Archive for the 'property taxes' Category

Deadline for Property Tax Appeals




April 1 is the deadline for property tax appeals.   Here is the equation: Your tax assessment X municipal tax rate = your tax bill.

Your municipality assigns a town-wide rate that is not negotiable.  However, if you feel that your tax assessment is significantly high compared to other homes of comparable size, location and condition than you may have a chance at a successful tax appeal.

Contact a local expert –



Property Taxes in the year of the Revaluation

property taxes

The average resident of Maplewood will not see an increase in his tax rate from 2010 to 2011.  Of course the revaluation will still cause many homeowners headaches with higher payments due to their new assessment.  But the town decided to at least come in below the cap of a 2% yearly increase with a 0% increase.

Elected officials felt that with the ‘perfect storm’ of a lousy economy and the revaluation which has seemed to place a bigger burden on the least affluent parts of Maplewood, that a rising rate would be too much.  This reval was a partial reversal of 2000 which saw a big increase for the wealthier sections of town.

Part of the reason the town was able to accomplish this was because of a slight growth in commercial rate-ables as compared to the residential share of the tax load.

Springfield Avenue business district improvements

springfield ave.

South Orange and Maplewood need to attract retail and office businesses to hopefully take a bit of the property tax burden of homeowners. Maplewood Township Committee voted to extend parking limits in the Springfield Ave. business district from 1 hour to 2 hours between 8 am and 6 pm.  They also voted to introduce more money that would pay for new bump-outs, curbs, pavements, trees, grates, streetlights, benches and trash receptacles in the area of the Springfield Avenue streetscape improvement project Princeton Street to Tuscan Road).   Daibes Enterprises is interested in developing ground floor retail in the area.  For more details –

Beifus property sheriff sale in South Orange

Beifus lot from South Orange Ave.

For anyone following public affairs or property taxes in South Orange, the continuing Beifus property foreclosure saga is about to add a chapter.  On June 1, there will be a sheriff sale.

Behind the fence, and next to the train station is continual vacancy, dispute and lost revenue for the town.  Before being demolished six years ago, it was the home of Beifus Mercedes, a car dealership.   Hopefully now there will finally be a break in the legal, financial and political inertia that has deadlocked this prime piece of property for nearly 10 years.

Nearby are the possibilities of what could be.  On the other side of the train station are the new luxury condos on Vose, Eden Gourmet and the rooftop restaurant, Above.  But at 9 West South Orange Avenue, the weeds grow and the fence has worn down.  With the property now in foreclosure, the courts are in charge.  Andrew Beifus Jr., 67, the property’s owner and developer has received the lion’s share of the anger over the project and he has since moved from the area.

In hard times, when the village relied on $750,000 in extraordinary aid to help balance its municipal budget, the Beifus project represented more than just an eyesore, but a massive loss of revenue in the form of property taxes and economic activity.

The property was also an integral part of the village’s redevelopment zone, a central business district development plan created by the Township of South Orange Village in 1994.  Since then the stops and starts have been too numerous to detail here.  For more details on the foreclosure and sheriff sale please see the link below.

Beifus lot

Parents Protest Education Budget Cuts

columbia high school south orange maplewood

At the Board of Education Building on 525 Academy Street in Maplewood, special education parents have organized a protest to take place on Wednesday, 6:15 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.

The protest is scheduled before the Board of school Estimate public hearing at 7 p.m.  The “call to action” is for the community to oppose the decision by the Board of Education and the administration to outsource 76 of the district’s special education paraprofessionals beginning July 1.  NJ Governor Christie’s budget cuts have cost the district 80.9 percent of its state aid. The school district has responded by outsourcing the special education paraprofessionals .  Approval by the Board of School Estimate is the next step in adoption of the district’s proposed $108.6 million budget.

Extension of Homebuyer’s Tax Credit expires on April 30, 2010


Homebuyer's tax credit


Take advantage of the $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers and the $6500 credit for current homeowners before it expires on April 30, 2010.  As interest rates are at historical lows, this is the best “buyer’s market” you’ll see for quite some time.

1) First-time home buyers are eligible for up to $8,000 on the tax credit and there’s also a credit of up to $6,500 for homeowners who have lived in their homes for five years. 

2) The tax credits expire on April 30, 2010, but home buyers under contract by April 30 would be able to qualify as long as they complete the sale within 60 days.  This will be the third life of a home buyer tax credit that has been in place since mid-2008. Lawmakers have pledged that this will be it’s last life so move on it.

3) The tax credit probably won’t affect the high-end of the market much. The tax credit phases out for home buyers with incomes above $125,000 for single filers and $225,000 for married couples. Additionally, homes that cost more than $800,000 aren’t eligible for the credit. So, expect this credit to make the biggest difference in the $300,000 to $500,000 range.

Link to more info –