VINELAND — The city’s first full revaluation since 1959 has almost doubled the worth of residential and business properties.
The city is now assessed at slightly more than $4 billion, up from the $2.1 billion that was in place when the revaluation began last year, local Tax Assessor Donald Seifrit said.
“It’s about where I thought it would be,” Seifrit said.
The revaluation was ordered by the Cumberland County Board of Taxation in September 2010 after the city’s full market value fell to about 54 percent of its actual worth. Revaluations are designed to bring property values up to 100 percent of their full market value. That creates a more equitable tax situation for property owners, and gives municipalities more flexibility in various financial matters, such as bonding.
The new assessment will also help determine how much home and business owners will pay in local property taxes. The city has about 16,000 residential properties and 1,500 commercial properties.
City Council is scheduled to introduce the local budget when it meets at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in City Hall in the 600 block of East Wood Street. The final local purpose tax rate will be set when the budget is eventually approved.
The city is asking the state Division of Local Government Services to allow it to adopt its budget by May 14 instead of April 26. Local officials said they need the extension in part to determine the revaluation's effect on the budget, and to give the new city administration, which took office in January, more time to develop the fiscal plan.
Many local property owners, especially those who own businesses, have complained to City Council over the past few weeks about their new assessments. They claim those assessments are too high and will result in them paying significantly more in local purpose taxes.
However, city officials said they expect the revaluation to cause a potentially significant decrease in the local purpose tax rate. Some property owners will pay more under the new assessment, they said, while others will pay about the same and some will pay less.
Residents have until May 1 to formally appeal their property tax assessments with the county tax board.
Last year, the city adopted an almost $58 million municipal budget that caused no increase in the local purpose tax rate of $1.34 per $100 of assessed property value.
The average residential property assessment before the revaluation was $95,700. That set the average residential local purpose tax levy at $1,282.
The city has performed a few in-house reassessments since 1969. The last one occurred in 1989. A reassessment is not as detailed as a revaluation, and the results are not as accurate.
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