Recently I read two letters to the editor, one written by Pedro Rodriguez, a homeowner in the City of Paterson, in which he advised the administration and the city council to revise the strategy of the yearly revaluation of properties because they will prove to work against the homeowners of the City of Paterson.
The second letter was written by the tax assessor of the City of Paterson Richard Marra, in which he disagrees with the statement that higher property values would prove detrimental to the homeowners of this City.
As a real estate agent and former councilman of the 2nd Ward, I have to agree with Rodriguez in his statements. The yearly revaluation will prove detrimental to the homeowners of the City of Paterson, not because we will be fairly distributing the tax burden among Patersonians, but because we will be paying unfair county taxes compared to other municipalities in Passaic County, which was Rodriguez’s point.
Furthermore, Mr. Marra at the beginning of the letter tried to establish a technical difference between reassessment and revaluation without providing an explanation of what the difference is, nor which effect it has in the content of Rodriguez assertions. For clarification to the homeowners of the city of Paterson, revaluation and a reassessment are synonymous, a licensed revaluation company performs a revaluation and the municipal tax assessor performs a reassessment. The outcome of any of these programs is the same; all properties are assessed at 100% of market value. For argument sake, Rodriguez is correct again, because the City of Paterson is using an outside company to perform this yearly task at a cost of $800,000 of taxpayers’ dollars*.
Finally, Mr. Marra agrees with Mr. Rodriguez that the foreseeable future shows and uptrend real estate market, in which properties will increase in value. That’s the point that we need to analyze. If properties in Paterson continue to increase in value and our properties are showing a true market value, but properties in other municipalities are not reassessed and continue to show a value lower than their market value, we will be at a disadvantage. Mr. Marra tries to deviate the attention alluding to better job under a better economy, but neglecting to indicate that we would pay higher county taxes.
This will prove to be even more detrimental in our 2nd Ward, in which properties will gain value at an accelerated rate. I join Mr. Pedro Rodriguez in his request to the administration and the City Council to review their decision to revaluate our properties every year.
Realtor and former 2nd Ward councilman
Editor’s note: *Paterson is paying $200,000 per year for four years for annual property reassessments. When he was on the City Council, Akhtaruzzaman did not express any opposition to the plan to conduct annual reassessments. He was absent on the night when council members approved the four-year contract to conduct annual reassessments.