Every year property owners receive cards from the tax assessor telling them their taxes they paid last year as well as their assessment. While the information about the taxes are correct, property owners know their assessment is off because that information was based on the 1988 revaluation which is 28 years old.
Yet for some reason when the City of Jersey City puts together a tax abatement ordinance they use information based upon data from the 1988 revaluation. The New Jersey State University (NJCU) is a recent example of that. The tax abatement is based on old numbers with increases. In reality NJCU could sell the property and receive market value that is based on 2016 values not 1988. The city should require a special assessment before any tax abatement is granted. I think everyone in Jersey City would like to buy property based on 1988 values but no one is willing to sell that cheap so why is the city granting thirty year tax abatements based on old figures?
Our state legislators should create laws to address this problem. Current market values should be used when granting tax abatements and future revaluations should affect current tax abatements. By the time the thirty year NJCU tax abatement expires, Jersey City will probably have conducted another revaluation meaning those numbers given to NJCU is nothing but a sweetheart deal. As it is we, the public is responsible for the $16 million redevelopment loan to address their infrastructure cost.
The city is always rationalizing using tax abatements especially in areas outside downtown, then can the city explain the success of Society Hill which is also in Ward A? It never received a tax abatement and was built on toxic soil at a time when interest rates were double digits.