Revaluation begins soon

By AUBRIE GEORGE

A township-wide tax revaluation that didn’t take off as planned in 2010 is scheduled to begin this month after the township selected an appraiser to carry out the project.

At Council’s last regular meeting, members passed a resolution to designate Morristown and Cherry Hill-based Appraisal Systems, Inc as the company that will conduct the revaluation and get new values on the books for 2012. The company was awarded a $616,642 contract for the job. It will work in concert with Medford tax assessor, Gill Goble, to complete the process, officials said.

Officials said the township received two bids for the project and that Appraisal Systems submitted the lowest, responsible bid.

This will be the first revaluation of Medford’s tax base in over 20 years.

The last township-wide revaluation occurred in 1987, according to township officials.

The township was supposed to begin the revaluation process last year, but Council rejected all bids for the project in March, saying that the economic downturn did not create an appropriate environment to carry out a tax revaluation.

According to officials, the county Board of Taxation recommended that Medford undergo a tax revaluation along with 15 other municipalities in Burlington County.

A township-wide tax revaluation attempts to bring all properties within the township up to 100 percent true market value and spread the tax burden equitably.

Residents will receive an introductory letter from Appraisal Systems, which outlines how they will proceed with the process.

Residents will also receive a brochure that answers frequently asked questions regarding the revaluation.

In addition, local community groups and other entities have the opportunity to arrange a presentation with a principal of the company and Medford’s tax assessor to obtain more information.

Residents will be notified before a field representative from the company is scheduled to come to their particular neighborhood to inspect the exterior and interior of their property.

Inspections are not done by individual appointment unless the field inspector makes two attempts to gain entry into a home to no avail.

Residents will be notified of their new home value and given instructions on how to make an appointment for an informal review if they do not agree.

After an informal review, the revaluation project manager will make a determination and will inform the taxpayer that there will be a change in their property value based on the evidence submitted, or, that there will be no change.

Any taxpayer who still does not agree with their home value has the right to appeal to the Burlington County Board of Taxation.

At Council’s last meeting, some members questioned the large number of appeals that arose in Moorestown and Medford Lakes, who also used Appraisal Systems to carry out recent reassessments.

Township Manager Stephen Addezio said he had “full trust and confidence” in the abilities of Goble and said his supervision over the project would most likely eliminate a lot of the problems that arose in other communities.

Goble could not be reached for comment last week.

At the meeting, officials said the revaluation process would begin in January.