procedure would be cheaper and more effective than a revaluation, which would be done by an outside entity.
During Thursday’s regular Township Committee meeting Township Administrator Garrett Loesch raised concerns about not being able to meet with Sorrentino to discuss a reassessment
“He (Sorrentino) is a critical step before we can move on and talk to the county and our tax attorney. I’ve hit a stumbling block trying to get together with him,” Loesch told the committee and the audience.
Loesch said he has been emailing Sorrentino since Sept. 7 but has received no response. Two weeks ago, Sorrentino said Loesch emailed him a list of questions regarding a potential reassessment.
Loesch was on vacation last week but said Assistant Administrator Michael Fromosky was willing to meet with Sorrentino and the meeting never happened.
“Some of the public and press have had better luck reaching Mr. Sorrentino,” Loesch said.
Township officials are in the midst of deciding how to proceed as tax appeals have surged from about 600 to about 1,500 annually since 2010.
“It’s a little frustrating when you set a meeting date and you can’t get together with the assessor. We are stuck again because of a particular person,” Mayor John Kehm said during the meeting.
Sorrentino said he responded to Loesch’s list of questions Monday and is willing to meet with township officials as soon as possible.
“This isn’t a personal issue, this is about the values of people’s homes in this town. Let’s go forward. Let’s stop the nonsense,” Sorrentino said.
The questions that Loesch sent to Sorrentino included reassessment costs, time frames and compliance plans.
“I had tax appeals right up through September 25 and he (Loesch) knows the timetable. I was off Friday and he knows that because he signed off on it,” Sorrentino said Monday afternoon.
Whether the township chooses revaluation or a reassessment, they have to fund the process, Sorrentino said.
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