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Manchester Residents Enraged Over 2013 Reassessments

Most of the residents in Manchester Township who do not live in senior communities will see an increase in taxes later this year.

Several Manchester residents are frustrated that, in the 2013 reassessment, their home values dropped, but their taxes actually will rise in the third and fourth quarters this year - in some cases by more than $1,000.

Appearing at the Township Council's Monday meeting, Pine Lake Park resident Melissa Mascaro said: "No one is going to move here. I could list my house at $400,000, but I'd be lucky to get $250,000. And yet, I'm paying $8,500 in taxes. I came in and the assessor did lower my assessment by $20,000, but that translates to $200 off."

Most of the residents in Manchester Township who do not live in senior communities will see an increase in taxes later this year, despite the fact that the values on their homes have actually dropped, according to Martin Lynch, the township's tax assessor.

Mascaro and others pointed out the fact that if the increase in taxes had been more gradual, it would likely have been better received. But a drastic increase - particularly in this volatile economy - is going to be particularly painful for most residents, they say.

Council members were quick to point out that the taxes from each home paid to the municipality were only 27.5 percent of their total tax bill - compared with 18.5 percent to the county and 54 percent to the schools.

Council President Craig Wallis said: "We have zero to do with the schools … now that the rules have changed, if the [school] budget doesn't change more than 2 percent, it doesn't go to vote."

Wallis said the township has taken steps to reduce municipal taxes, by cutting staff and having township employees pay into their benefits.

Wallis noted that his home assessment has been reduced, and he will likely end up paying more into taxes, but as Lynch explained, this is necessary to maintain the decreases in homes whose assessments dropped more than the 20 percent average, and received a consequent tax decrease. "This is a rebalancing of everything," Wallis said.

As part of reassessment process, the total ratable base in town went from $3.9 billion to $3.2 billion. Residents throughout the town are being notified by letters, and not all have been informed of the changes as of yet, Lynch said last night.

Township officials said they are courting other revenue streams to offset taxes. As an example, in other action at the meeting, Manchester officials authorized a resolution that would enable them to go out to bid for a leased 750-foot cell phone tower, to be constructed on township-owned property in the Roosevelt City section of town.

Some council members called the measure "another means of trying to curtail taxes." The measure would still have to go before a land use board, however, several council members said the measure - which was initiated by AT & T, was "good for the township as a whole."

Frank Kern January 16, 2013 at 02:03 PM
KTP, I;m sure they are good people, but enough is enough, no matter how much money they take from us from the federal level on down, we the people are told to do with less and the goverment does not ever cut any thing, then they got the nerve to tell us we need to pay our fair share. I'm sorry the biggest problem from our state to local is the Benifit packages for there employees, their pay is much higher now then the private sector, but they continue to get health and benifit packages as if the were making lower wages. That used to be the trade off great benifits for a lower wage, now they get both. I'm sorry but most of the police are making over a $100000 grand a year and they should it's a hard and dangerous job, but the retirement of 60 to 80 percent of their pay and a life of low health care cost for them and their spouse needs to stop. The towns and state can not afford it any more. you are squeezing the middle class out of towns and the state and the system will collapse on it self. I know my kids will never be able to afford to live here. You look at the states with the highest taxes California, New York and New Jersey and the people are moving out in droves.
KTP January 16, 2013 at 02:44 PM
Frank Kern, you are right on the money about emplyees benefits. I also do not understand why a part time employee should ever get a pension!!! I beleive you had previsouly mentioned converting pensions to 401K, which is exactly what the private sector has done 20 years ago. That would be a significant first step in eliminating future obligations. BTW, your speech was strong and also on point.
KTP January 16, 2013 at 02:52 PM
Not a township employee, just concerned like you and trying to give suggestions to help alleviate some of the taxes.
CM January 16, 2013 at 03:29 PM
http://www.taxrecords.com/ If you look at the reassessments you'll see Mikey's went up ~70% when Roosevelt City went up 100%. Now they are reassessing the seniors lower by a higher percentage again. Mikey's house will be assessed closer to his purchase price in 1986. Most private home assesments will have doubled the sales prices of 1986.
Dan January 16, 2013 at 07:00 PM
Greg, Im on your side and so are so many other property owners I have been talking to. We are looking to get something going but dont have a clue on how to do it. I would rather give my $1400. tax increase to Toms River, than hellchester. any ideas on how to do this?? Thanks
Dan January 16, 2013 at 08:27 PM
KTP I have won my last two appeals, my value has decreased but my taxes have increased $1400. For 2013. I am now paying $7600.00 a year to live in pine lake park. So PLEASE don’t go trying to tell me what my options are.
ballyjduf January 16, 2013 at 10:11 PM
blucollaboy January 17, 2013 at 01:14 PM
LB January 18, 2013 at 03:31 PM
Veronica, did I miss the spreadsheet?
Mark Wendell January 19, 2013 at 09:23 PM
But 80% of the non senior vote will sit on their behinds on election day, who's fault is it? The town blames the schools all the time by using percentages to show were the money goes but the schools are the only thing that benefits me. The town does nothing, no trash pick up, flooding streets, no sidewalks, no curbs, little gecko for kids, crap parks. Than they say they are saving by having it done in house. I am not saying I don't think it should be subcontracted out but the DPW has to have the ability to do the job. Keeping the towns employees busy all summer on a sidewalk job including weekend overtime, because the grant was running out if not done by a certain date because they didn't have enough forms for the curbs to do a decent size concrete pour is a complete waste of said employees time. To boot about 15 feet of sidewalk is missing to complete the job and from the lack of cones to warn people of said drop off I would think even the town knows the walk was not needed. But by all means do it that way and make me drive my trash to Whiting.
Mark Wendell January 19, 2013 at 09:25 PM
Sorry that's rec for the kids not gecko for the kids. Automatic spell sugestions got me.
Dan January 21, 2013 at 03:20 PM
STATE OF NEW JERSEY LOCAL FINANCE BOARD NOTICE OF VIOLATION In Re: [Michael Fressola, Mayor, Township of Manchester, Complaint This matter having come before the Local Finance Board (Board) pursuant to the Local Government Ethics Law, N.J.S.A. et seq., upon complaint that Mayor Michael Fressola used the address and telephone number of the Township of Manchester City Hall in a political mail piece, using the resources of the Township for his personal gain and securing unwarranted privileges or advantages for himself and his campaign in violation of N.J.S.A. and, WHEREAS, the Board determined that the allegations were within its jurisdiction, were not frivolous and were based upon a reasonable factual basis, authorized an investigation of this complaint; and WHEREAS, the Local Government Ethics Law states: N.J.S.A. 40A: No local government officers or employee shall use or attempt to use his official position to secure unwarranted privileges or advantages for himself or others; and,
Dan January 21, 2013 at 03:21 PM
WHEREAS, the Board, having considered the matter and the relevant statements and presented and all documentation with the written response to the allegations submitted by Mayor Fressola, concluded that the use of the Municipal Building address and telephone number in the letterhead of a political mailer distributed in connection with the May 11, 2010 election constitutes the use or attempted use of Mayor Fressola's official position to secure an unwarranted privilege or advantage for himself or others in violation of N.J.S.A. It is therefore, DETERMINED that Mayor Michael Fressola shall be assessed a fine in the amount of $100.00 for the violation as related to his engaging in activities prohibited by the statute. Said fine shall be payable to: Treasurer, State of New Jersey, and be submitted to: Thomas H. Neff, Chair, Local Finance Board, P.O. Box 803, Trenton, New Jersey, 08625 immediately. If payment of said fine is not received within 10 days receipt of this NOTICE, Mayor Fressola is subject to additional fines as determined by the Board in accordance with its powers in N.J.S.A.40A:9- 22.10, Violations and Penalties.
George January 23, 2013 at 01:28 PM
I live in TR. We lost 20% of our tax ratables in the superstorm, and million$ are being spent on recovery, which we'll have to pay for starting this year... not to mention wasteful spending by our entrenched politicians for cronies' pet projects. My section of TR would love to merge with Manchester instead.
George January 23, 2013 at 01:35 PM
See my comment above about seceding... Guv. Christie says there should be fewer towns (little political fiefdoms paying their own politicians, dept. heads, etc.) not 566 as NJ has now. You won't get the OK for a separate town, but merging might be doable. How about Lakehurst or something on the north or west side of Manchester?
aermanc February 06, 2013 at 08:16 PM
veronica February 07, 2013 at 12:44 AM
aermanc, we all attended the last council meeting once the first round of tax increase letters went out. We all need to continue to go and support the rest of the town all at once!!!!!
Dan February 07, 2013 at 03:35 PM
Its time to let them know that its OUR money... and that they work for us!! Lets take our township back!!!
Dan February 07, 2013 at 03:55 PM
There are a total of 22,681 homes in Manchester, 19,875 are for senior living and 2,806 are residents who are not senior citizens. If these numbers are correct than we have 19,875 homes that pay school taxes and they do not have kids in our school system. WHERE IS ALL THE MONEY GOING??
Dan February 07, 2013 at 04:00 PM
Alexa February 17, 2013 at 01:51 AM
Dear senior, You need to fight with your development about your monthly charges. Why not opt to live in an area that doesn't have a club house, that allows you to maintain your property by actually hiring a contractor with reasonable rates. Your paying for the luxury of having a gated community, and flowers and waterfalls that face the highway to attract more residents. I don't feel sorry for you.
Joann Sodon February 19, 2013 at 01:00 PM
It's ridiculous! No trash pickup, no sewer, no sidewalks, no lighting- the value of my house is now $35,000 less BUT MY TAXES GO UP BY $700!!!!
despicable me February 21, 2013 at 05:18 AM
DUDLEY FOR MAYOR! Keep fighting Henry Dudley, Please appeal if you can. Michael Fressola has done nothing for the township of Manchester outside the walls of the senior communities and I think I speak for many of the residents (outside senior living) when I say WE DO NOT WANT THIS MAN TO REPRESENT US ANYMORE! If I am wrong and you can name one good thing this man has ever done for us non-seniors please correct me.
despicable me February 21, 2013 at 02:35 PM
Whats wrong Mike, you open your big mouth all over the patch EXCEPT for when people have questions on real issues, than you go and hide.
despicable me February 21, 2013 at 02:36 PM
Whats wrong Mike, you open your big mouth all over the patch EXCEPT for when people have questions on real issues, than you go and hide.
despicable me February 23, 2013 at 04:26 PM
.Michael Fressola has done nothing for the township of Manchester outside the walls of the senior communities and I think I speak for many of the residents (outside senior living) when I say WE DO NOT WANT THIS MAN TO REPRESENT US ANYMORE! If I am wrong and you can name one good thing this man has ever done for us non-seniors please correct me.
despicable me March 02, 2013 at 04:56 PM
Please for the love of god people wake up and call Governor Christie, we need an investigation, something sticks in Manchester and it’s NOT the dump, the adult diapers or the crap all over people’s properties and empty lots.
despicable me March 02, 2013 at 05:03 PM
CALL CHRISTIES OFFICE Office of the Governor PO Box 001 Trenton, NJ 08625 609-292-6000 BETTER YET EMAIL HIM ....LINK / ADDRESS IS BELOW http://www.state.nj.us/cgi-bin/governor/govmail/govmail_1c_new.pl
despicable me April 12, 2013 at 11:02 AM
High Taxes, NO CODE ENFORCER! Manchesters code enforcer retired months ago and has not been replaced. Place looks like one big junkyard.
Susan Santos July 26, 2013 at 11:48 PM
here is just the beginning of my letter to Governor Christie. I live in Wanaque. Same thing happened to us. At a town hall meeting in February GOvernor Christie said he knew nothing about this issue. February 28, 2013 Governor Chris Christie Po Box 001 Trenton NJ 08625 Dear Governor Christie, I attended your town hall meeting yesterday in Montville. It was a good meeting and your humor was appreciated. However, on a more serious note I am very concerned about my property tax situation. The man, from Montville, who asked about his 12% property tax increase is not the only property owner who is perplexed after a reevaluation. He said "something very strange is going on with the assessments/appraisals" and he is right. A similar situation occurred in Woodland Park (the Fours Seasons), they have filed a lawsuit. I live in Wanaque NJ in the Wanaque Reserve. We recently had a reevaluation. I had a tax increase of 10%, many others in the Wanaque Reserve had much more staggering increases while many in the rest of town saw a decrease in their taxes. The town has not been reassessed for 26 years. Our units at the Wanaque Reserve are 1-8 years old. How can any property that has not been assessed for 26 years have their taxes lowered and some by as much as 20% according to the posting on the appraisers website! It was also my understanding that newer construction is assessed close to market value already so should be the least impacted by a property reevaluation. I have done a lot of research and I believe we need to look into why we are having progressive property tax revaluations, all of the sudden, where a large share of the tax burden is shifted over to one neighborhood (specifically those with the higher valued properties), while much of the rest of the town, that has not been reevaluated for 26 years, has had their taxes go down! Our property values, at the Wanaque Reserve, an age restricted community, have dropped by 1/3 over the last 4 years and yet our taxes just went up by 10%! Could someone please explain when the rules of the game changed? Declining property values have always meant lower taxes not higher taxes! Property tax reevaluations are supposed to be neither progressive nor regressive. They are supposed to distribute the tax burden equally. Another form of inequity may arise from systematic differences in the appraisal of low-value and high-value properties. According to the IAAO (Association of professionals in property assessment and taxation.) 1990 Standard on Ratio Studies, "When low-value properties are appraised at greater percentages of market value than high-value properties, assessment regressivity is indicated. When low-value properties are appraised at smaller percentages of market value than high-value properties, assessment progressivity results. Appraisals made for tax purposes, of course, should be neither progressive nor regressive." Progressive and regressive appraisal are forms of inequity called "vertical" inequity. Staff reports a measure of vertical dispersion called the "Price-Related Differential" (PRD) for each property category on the CAD Summary Worksheet. The PRD is calculated by dividing a sample's mean ratio by its weighted mean ratio. The IAAO standard for this measure is .98 to 1.03, with PRDs below this range indicating progressivity, and measures above this range indicating regressivity. A PRD inside this range indicates that low-value and high-value properties are being treated uniformly in regard to level of appraisal. Table Seven shows a sample PRD calculation. In this example the PRD is 1.01, which indicates uniformity. I suspect this new methodology is a way of gaming your 2% cap, but only


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