Lakewood Committee OKs Property Reassessment for 2010, Disputes Claim in Local Circular


historic-lakewood-sign-small1Attempting to reduce a daunting number of property tax appeals by homeowners, the Lakewood Township Committee last night adopted an ordinance to complete a property reassessment for next year. Some 2,000 appeals are on file in the tax office. Once the reassessment is completed, that number will be erased, officials said. The last mass property appraisal was a complete revaluation ordered by the county in 2006.

Meanwhile, officials disputed an item in a local weekly circular, The Lakewood Shopper, which said there is an arrangement between the tax office and community leaders to expedite the tax appeal process and guarantee homeowners a satisfactory settlement. According to the item, the Lakewood Association Coalition, a homeowners group, was encouraging tax appeals, contending the normal requirements of providing proof that the assessment of a home was unfairly high and going before the county Board of Taxation or the courts were no longer necessary.

Coalition member Shuey Schmuckler said the report was the result of a misunderstanding during a phone call.

“It’s totally, totally incorrect,” Schmuckler said of the article. “All we asked them (the tax assessor) was, based on the high number of appeals filed, that they find a way to make (the appeals process) more efficient.”

Township officials also say they have no knowledge of an agreement.

Mayor Bob Singer called the notion illegal and said the tax assessor has referred the matter to the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office. Officials at the prosecutor’s office had no information about the matter last night.

Township tax attorney Salvatore Alfieri wrote to the weekly publication saying, “The assessor’s office has not met with anyone to reach any sort of agreement involving the settlement of tax appeals. Each appeal will proceed according to law and state statute.”

{APP, Elisha Newscenter}