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first_imgA town with a year-round population of just 11,701, Ocean City has the fourth highest combined real estate value of any municipality in New Jersey.Only 56 Ocean City property owners filed tax appeals this year. They reduced the assessed value of their properties by a combined $3.8 million.Those appeals come just two years after 829 tax appeals wiped $108 million of taxable value off the boards in Ocean City and three years after 641 appeals reduced ratables by another $100 million.At the same time, Ocean City is wrapping up a multiyear in-house program that has pro-actively reassessed property values on almost 17,000 of the city’s approximately 19,275 taxable properties. The “compliance plan” reduced combined tax assessments by more than $1 billion.At last, Ocean City’s assessed values appear to be more in line with market values.The net effect of the changes?A stabilized tax rate for all Ocean City property owners.The City of Ocean City and the Ocean City Board of Education in recent years have held tax increases to about 2 percent or below. But with less property value to tax, Ocean City had to increase the tax rate more substantially — even just to collect close to the same overall amount in taxes.Taxpayers shared the tax burden unevenly. The owners who had their property values reassessed in any given year likely paid less in taxes, while those who didn’t paid more.When the overall ratable base falls, tax rates become inflated, Ocean City Finance Director Frank Donato said. It has the opposite effect when the ratable base increases.With tax appeals and reassessments stabilized, and with new construction and rehabilitations on the rise, Donato estimates Ocean City could see more than $100 million in new real estate value this year.That would reverse a trend that saw Ocean City’s overall ratable base fall from about $12.9 billion four years ago to $11.3 billion today. And that would likely lead to relatively stable tax rates.Even with the decrease in the ratable base, Ocean City still has the fourth highest combined real estate value of any municipality in the state of New Jersey. (With a year-round population of 11,701, Ocean City is just the 83rd most populous city in the state.)See the following rankings for 2013 from a state Department of Community Affairs abstract of ratables:Atlantic City: $14.4 billionNewark: $13 billionToms River:$11.4 billionOcean City: $11.3 billionBrick Township: $10.2 billionMiddletown Township (Monmouth County): $9.8 billionFranklin Township (Somerset County): $8.7 billionPaterson (Passaic County): $8.5 billionMillburn Township (Essex County): $8.1 billionBridgewater Township (Somerset County): $8.1 billionThe rankings also include: No. 14, Avalon, $7.3 billion; No. 41, Sea Isle City, $4.9 billion; No. 45, Stone Harbor, $4.4 billion; No. 102, Cape May, $2.8 billion.Donato said the compliance plan “might not be completely done.”  The city has until Oct. 1 to apply to the county to reassess more properties. But with the vast majority of properties already complete, the effect on the ratable base would not be substantial.__________Sign up for OCNJ Daily’s free newsletter and breaking news alerts“Like” us on Facebooklast_img

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