Toms River has been ordered by Ocean County to conduct a township-wide revaluation of its ratable base, a process that will take more than a year to complete.
The township council this week introduced an ordinance allowing an emergency appropriation to be issued in order to conduct the revaluation. At their next meeting, council members are expected to approve the spending authorization and seek bids to solicit a firm to conduct the revaluation.
All properties in the township will be revaluated – under state law, municipalities must conduct revaluations of their total ratable base rather than specific neighborhoods.
“It will take at least 12 months for them to do it, so it will be in 2022 when people will actually see a change,” said Township Administrator Don Guardian.
Municipal assessors generally hold that in a revaluation, property tax burdens for a third of a town will rise, a third will be reduced and a third will remain essentially the same, though that can change if specific areas of a town have grown or decreased in value. Toms River, with 42,000 residences and neighborhoods ranging from farmland, to suburban sprawl, to beach community, is a particularly diverse community to value.
The revaluation comes just a week after county figures showed that the overall ratable base of Ocean County is reaching near-record levels, eclipsed only by 2008, the height of the real estate bubble before the Great Recession struck. In Toms River, property values may have drastically changed in some areas due to rebuilding efforts after Superstorm Sandy, as well as an expansive number of large homes that have been constructed in the western reaches of the township.
“It hasn’t been done in eight or nine years,” said Guardian. “We’re well overdue; we probably should’ve had it done last year or the year before.”
A revaluation generally involves house-to-house inspections as well as data-based calculations to formulate assessments. Guardian said it will likely take several months to secure a contractor, a year or more to collect the data and more time to produce results.
“The data should be ready for January 1 of 2022,” he said.