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Does every town need a tax assessor? Lawmaker says there’s a better way

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(claudiodivizia, ThinkStock)

A South Jersey Assemblyman has introduced legislation he says will save Atlantic County taxpayers millions.

Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo, D-Atlantic, is pushing for a countywide tax assessor in Atlantic County, which would eliminate local municipal assessors in the county and streamline the whole process.

“You would no longer have municipal tax assessors, and you also would not have to do any more revaluations,” he said.

Mazzeo says he also wants to keep valuations — the value assigned to a property for the purpose of determining how much its tax will be — at 100 percent of market value and move tax assessment appeals from April to January to allow towns to better plan their budgets.

Mazzeo says he believes there’s support in Trenton for this because it will also help Atlantic City, which is under state oversight after the municipality nearly went bankrupt last year. The resort city lost massive amounts of revenue as a result of tax appeals by struggling casinos.

“With the way that Atlantic County is going, specifically Atlantic City with these massive tax appeals, the cure-all for this would be a county tax assessor, and keeping the valuations at 100 percent.”

According to Mazzeo, it is shared services consolidation.

“It is no secret that New Jersey is the highest property tax state in the country. We have 566 municipalities. The time has come deliver government differently now. And I think that doing a county-wide tax assessor in something that can be done, it should be done, and at the end of the day, we are trying to stabilize or even trying to lower property taxes in New Jersey.”

Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5.

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