In 2007, when the town of Moorestown found itself slammed by a storm of tax appeals, it hired Appraisal Systems Inc to conduct a revaluation. The company is now being criticized for alleged inequities in values among comparable properties in identical neighborhoods – something critics (including the Mayor) are touting as evidence of ASI’s incompetency.
Yet a statewide study — in which the results of the revaluation were compared to subsequent home sales — uncovered a high degree of conformity between ASI’s assessments and those valuations reflected in house sales recorded in the years following the revaluation.
ASI’s defenders cites a number of mitigating factors that might contribute to assessment variances among comparables, in particular the collapse of the real estate market which occurred shortly after they had completed their reval.
All this scapegoating is no doubt due to the dissatisfaction of Moorestown homeowners, many of whom following the reval experienced assessment hikes on properties which were likely woefully underassessed.
The Moorestown Township Council looked at several options for the 2012 budget and its members are anxious to pass an introductory version of it at an upcoming meeting.
Township Financial Manager Tom Merchel suggested a $22.7 million 2012 budget that would effectively increase the township tax bill for an average assessed home of $529,800 in Moorestown by $95.
Merchel was able to reduce the proposed tax-rate increase from the last budget meeting by more than $40, as health insurance costs were decreased by $100,591. Appropriations in the 2012 budget are down by almost $350,000, he said