TRENTON – The Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee unanimously approved legislation today sponsored by Senator Jeff Van Drew that would create the “Real Property Revaluation Review Commission.”
“Property revaluation can be devastating to homeowners, especially for our seniors living on a fixed income,” said Senator Van Drew, D-Cape May, Atlantic and Cumberland. “Many South Jersey homeowners have seen the value of their home double or even triple overnight, with their tax bills going up accordingly. We need to find a more taxpayer-friendly process that would ease this transition over a period of time.”
The bill, S-415, would create the “Real Property Revaluation Review Commission.”
Under the bill, the principal duty of the commission would be to review the real property tax revaluation, reassessment and appeal process every ten years to evaluate whether this process ensures taxpayer fairness and submit a report of its findings to the Governor and the Legislature with proposed recommendations.
“The goal should be to demystify the property revaluation process. This periodic review will make sure that property owners understand how their property is valued, how it impacts their property tax bills and how to appeal any decision that they believe is wrong,” explained Senator Van Drew.
Senator Van Drew added, “It will also explore ways to change the process so that property revaluations don’t force middle class and senior homeowners to sell their homes because they suddenly can afford their property taxes.”
The commission will consist of 12 members, seven of which will be from the public and appointed by the Governor. The other five members will consist of four legislative memberseach appointed by the Senate President, Assembly Speaker, Senate Minority Leader and Assembly Minority Leader, respectively and the Director of the Division of Taxation in the Department of the Treasury, or a designee.
The bill would provide that in preparation of each ten-year report the commission shall have at least three public hearings, one each in the northern, central and southern areas of the State, and shall elicit the participation of the general public as well as public officials and experts on matters concerning property tax assessment.
The bill would require that the commission submit its first report to the Governor and the Legislature upon completion of its work, but no later than 18 months after the date of original appointments. Subsequent appointments to the commission shall be made by February 1 of each decennial census year, and subsequent reports shall be submitted no later than 18 months after the date of appointments. The appointments shall expire upon the submission of a report to the Governor and the Legislature.