« Schools | Main | Taxpayer Protection Initiative »

Saturday, March 14, 2009


The reassessment program results in the estimation of the fair market value of all of the properties in Ocean City, New Jersey.

The sole purpose of property assessments is to estimate a fair market value of each property, thereby equitably distributing real estate taxes.

The estimate of the current fair market value of properties was as of October 1, 2007, and will become the tax assessment for the 2009 tax year.

The reassessments need to be scrutinized by the property owners and below is the process for appeal.

The Ocean City, New Jersey website, www.ocnj.us is available for more information.

Ocean City property taxpayers who decide to formally appeal the new property assessment can appeal to the Cape May County Board of Taxation.

An appeal must be received (,not postmarked,) by the County Board of Taxation on or before April 1, 2009 or 45 days from the date the bulk mailing of Notification of Assessment is completed (1/31/2009), which ever is later.

A taxpayer will have 45 days to file an appeal upon issuance of Notification of Change of Assessment.

Should the assessor fail for any reason to mail or deliver a Notification of Assessment or a Notice of Change of Assessment,the Cape May County Board of Taxation may, upon the written application of the taxpayer and with the approval of the Director of the Division of Taxation, grant a reasonable extension of time to file an appeal.

Generally, a minimum of three to five comparable sales are required to substantiate an appeal.

If the assessed value exceeds $750,000, you have the option of filing your appeal directly with the Tax Court. Information for filing a complaint with the Tax Court may be obtained by contacting the Tax Court of New Jersey at P.O. Box 972, Hughes Justice Complex, Trenton, New Jersey 08625.

Interested taxpayers should contact the Cape May County Board of Taxation, 7 North Main Street DN 303, Cape May Court House, New Jersey 08210, regarding appeal-filing procedures, filing fees, representation, etc. at 609-465-1030.

Posted by Pete at 9:13 PM
Categories: Taxes

Friday, October 24, 2008

Taxpayer Protection Ordinance Update

Upon remand from the New Jersey Supreme Court, the Appellate Division reached the same conclusion on the Taxpayer Protection Ordinance (TPO) as it did the first time it reviewed this case last year. It held that that the “TPO in this case, proposed by initiative petition, and which caps municipal budget, debt, and salary of municipal employees, would be invalid.” This holding is limited to caps created by initiative petition. The opinion does not specifically hold that it is beyond the power of a municipal governing body to enact its own budget caps. Several years ago the governing body of , passed a TPO similar to the one proposed here without the resulting “chaos” opponents of our TPO predicted.

However, several passages in the Court’s opinion seem to go farther. The Court reasoned that the State had “preempted” the field in budgetary matters. Although no state statute expressly prohibits a municipality from enacting its own cap laws, and the Faulkner Act grants municipalities the right to subject “any ordinance” to initiative, the court cited the existence of the state Budget Cap Law, Local Budget Law, Local Bond Law and specific referendum provisions as evidence that the legislature reserved to itself the power to limit municipal spending.

It is fair to ask whether FIT’s three-year fight to limit uncontrolled increases in City spending, borrowing, salaries and benefit increases was worth it. We think sometimes the battles lost are the ones most worth fighting. Indeed, the fact that the state passed a Budget Cap Law for municipalities shows someone in was paying attention to what was happening in . You can’t be on the cutting edge without drawing some blood.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

A new Ocean City School District Teacher's Contract is in negotiation...

Some facts about the CURRENT CONTRACT:

Currently, Taxpayers fund not only generous automatic negotiated annual Salary increases with NO connection to performance but ADDITIONAL automatic Longevity Increases beginning after 14 years of service and up to a maximum of $8,000 per year.

Why do we still have anything such as an annual longevity increase and no performance connection for among the highest teacher salaries in the State?

Currently, Taxpayers fund FULL Insurance Premiums for Health and Dental for the Employee, or Husband and Wife, or Parents/Child, or Full Family Plan with NO Employee Premium contribution.

Why don't employees contribute fairly to their generous Health and Dental Care benefits like other Ocean City employees?

Currently, Taxpayers fund FULL Dental coverage Premium for PART TIME employees.

Why do we pay for FULL TIME benefit for a PART TIME employee?

Currently Taxpayers fund 10 to 12 sick leave days per year per employee with accumulation of unused sick leave days from year to year "WITH NO MAXIMUM LIMIT" on the number of unused sick days to be paid in lump sum when an employee leave the School System.

Why isn't there a reasonable cap on accumulated sick leave days?

How does this compensation, benefits and perks picture compare with your own personal experience? And this is only the tip of the iceberg! Fairness in Taxes is looking for a Contract that is balanced fairly for the Taxpayers as well as the Employees!

The State of New Jersey caps School District Budget increases, so every extra dollar spent on exaggerated and excessive salary increases, cash benefits, or unnecessary staffing means FEWER direct dollars to our children's other educational needs!

Fairness in Taxes, PO Box 565
Ocean City, NJ 08226

Posted by Pete at 2:33 PM
Edited on: Saturday, August 30, 2008 2:42 PM
Categories: Taxes

Monday, February 11, 2008


Spending increases 7.00%
Taxation increases 12.257%
Equivalent tax rate increase, excluding ratables is 12.11%

1ST WARD JODY ALESSANDRINE 391-8598 jodya3@comcast.net
AT-LARGE SCOTT PING 399-0413 scottping2006@yahoo.com
AT-LARGE MICHAEL ALLEGRETTO 432-8739 Michael.Allegretto@prufoxroach.com
MAYOR SAL PERILLO 703-7675 sal6767@yahoo.com
AT-LARGE KEITH HARTZELL 399-5324 keithhartzell@hotmail.com
3RD WARD JACK THOMAS 399-9586 jackthomaocnj@comast.net
4TH WARD ROY WAGNER 399-4429 edwinaroyoc@yahoo.com

Below is an article that appeared in the January 18, 2008, edition of the Press of Atlantic City. Mr. Miller’s article is very informative and gives us some thought provoking comments about the presentation of the 2008 Ocean City Budget by Mayor Sal Perillo. There are several statements that need to be commented on prior to our members and taxpayers of Ocean City reading this article.

Because of information given to Michael Miller by the city, he states in the article

… the city's payroll is increasing by just 4 percent.

FACT: It is important that you understand that the increase in payroll for fulltime personnel increased more than 6%. This 6% includes pending salary increase of $400,000 that was erroneous listed as a FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) figure rather than being listed as the full time salary number. The pending salary increases are associated with the ongoing contract negotiation with the firefighters union.

The city plans to eliminate two (2) positions this year in addition to the nine (9) positions cut last year.

FACT: These nine positions were funded but the positions were never filled. In reality, there were no cuts in personnel associated with those nine positions.

O.C. mayor calls for 12% tax hike

Staff Writer, 609-463-6712

OCEAN CITY — Mayor Sal Perillo spent most of his budget address Thursday touting last year's accomplishments, such as savings with trash contracts and an upcoming beach fill.

He saved the bad news for last — a proposed 12 percent tax hike in his spending plan.

"We already know that 2008 will be a difficult year, not only for Ocean City but for all communities in New Jersey," Perillo said.

Ocean City for the first time in many years saw a staggering drop in equalized property value from $14 billion last year to an estimated $12.5 billion in 2008.

In his eight-page speech, the mayor neglected to mention a few important figures — such as the total budget ($60.5 million) and the amount to be raised by taxation ($42.9 million).

And he fudged the tax impact, declaring in his speech an 8 percent tax-rate hike for 2008. (The tax rate is actually going down this year, thanks to the revaluation.)

The mayor is proposing a tax rate of 34 cents per $100 of assessed property value. This year's property revaluation makes a comparison with last year's tax rate unhelpful. But the tax levy—the total dollars city property owners must pay—will go up by an estimated 12.2 percent.

Perillo blamed several factors outside the city's control for the tax hike. City pension costs are increasing by $700,000 this year. The city must pay the library 15 percent or $500,000 more this year. All told, these factors alone increase the city's budget by more than $4 million, Perillo said.

The mayor touted the island's comparatively low tax rate—36th lowest of 39 towns in Atlantic and Cape May counties by his account. But many residents here pay significantly more in actual tax dollars because of the high value of their properties compared to those in neighboring towns. The city plans to cut two more full-time employees this year in addition to the nine cut last year. As a result, the city's payroll is increasing by just 4 percent.

The city plans to spend $20 million on capital improvements this year using $11 million in grants. One of those projects will provide solar power to four public buildings using $1.6 million in private funds.

The city plans to spend $5 million on roads and drainage and will replace equipment on three playgrounds.

The city will begin construction on a 7,000-square-foot senior center next to the public library. Ocean City also will benefit from an $8.8 million beach-replenishment project to begin in a matter of weeks.

As part of his budget message, Perillo announced several new initiatives. Soon, the city will offer a reverse 911 system to notify residents by phone, e-mail or text message about flooding or other emergencies.

The mayor is launching a tax-abatement program to encourage residents to rehabilitate historic buildings instead of demolishing them.

Cape May County plans to build a new 7,500-square-foot senior center next to the library, which also is expanding.

Under Ocean City's form of government, City Council may set the tax rate and simply let the administration determine how to meet it. But past councils have made specific recommendations about ways to cut taxes, and this year likely will be no different. Various budget meetings are scheduled for later this month.

To e-mail Michael Miller at The Press: Mmiller@pressofac.com

Posted by Pete at 9:56 PM
Edited on: Wednesday, March 12, 2008 10:54 PM
Categories: Administration, Budget, Taxes

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Reasons For Appeal of Taxpayer Protection Initiative

On September 26th in a case involving the City of Trenton, the New Jersey Supreme Court overruled the Cuprowski decision as it applied to public referendums. The Court adopted the plain language of N.J.S.A. 40:69A-185 providing voters of Faulkner Act municipalities the right to subject any ordinance to referendum unless exempted by State Statute. The Court is most likely to apply the same “plain language” rule to citizen initiatives as well. Although the Court did refer to local budget ordinances as being exempt from referendum, it clearly referred to annual budgets which are held in suspension for 20 days and not to budget cap laws which are effective in advance of any annual ordinance being passed.

We have always believed our case, decided on September 13th by the Appellate Division, met the standards for appeal to the New Jersey Supreme Court, both as an issue of substantial public importance, and having sufficient potential for impacting legal precedent. The reason we initially decided not to appeal after the Appellate Division’s decision was because we were aware that the odds of even a good case being accepted for review were not in our favor. We did not wish to cause more taxpayer dollars to be spent by our local government in its fight against the taxpayers. However, the September 26th ruling by the N.J. Supreme Court in the Trenton case changes those odds.

Taking a case all the way to the top Court in the State is always an uphill struggle. We wish to thank our many supporters, both the thousand signatories of our petition and those who contributed generously to our legal fund after the Knight Administration decided to prevent a citizen referendum by filing suit against us. We know that many of you were disappointed when we initially decided not to appeal the Appellate Division’s decision. We will now by this appeal to the N.J. Supreme Court receive for all of you the final answer.

Taxpayers do not forget. All this could have been avoided if either of two things had happened:

  1. If the Knight Administration had allowed the question to be decided by the voters of Ocean City, or

  2. If the City Council had enacted the Taxpayer Protection Ordinance as did the municipality of Bogata, New Jersey. That ordinance has been successfully in effect for several years without incurring any of the “chaos” they are trying to scare you with.

None of this is for free. We need those of you who have stood with us before to do so again and if you haven’t donated before please consider doing so. Send your contributions, payable to Fairness In Taxes Legal Fund, P.O. Box 565, Ocean City, NJ 08226-0565.

Committee of Petitioners:
Joseph Somerville
Peter Guinosso
Dennis Myers
John Bryson (deceased)
Frederick Hoffman

Submitted by James Tweed, Coordinator for the Committee