New program led to decline in tax appeals

I am proud to announce that Moody’s Investors Service, a trusted bond credit rating business, has recognized Monmouth County’s 28 percent decline in total property tax appeals in 2014. This decline is largely due to reforms to the county’s property valuation, inspection and appeals procedures.

The county’s reforms stemmed from participating in the Real Property Assessment Demonstration Program that the state of New Jersey enacted in 2013. The program is another example of Monmouth County’s continued dedication to excellence, innovation and leadership in the field of shared services.

Our shared-services initiatives help the county and its municipalities maintain service levels while simultaneously reducing the cost to county residents.

Moody’s noted that the reforms are “credit-positive for municipalities in the county because they improve the timeliness for property revaluations and for settling tax appeals, minimizing the negative budgetary impact of future tax appeals.”

Previously, tax appeal judgments were mailed after county municipalities had set their budgets. The county now finalizes appeals by the end of April, eliminating any mismatch in the calendars, which should reduce unexpected costs and the need for emergency borrowing by municipalities. One example of a municipality that has seen a great benefit from these reforms is Aberdeen Township. Aberdeen saw appeals fall by 80 percent — to 100 from 512 in 2014. This resulted in a savings of an estimated $350,000 of tax revenue.

Monmouth County tax appeals have now reached a five-year low due to our progressive reforms, going from a high of 7,989 in 2012 to 4,992 in 2014.

Moody’s noted that, based on the county’s success, other counties are likely to participate in the Real Property Assessment Demonstration Program. The program has also been recognized by the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Monmouth County’s dedication to increase efficiency, reduce expenses and streamline business processes through shared services has produced real results and tangible savings for county taxpayers.

The Board of Freeholders is proud of this accomplishment and looks forward to continuing our dedication and leadership in assisting our municipalities through shared services.

Thomas A. Arnone
Monmouth County Freeholder
Liaison to the Monmouth County
Office of Shared Services
Freehold Borough