Appeal Saves Building Owner $600K in Taxes
More than 1,100 appeals on property assessments were filed in 2012.
Officials settled a tax appeal between the township and the owner of a multi-story office building next to the Willowbrook Mall.
Willowbrook Center LLC will receive a $600,000 refund for taxes it paid between 2009 and 2012.
The land the building is on is assessed at nearly $3.3 million. The building is assessed at more than $4.9 million. Willowbrook Center LLC paid nearly $528,000 in taxes in 2012.
Dorothy Kreitz, the township’s chief tax assessor, said that the number of appeals filed against the township has skyrocketed in recent years.
“Just a few years ago 39 appeals were filed,” Kreitz said. “More than 1,100 were filed in 2012.”
The council approves tax appeals at meetings constantly. Tax appeals are filed with the Passaic County Board of Taxation. Taxes themselves cannot be appealed; only the assessment of a property’s value can be appealed.
Appeals must be filed before April 1.
“I feel, personally, we’re settling these appeals too fast and too easy,” said 2nd Ward Councilman Alan Purcell. The building is located in the ward Purcell represents. “Every time we settle, because our administration feels that’s the best course of action, the residents have to make up the difference.”