To the Editor:
Earlier this month, all Princeton homeowners received a green postcard in the mail listing their property assessments for 2017 as well as their assessments from last year for comparison.
Property owners in some neighborhoods — approximately 1000 households total — will see changes to their assessments. This reflects changes in home values as determined by the Princeton Tax Assessor.
Residents may remember the community distress caused by the 2009 revaluation, in which many properties experienced significant changes in their assessments resulting in dramatic increases in their tax bills. A fundamental cause of the giant swing was the fact that the former Princeton Borough and Township had gone 13 years without revaluations, while the housing market had changed significantly over that period.
In order to avoid another devastating revaluation, since then our tax assessor has conducted an annual “compliance plan.” Each year, the Assessor’s office reviews sales from the entire town, looks for trends, and whether assessments match market activity. In neighborhoods where sold homes are selling for 15 percent or more outside the range of current assessments, global assessment changes are made. These changes are reviewed and approved by the Mercer County Tax board. We should note that Princeton’s tax assessor reports directly to the Mercer County Tax Board, and not to Princeton’s governing body.
If you feel your home is assessed incorrectly, we encourage you to make an appointment to meet with the Princeton Tax Assessor to discuss your property. You also can file an appeal. Information about how to appeal can be found on the Princeton municipal website: www.princetonnj.gov/tax-assessor.html. Appeals must be submitted by April 1.