WAGNER: EDGEWATER TAX ASSESSMENT FAVORITISM CANNOT BE REPEATED

Will Pursue Legislation to Tackle Problem with Unjust Assessments

(38th LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT) – Assemblywoman Connie Wagner (D-Bergen) released the following statement Tuesday on a report by the Office of the State Comptroller that found the Edgewater tax assessor gave large property tax breaks to a wealthy developer, leading to $472,000 in “disproportionate and inappropriate tax savings”:

“This is an outrage and something that cannot be allowed to repeat itself. That’s why I plan to introduce legislation to make sure this never happens again.
“Property taxes are burdensome enough in this state without wealthy developers receiving special treatment. Property taxpayers must be treated equally and fairly, but this report makes clear that the system an easily be manipulated without anyone noticing.
“Quite simply, it’s unacceptable.
“I thank Comptroller Matthew Boxer and his office for uncovering this situation. His sensible recommendations would go a long way toward combating this problem.
“To that end, I will be drafting legislation designed to ensure that tax assessors are unable to reduce tax assessments without justification or detection.
“I want to see tax assessors file annual report listing all assessments that have been cut by 20 percent or more, along with written justification for such reductions. I also agree that the state Division of Taxation needs to find a way to identify properties owned by a single entity that are assessed less than similar properties.
“Favoritism cannot be allowed.”