TOMS RIVER, NJ – Toms River Mayor Maurice “Mo” Hill and Township Attorney Gregory P. McGuckin both said it’s against the law for the township to intervene after a reassessment company’s decision has more than double the property taxes of thousands of senior citizens in the community.
Homeowners in Holiday City at Silverton are in shock after Professional Property Appraisers, hired by the township more than double the assessed values of the homes in that community and with it a triple-whammy tax increase in municipal, school, and fire property tax bills.
Instead, Hill and McGuckin scolded Rodrick for alarming residents of those neighborhoods and for asking the Mayor to ask the company to take a second look at its valuation of homes in the retirement community.
Rodrick told Shore News Network that he voted for the contract award to Professional Property Appraisers based on recommendations and testimonials by Mayor Hill and Business Administrator Lou Amoruso, but said, now says those recommendations aren’t ringing true.
“Clearly Professional Property Appraisers got it wrong, and if I could go back and change my vote, I would,” Rodrick said.
Council President Kevin Geoghegan said that tax assessment is what it is.
For the senior citizens hit with 40% increases, Geoghegan said, “Unfortunately we have to do two things in life…pay taxes and die. None of us like paying taxes. I get it. Obviously, we only hear from people whose taxes go up…it is what is.”
Councilman Dan Rodrick called the increases “outrageous”.
Hill said residents had a brief window to contact the PPA themselves, but that window expired this week.
Instead, on Wednesday, Hill and McGuckin argued over Rodrick’s misinterpretation of the state law, offering residents no path for resolution though the township. Geoghegan accused Rodrick and his concern over the 50% tax hikes of being in ‘campaign mode’, doubling down on his claim that the residents of Holiday City have not been paying their fair share of property tax.
“These are reasonable increases,” Geoghegan said of recent increases in the township.
Residents affected by the massive property tax hike can file an appeal. You can learn more about the process here.