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Old 08-20-2011, 04:55 PM
 
Location: Beautiful NNJ
1,235 posts, read 1,382,884 times
Reputation: 1625

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My home straddles a town line. The total size is 1.6 acres, and it's split so that the house and .4 acres is taxed in town A. The remaining 1.2 acres is taxed as undeveloped land in town B. All our services, etc. are from town A. There isn't even any public access to our Town B land (aka our backyard) and they give us absolutely nothing.

Town B's tax bill is now almost $3000/year, with town A charging close to 5 times that. Together we're getting royally socked.

So we're wondering if it would be worth trying to get the whole parcel taxed in Town A. I'd need to find out what the difference would be to Town A. Do I call the tax assessor there and just ask?

If it turns out NOT to be to our advantage to make a change, would we have risked anything by bringing it to their attention?

And if it does turn out that we could save something by making a change, how hard might Town B resist? Is getting this sort of change made possible?
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Old 08-20-2011, 09:13 PM
 
4,282 posts, read 10,719,153 times
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Very interesting. Never heard this happen before. I have no helpful advice, but am interested in the answer.
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Old 08-20-2011, 10:19 PM
 
2,499 posts, read 2,614,690 times
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It will be difficult. Before you do find out the tax rate and the equalization ratio in each town. Find out what each town has a the assessed value of the property in their jurisdiction. Post all of that information and I can calculate the assessment.
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Old 08-20-2011, 10:35 PM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
23,809 posts, read 34,427,591 times
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I think that you'd have to ask town A to annex your backyard. It shouldn't be complicated, but you never know. . .
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Old 08-20-2011, 10:41 PM
 
Location: Beautiful NNJ
1,235 posts, read 1,382,884 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom1944 View Post
It will be difficult. Before you do find out the tax rate and the equalization ratio in each town. Find out what each town has a the assessed value of the property in their jurisdiction. Post all of that information and I can calculate the assessment.
I have my tax notices, so I know what each piece is assessed at. But how do I find out what the effect of adding the backyard acreage to our Town A property would be? What's an equalization ratio?
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Old 08-21-2011, 08:19 AM
 
2,499 posts, read 2,614,690 times
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The equalization ratio is the percentage of true value that the town is assessed at. Lets say your town assesses your property at 100,000 and the property is really worth 200,000 the equalization ratio is 50%. You can not really compare tax rates until you know what that rate is for each town.
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Old 08-21-2011, 08:40 AM
 
Location: Randolph, NJ
265 posts, read 594,434 times
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The problem is that, especially these days, town B won't want to lose the tax revenue... I am sure that town A will welcome you, not sure that Town B wil let you go.

Before you give this up... is one school district better than the other? If School B is better and you (or a buyer) can send their kids there, it may be worth keeping to enhance your property value and/or give your kids a better education...

Laws in each state vary - worth checking before you make this move.
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Old 08-21-2011, 08:52 AM
 
Location: Randolph, NJ
265 posts, read 594,434 times
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Based on the numbers you gave... the acreage and the taxes - $3000 and 5X that, I am figuring that while your land is split 75%/25% between Town A and Town B, you taxes are split 83%/17% between the two towns...

1.2....................75%
.4.....................25%
1.6 acres.......100%

$15,000............83%
$ 3,000............17%
$18,000........100%

I understand paying taxes to Town B bothers you, but correcting this may end up costing you more in the end.
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Old 08-21-2011, 09:10 AM
 
Location: Beautiful NNJ
1,235 posts, read 1,382,884 times
Reputation: 1625
Quote:
Originally Posted by andrew.mensch View Post
The problem is that, especially these days, town B won't want to lose the tax revenue... I am sure that town A will welcome you, not sure that Town B wil let you go.

Before you give this up... is one school district better than the other? If School B is better and you (or a buyer) can send their kids there, it may be worth keeping to enhance your property value and/or give your kids a better education...

Laws in each state vary - worth checking before you make this move.
Indeed. The best case scenario is that a switch to Town A will result in an overall lowering of taxes, perhaps because a house on a larger lot will be taxed differently, or perhaps because Town A's overall tax rate is lower. Town A wants us and helps us with annexation, and Town B goes along.

The worst-case scenario would be for a switch to Town A to result in an overall higher rate, and now that Town A knows this they aggressively pursue the annexation. Would we have any recourse? Would Town B help us resist?

The school district question is moot, since our house is in Town A that's where the kids go to school. We were told when we purchased the house that we could theoretically petition for our kids to be allowed to attend schools in Town B, but now that my kids have been in the Town A system for 10 years we're not considering that. We love Town A and have no affection for Town B.

Here's info from Town B's tax bill:

Dimension: 1.18 ac
Assessed valuation: Land, $77,200.
2011 Total Tax: $2623
2011 Tax rate: 3.398

That's all that's on there.

For Town A we haven't gotten this year's notice yet, but here's what was on last year's bill:

Bldg desc: 2SF
Land Dimension: .404 ac
Land: $248,700 ==> ???
Improvements: $313,900
Total: $562,600
2010 tax rate: 2.104

We were notified earlier this year that due to the economic downturn they've reassessed everyone, and our new assessment is at $521,200. As I said, we don't know what the 2011 tax rate is yet.


Yeah, so what I really want to know is what happens if the Land portion of our Town A property goes from .404 AC to 1.6 AC. Will the town assessor be safe to ask, or should we just keep our mouths shut?
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Old 08-21-2011, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania & New Jersey
1,548 posts, read 4,295,659 times
Reputation: 1769
Save yourself some time and money and forget about it... the towns will never approve it.

What if you just stopped paying town B's taxes? Eventually, they could sell a tax sale certificate on the parcel, but what buyer would foreclose on a land-locked parcel that nothing can be done with?
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