Support Grows For Controversial Property Tax Assessment Program As Shrewsbury Opts Back In

Declan1A bi-partisan effort to explain the controversial pilot program for assessing Monmouth County properties, the Assessment Demonstration Program, is generating support for the program as one of the eight municipalities that opted out of the program has reenlisted and other towns are choosing to stay with the program that is reducing the amount of property tax appeals filed.

The biggest problem the program has faced is confusion between the alleged improprieties and conflicts of interests in the implementation of the program exposed by an Asbury Park Press series which instigated an investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and the benefits and weaknesses of the program itself.

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Posted: May 4th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Declan O'Scanlon, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Taxation, Monmouth County News, Property Taxes | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments »

O’Scanlon and Tax Board Announce Assessment Reforms

Assemblyman Declan O'Scanlon

Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon

Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon and the members of the Monmouth County Tax Boards announced reforms to the controversial Assessment Demonstration Program yesterday. The changes are designed to address the volatility in property valuations that taxpayers have been experiencing during the early years of the pilot program’s implementation.

In addition to making appropriate adjustments to the program, O’Scanlon told MMM that he his hopeful that municipal officials will focus on the program itself, and not the controversy over the allegations of conflicts of interests among assessors, Tax Administrator Matthew Clark, and the vendors working the program, when deciding whether to continue their participation participation in 2017.  The Tax Board announced last month that towns can opt out of the program for 2017 by April 29, 2016.

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Posted: December 17th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County Board of Taxation, Monmouth County News, Property Taxes | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Monmouth Tax Board: Towns Can Opt Out of Assessment Demonstration Program

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Tax Commissioners Cliff Moore, James Stuart and Kathy Cody Bjelka

The Monmouth County Tax Board acted on Monday to allow municipalities to opt out of the controversial pilot program, the Assessment Demonstration Program. The program has resulted in the volatility of property assessments and spurred a grand jury investigation into alleged conflicts of interest among key players in the County’s complex property tax system.

By an unanimous vote Monday afternoon, the Tax Board approved a resolution offered by Commissioner Clifford J. Moore III to immediately allow municipalities to opt out of the program for the 2017 tax year.  Towns must notify the board that they are opting out by 11:59 p.m. on April 29, 2016.

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Posted: December 1st, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Taxation, Monmouth County News, Property Taxes | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Monmouth Tax Board: Towns Can Opt Out of Assessment Demonstration Program

Tax Board Rejects Curley’s Call To Suspend Assessment Program

Prosecutor Mum On Whether He Will Investigate Anonymous Allegations

Freeholder John P. Curley

Freeholder John P. Curley

The Monmouth County Board of Taxation voted unanimously on Friday to reject Freeholder John Curley’s call that they suspend their new method of assessing values on properties in the county for property tax purposes.

Curley’s call to suspend the program came last week after he said received an anonymous letter from a group of realtors, appraisers, tax assessors and former tax assessors alleging that the program, “Tax Assessment Demonstration Program,” is not being implemented in accordance with the law that created it and implying that Matthew Clark, the Tax Board Administrator, has inappropriate dealings with the program vendors.

Curley referred the anonymous letter to Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni, declaring in his own letter to the prosecutor that it is “omnipotent (sic) that all government business be conducted with full transparency, ethical and legal standards.”   Curley also wrote Tax Board President James Stuart to request the tax assessment program be suspended while Gramiccioni investigates.  He then released the anonymous letter and his letters to Gramiccioni and Stuart to the Asbury Park Press.

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Posted: September 21st, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth County Board of Taxation, Monmouth County News, Monmouth County Prosecutor | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Christie nominates Cliff Moore to the Monmouth County Tax Board

Cliff Moore

Cliff Moore

Governor Chris Christie has nominated Clifford J. Moore, III of Hazlet to the Monmouth County Board of Taxation.

If confirmed by the State Senate, Moore will replace Daniel M. Kelly of Little Silver on the board.  Kelly resigned last month due to professional commitments.

Moore is the president of the Keyport Bayfront Business Cooperative , past president of the Northern Monmouth Chamber of Commerce, and co-chair of the Hazlet Business Owners Association Economic Development Committee. Moore ran for Hazlet Township Committee, as a Democrat, last November.  He is an owner of seven business in Hazlet and Keyport.

The Monmouth County Board of Taxation is comprised of four Republicans and three Democrats. Moore is taking a Democratic seat. The party of the incumbent governor holds the majority.

Matthew S. Clark, the Monmouth County Tax Administrator, said that the commissioners have a “broader, taller responsibility” than they have had in years past, as Monmouth is the first county in New Jersey to implement the Assessment Demonstration Program signed into law by Governor Christie in March.   The Assessment Demonstration Program is “true property tax reform,” according to Clark, which includes online appeals and creates assessment precision.  The online appeals process is a shared service that the Tax Board is offering to other counties to generate revenue and reduce the tax burden on Monmouth County property owners.

The commissioners hear tax appeal cases, certify property tax rates, certify the county’s equalization table, oversee the administration of county tax assessments, and certify the annual added assessments from Monmouth’s municipalities.

Commissioners on the Tax Board earn a salary of $18,000 per year.  Clark did not know if new commissioners receive health benefits are part of their compensation.   The Governor’s press office as yet to respond to an inquiry regarding health benefits for tax commissioners.

Posted: December 20th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Taxation | Tags: , , , , | 13 Comments »

Republicans Win In Hazlet

Incumbent Republican Committeemen Mike Sachs and Scott Aagre beat back a challenge from Democrats Cliff Moore and Audrey Tyler, with all districts reporting.

Posted: November 5th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Republicans Win In Hazlet

Municipal Races To Watch

Monmouth_Game_BoxThe Battle of Monmouth is in the municipalities today.

Monmouth Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal is hoping to be the Gene Michael of politics. Michael, the New York Yankees General Manger in the early 1990’s, rebuilt the mediocre team back to dominant glory by focusing on new talent in the farm system.  As a player, Michael was a master of the hidden ball trick.  In baseball the hidden ball trick is when a position player fakes throwing the ball back to the pitcher after a play, only to tag out the base runner when he take a lead off the base.

Like Michael, Gopal is trying to build his farm team in Monmouth County municipal races, knowing he can’t win the big show in the short term, with an eye on future dominance of Monmouth County government and the State of New Jersey.  Also like Michael, Gopal always has a trick up his sleeve behind his youthful smile and pleasant demeanor.

Gopal hasn’t even fielded a team in 23 races in 16 Monmouth County towns.  Yet he has the press and New Jersey’s Democratic leadership convinced he’s building a future empire from the bottom up.

But if he doesn’t deliver the goods tonight, Gopal could end up as a Hardy Peterson, the Yankees General Manager who only lasted in the job for one year, 1990, instead of Michael, and find himself challenged for the county chairmanship when his first term ends in June.

The towns to watch tonight are Red Bank, Aberdeen, Eatontown, Highlands, Hazlet and Marlboro.

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Posted: November 5th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2013 Election, Monmouth County, Monmouth Democrats, Monmouth GOP | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Hazlet Municipal Race: Meet the Candidates

Courtesey of John Schneider, JerseyBayShore.com

Posted: October 6th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2013 Election | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Hazlet Municipal Race: Meet the Candidates

Pallone’s Vulnerability Exposed

Pallone njtv senate debateReports out of Long Branch are that Frank Pallone was shocked and dismayed that he lost his first election ever last night.

The story is that it took him two hours after the Associated Press called the primary for Cory Booker to show up at McLoone’s Pier House because he was holed up in his office, unable to compose himself.  It was only after he heard the media was leaving that he was able to pull himself together and join his own party while Senate nominee Cory Booker was delivering his victory speech on live TV from Newark.

But the big story, and what Pallone should really be upset about, is not that he lost a primary few thought he could win, but that he is now exposed as vulnerable for reelection in the 6th Congressional District.  Pallone performed poorly in his Middlesex and Monmouth base.Senate Primary results MiddlesexSenate Primary results MonmouthNumbers and graphics from Politico.

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Posted: August 14th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 Congressional Races, Anna Little, Congress, Frank Pallone | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 35 Comments »

Bobby Can’t Voo Doo Like Drew Do Voo Doo

Keyport Thursdays Kicks Off With 2000+ Visitors At Stronger Than The Storm Throwdown

billseward's Keyprort Throw Down Bobby Flay and Drew Araneo album on Photobucket

With over 2000 Superstorm Sandy survivors cheering him on, Drew Araneo had the home field advantage in the Voo Doo Shrimp Throw Down against celebrity chef Bobby Flay as the Keyport Bayshore Business Cooperative kicked off their Keyport Thursdays promotion with a big assist from the State of New Jersey’s Stronger Than The Storm campaign.

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Posted: June 28th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: #STTS, Keyport, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »