MANCHESTER – The township has been ordered to either revaluate or re-assess the properties in town, officials said.
Manchester was ordered by the Ocean County Board of Taxation to revaluate the properties in town so that they are on par with other municipalities, and residents will be taxed a fair amount.
A revaluation, or reval, occurs when properties are valued higher or lower than the market. Since taxes are based on a property’s assessment, towns are often updating this information to make sure that owners are paying their fair share of taxes.
The work needs to be done by the tax year 2020, township tax assessor Martin Lynch said.
Right now, the township is at 85 percent market value, he said. That means that, on average, home values are below what they should be. When a township hits this number, they are ordered to perform a reval.
“The market appreciated in value. It’s bounced back,” he said. Therefore, home values throughout the county are higher than what they were several years ago. But many homes in Manchester are still assessed at the lower numbers.
At the end of the reval, the township will still collect the same amount of taxes, he said. What the reval does, is make everyone pay their fair share.
“Everyone thinks their taxes will go up, and that’s not true,” he said. The rule of thumb is that one-third of property owners will see an increase, one-third will see a decrease, and one-third will stay the same.
The town’s governing body will make the decision to either have a revaluation or a re-assessment. The difference between the two is that re-assessments are done in-house, and revaluations are done by an outside company.
In 2012, Manchester started a re-assessment. This was at a time when home values had fallen. A lot of people had appealed their taxes to get them back in line with the going trend.
Mayor Kenneth Palmer complimented Lynch on his work during this last re-assessment.
After it was done, tax appeals went down significantly, “which means he did an excellent job,” he said.
Manchester had another re-assessment, which started back in 2005. To compare the cost of a re-assessment versus a revaluation, the five bids for revaluation had come in between $1.2 million and $1.45 million, Lynch said at the time. By doing the work in-house, the township was estimated to save $600,000.