Error in Tax Revaluation Lowers Expected Savings

$2 million revenue miscalculation will raise estimated tax bills in fourth quarter

An input error during the tax revaluation process will lower estimated tax savings for residents, officials said. They said a four-lot property on 425 Pleasant Valley Way was incorrectly listed as 5,600 acres in size instead of its actual size of 5,600 square feet.

Appraisal Systems, Inc. was hired in March 2010 under a $1,143,000 contract to conduct the township's Following the company's mathematical error, Appraisal Systems agreed to perform additional services and added assessments for the compliance plan at no cost to the township.

Business administrator Jack Sayers said consultant George Librizzi, who identified the error, will remain working with the township through 2012 to oversee the compliance plan. Librizzi will be paid an additional $5,000 that will be deducted from the original contract with Appraisal Systems, Inc., according to the resolution that was approved by the township council Tuesday night.

Sayers said the glitch resulted in a $2 million revenue difference and was caught after estimated tax bills had already been sent out. He said fourth quarter tax bills will be slightly higher and savings will drop from roughly $123 to $78.

The error, though, was reported in time to reset the tax rate with the county, changing the rate by 0.033 percent, Sayers said.

Officials with the tax collector's office said the current tax rate is now 3.481 percent.

A total of 14,224 taxable properties were along with 488 tax-exempt properties that include schools, synagogues, churches and parks.

Sayers said mistakes like these had happened before but "not those numbers," — a $2 million miscalculation. "It is understandable how it happened," said Sayers. "it was a good thing it was caught prior to us getting the tax rate."

yaya September 01, 2011 at 09:52 PM
Another fine hiring job by West Orange Council. Politics as usual. Nothing changes, one step forward, ten steps backwards. And, nothing we can do about it.So unfair.
Kevin September 02, 2011 at 01:51 PM
I can understand the error occurring but surprised it got through. But my main concern either way would be having a discussion about how to get our rate down to 3% in the near term.
Erik September 02, 2011 at 08:02 PM
Joe Krakoviak September 03, 2011 at 12:08 AM
If you'd like to see the video excerpt of this portion of the council meeting, please go here - http://bit.ly/qphk0p (22 minutes, 78 megabytes). To see video of the entire meeting as well as a summary of issues and a link to the agenda and materials, please visit West Orange Grassroots here - http://bit.ly/qj7ZOF.
Raymond Helfrich September 07, 2011 at 02:56 PM
Thank you for all your service, for getting us the video to watch, and for posting it here, Joe.


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