Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Do property tax adjustments signal trouble?


Tonight's Plainfield City Council agenda-setting session includes two troubling items headed 'tax adjustments due to county board judgments'.

Two hundred and fifty-nine (259) properties are involved, totaling more than $418,000. Close to $6,000 is being refunded as overpayments on these properties (in addition to $42,600 in other overpayments in two separate resolutions).

Nearly every business meeting has a small amount in refunds for property owners who overpay (sometimes the mortgage holders make these duplicate payments). This is customary.

It is also not unusual for a few 'adjustments' to be made each year as some property owners appeal their assessments.

However, I cannot recall an instance as large as this year's adjustments except for the successful appeal on the former Macy's/Bamberger's building -- and that was nearly twenty years ago.

Unless and until the housing market rebounds, it seems likely we will see a continuing stream of appeals and judgments in the property owners' favor.

What does that portend for the city's budgets?

Only time will tell, but it is not a rosy forecast.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Anonymous said...

Maybe it is time for a city-wide reappraisal. Piecemeal appeals that result in lower assessments and taxes favor those property owners over the many who do not appeal. A city-wide reappraisal would treat everyone equally and prevent the few from taking advantage of the cherry-picked sale prices used in their appeals.

Alternatively, maybe more resources should be devoted to fighting appeals. The standard is high and based on a formula, so I suspect these reassessments are being awarded in compromise instead of being vigorously contested.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you can explain why Plainfield and Union County can't simply reassess all of the properties thereby leveling the uneven comparisons that provide the current grounds for many of the tax challenges?