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Westwood Revaluation Will Affect 2014 Property Taxes

The borough will have a property revaluation done this year.

Westwood will undergo a revaluation this year, updating property values for 2014, Mayor John Birkner said this week.

The Bergen County Board of Taxation is requiring the borough to have the revaluation done because it has been years since the last one and the economy has shifted in the time since then, according to Birkner.

The change in property values has also prompted a large number of tax appeals. There were 197 appeals in Westwood last year — many of which were successful — according to county tax officials. Appealed property values shifted down by a total of $4.8 million in 2012, records show.

Revaluations in other area towns also contributed to the need for one in Westwood, according to Birkner.

Hillsdale recently completed a revaluation and Washington Township officials also plan to undergo one this year. The township's property taxes are closely linked with Westwood's because of the regional school district.

"It's unfortunately necessary because our neighboring communities have already done it," Birkner said.

Birkner estimated the cost of the revaluation would be in the "six figure range," but they would not have an exact amount until the budget is complete.

Councilwoman Cindy Waneck said at a meeting this week that she expected the large cost of the revaluation would be a burden on the budget.

"I continue to be very, very nervous about our budget," Waneck said.

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Jim Leggate at Jim.Leggate@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

21st century concerned citizen February 22, 2013 at 01:36 PM
Glad the Westwood Town Council has realized that a revaluation is necessary. Because of the complex nature of the taxes (County and regional school system), as well as the financial crisis of 2007-2008 this is the right move.
Barry Black February 22, 2013 at 03:37 PM
The more important aspect of a town-wide property re-evaluation is the difference between residential and commercial rates. If towns want to bring in more business they will lower the tax rate for commercial properties, which raises the rate for homeowners.
Gary Conkling February 22, 2013 at 06:56 PM
Bergen County is forcing them to re-evaluate. I would bet the WW tax assesor has been telling them for a few years to re-evalue. 197 in 2012 how many 2011,2010? WW taxes went up 3.75 percent last year.One of the highest. Now the council is working on gimmicks to stay under 2 percent cap. Sounds like Budget problems...
William Lang February 23, 2013 at 03:04 PM
So does having chickens increase or decrease your property values? Does having neighbors with chickens increase or decrease your property values?
scruffy February 23, 2013 at 04:33 PM
Perhaps it is time for a look at how all department budgets are being used and scale back in some areas. We have a new Treasurer/CFO so maybe some new eyes will see things differently. All towns have had to trim over the years. Westwood residents houses have been over valued in comparison to neighboring Washington Township for example for years. This revaluation has been long overdue. Why weren't our officials doing this for the residents without being forced. This was not new to them it was being vetoed by several council members from what I hear for at least a year prior.
Gary Conkling February 23, 2013 at 10:39 PM
The only real way to start bringing taxes under control is merging. One example Why is the governing body not going with Bergen County for dispatch? Your tax dollars paid for The dispatch center why not use it? Bergen County offered it for free to try. More tax payers should go to council meeting and ask questions
William Lang February 24, 2013 at 03:16 PM
just because it’s bigger does not it better or cheaper...the question that should be asked - is why did the county build the center in the first place (at great cost to the taxpayers) without users in place....This was another example of county officials going wild with OUR MONEY...This was the brain child of the last county administration (all d's) - efficiency, reliability and professionalism is the key to a great dispatch service and that is better accomplished in smaller groups of users - not 70 users - but you are right we could all save tax money with intelligent consolidation of services - but the county is NOT the answer....A Pascack Valley regionalization would be a great start.
21st century concerned citizen February 24, 2013 at 05:17 PM
Probably has no effect when the appraiser comes up with a valuation. This whole thing on Chickens is totally embarrassing for our town. Makes us look like a 3rd world country town. I personally cannot believe people of Wetwood have Chickens on their property. Must have moved in from another country. Should be outlawed
21st century concerned citizen February 24, 2013 at 05:24 PM
@scruffy I agree with you. We do need "new" eyes on the town council. People who have the vision to cut municipal expenses without sacrificing services. Another area that is a major contributor to our high taxes is all of the municipal debt incurred for our municipal projects including the town landfill, and municipal buildings as well as the benefit plans for our municipal employees. Visionary council members would see what private industry is doing to cut expense. In yesterday's Wall Street Journal, many companies are now limiting health coverage to the employee only and eliminating the spouse or partner. Also every company I worked for eliminated pensions many years ago for all employees. Our municipalities in NJ should do the same. We cannot afford to keep funding these programs
Westwood Resident February 25, 2013 at 01:16 AM
21st century concerned citizen you should be embarrassed by your attitude and your comments.Westwood used to be country and farm land this whole area was farm land, saying that only foreigners would keep chickens, that seems raciest. So do you think there should be no vegetable gardens, farms, fruit tree's in Bergen county? If you wanted to live in a city then you should move to jersey city, but you wouldn't cause I'm sure there are too many foreigners there for you.
Gary Conkling February 25, 2013 at 01:19 PM
Not saying if county is or is not the answer. The Mayor and council must look into all options. Your right why was it built?This is why tax payers must attend meeting and ask questions

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