When the borough completed a revaluation in December 2003, its total ratables doubled from $2.7 billion to $5.4 billion.
Now that an in-house reassessment is complete, Tax Assessor Jeffrey Hesley told the Herald last week that properties have just been valued at about $8.6 billion, a 56 percent increase in two years.
For example, a property assessed at $900,000 two years ago could be valued at $1.4 million today.
Reassessment notices were mailed to residential property owners on Dec. 8 and notices to commercial property owners were to be mailed Dec. 16.
His office is scheduling hearings for those who want to challenge their reassessments but, “in my 25 years of experience,” said Hesley, this is the “lightest response” he’s seen.
In the past, he might have “talked to 10 people a day” within the first few days of the mailing, but by Dec. 15, he said, he had “only talked to one.”
Of the 5,482 borough ratables, only 144 are commercial, he said. He “likes to split” the mailings to residential and commercial, he said, because the commercial properties are “more specialized,” and some people own multiple properties.
He is on track to “finish tax bills and will be done by Jan. 10,” the deadline for filing his report with the county Tax Board, he said.
Final notices will be mailed to residents by Feb. 1 and they will have until April 1 to file a formal tax appeal.
About 120 homes are under construction, according to Hesley, and major renovations on Dune Drive are still incomplete. When those improvements are added to the tax rolls next year, total ratables for the borough could increase by another $70 million, he said.
Until completion, only the land is assessed and, once a certificate of occupancy is issued, the improvements are assessed and added to the year’s tax bill pro-rata, Hesley said.
The “lowest base land value” on the main island of the borough, said Hesley, is $900,000 for “a 50 by 100 developable lot.”
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