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Fair Lawn's Top 10 Taxpayers

Patch takes a look at the highest assessed properties in Fair Lawn.

Fair Lawn's property value reassessment, completed in March, has shifted a greater portion of the town's tax burden onto commercial property owners and away from residents.

Property values have dropped for both homes and businesses, on average, but they have dropped more steeply for homes.

The switch has left some business owners -- a few of whom spoke at last week's council meeting -- concerned over the increase in their estimated tax bills.

In the first part of a multi-part series about the wide-ranging effects of the reassessment, today Patch takes a look at the town's top taxpayers.

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Fair Lawn's top taxpayers are split evenly among commercial properties, industrial properties and apartments.

While commercial properties make up five of the top 10 taxpayers in town, Fair Lawn's top two taxpayers -- by a substantial margin -- are the owners of the (assessed at $44.2 million) and the industrially-zoned ($29.3 million).

In fact, seven of top 10 taxpayers in town -- including Fair Lawn Commons and Nabisco -- inhabit the small swath of land in the northern part of Fair Lawn bounded by Pollitt Drive to the east and Route 208 to the west -- home to Fair Lawn's Industrial Park.

Highly-assessed properties in that area include the (4th highest, $19,822,900), Fair Lawn Park Estates apartments on Chandler Drive (5th, $16,767,100), Columbia Bank on Route 208 (6th, $15,269,500), the Pollitt Drive office space that houses  and , among others (9th, $13,047,700) and (10th, $10,696,000).

Rounding out the top ten are two grocery store complexes -- the / and the on Maple Avenue (8th, $13,076,900) -- and the  (7th, $13,200,500) on Route 4.

With so many of Fair Lawn's major rateables coming from in and around the industrial park, Deputy Mayor John Cosgrove said it was essential to continue attracting businesses to that area.

Special improvement districts already exist to attract and advocate for businesses on River Road and Broadway, but the industrial park lost its major promoter when the Economic Development Corporation disbanded for lack of funding late last year.

Cosgrove is leading a charge to reconstitute the EDC in a form that is acceptable to council.

"I don’t think that a town of our size -- 32,500 people roughly -- should not have an economic development corp," he said last month at a council work session. "Everyone knows that it’s really tough to attract high-end companies and I think we need to be in that game so that Fair Lawn can maintain our rateables in the industrial park."

 

Rank Property Location Land Assessment Improvement Assessment Total Assessment Owner/Property Name

1

16-05 Fair Lawn Avenue $8,500,000 $35,702,700 $44,202,700 2 McBride Avenue and Route 208 $14,748,500 $14,571,100 $29,319,600 3 17-77-77 River Road $12,255,000 $8,001,000 $20,256,000 4 17-17 Route 208 $6,804,000 $13,018,900 $19,822,900 5 Chandler Drive $5,100,000 $11,667,100 $16,767,100 Fair Lawn Park Estates 6 19-01 Route 208 $6,384,000 $8,885,500 $15,269,500 Columbia Bank 7 41-01 Route 4 $7,920,000 $5,280,500 $13,200,500 8 22-00-12 Maple Avenue $7,205,000 $5,871,900 $13,076,900 9 18-01 Pollitt Drive $7,402,500 $5,645,200 $13,047,700 / Complex 10 17-02 Nevins Road $6,278,100 $4,417,900 $10,696,000 11 15-00-58 Plaza Road $2,600,000 $7,900,000 $10,500,000 Plaza Road Co-Op 12 12-15 Saddle River Road $6,355,500 $4,109,500 $10,465,000 13 Fair Lawn Avenue $3,400,000 $6,950,600 $10,350,600 Hollow Run at Fair Lawn Apartments 14 16-31 Route 208 $9,950,000 0 $9,950,000 Fair Lawn Promenade 15 Fair Lawn Avenue $3,400,000 $6,469,600 $9,869,600 16 19-00 Pollitt Drive $4,231,100 $5,133,900 $9,365,000 Medco Health Solutions 17 Chandler Drive $2,700,000 $6,176,700 $8,876,700 Fair Lawn Park Estates 17 Chandler Drive $2,700,000 $6,176,700 $8,876,700 Fair Lawn Park Estates 19 26-10 Fair Lawn Avenue $2,350,000 $6,047,300 $8,397,300 Bergen Properties Apartments 20 17-01 Pollitt Drive $5,885,300 $1,837,100 $7,722,400 US Technologies//Kyodo Shipping & Trading/Henry Bros. Electronics 21 22-01 Fair Lawn Avenue $4,446,000 $3,059,000 $7,505,000 Radburn Shopping area near store 22 20-01 Broadway $4,289,500 $3,149,100 $7,438,600 23 19-05 Nevins Road $5,866,000 $1,430,300 $7,296,300 Global Transport Logistics 24 19-02 Nevins Road $5,561,500 $1,647,700 $7,209,200 25 445 Wagaraw Road $1,544,300 $5,606,200 $7,150,500 Uncle Bob's Storage

*Data provided by Fair Lawn Tax Assessor's Office. 

Note: Some of the property locations provided do not correspond with the street address of the property.

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Tommy P July 05, 2012 at 07:10 PM
Chris you sure are saying the government should subsidize staycations.
Chris Antonelli July 05, 2012 at 07:15 PM
No, I'm not. That's how you want it to read.
Tommy P July 05, 2012 at 08:32 PM
So you have changed your position and are now against the town subsidizing Memorial Pool? Your for fiscal prudence?
Sergey Araminoff July 05, 2012 at 08:39 PM
Bottom line, before any essential service is cut, cut the non-essential, just like the vacation should becut like Chris states.
Sergey Araminoff July 05, 2012 at 08:40 PM
Send the Wreck center packing, put it for sale, but I doubt anyone will buy it!
Sergey Araminoff July 05, 2012 at 08:44 PM
The politicians won't let go of their little gimmicks, the little "vote getter's", this is why there is wasted spending! Call it for what it is!
Sergey Araminoff July 05, 2012 at 09:14 PM
Tommy, in my country, it's called a double tax system, taxing a resident family for the pool is a double tax when taxpayers lose 500k a year on Memorial pool!
question July 06, 2012 at 03:07 AM
Sergey-please explain this to Me. People like you tommy say majority of residents are against tax money going to the pool. If this is true how could council supporting the pool be a " vote getter" ? Wouldnt they side with the majority if they wanted votes. the way i see it is the majority of residents enjoy having services like the pool, library, senior center. If they didnt canidates who say i will cut services and taxes would be elected.
question July 06, 2012 at 03:15 AM
Sergey- theres an election in 2013, you are free to run. If the majority of residents are against tax money going to the pool, library, etc you ahould have nk prob getting elected. Or you could move to another town. I chose to move to fair lawn because of the pool, library, rec center knowing i would pay extra taxes for them. Nothing personal but you probably made a dumb decision if you moved here thinking these things would go away because you dont like them.
Chris Antonelli July 06, 2012 at 01:47 PM
Sergey, Your ideas on vote gimmicks is wrong. One of the big reasons Ganz was voted out was the Rec Center. So, how is spending a vote getter? Fair Lawn has never had the pool as an election issue. Follow my point? Tommy, My position on the pool remains the same and will always remain that way.
David Fidler July 07, 2012 at 01:58 PM
Why don't you guys up and move to a place where your 'Libertarian' dreams and John Galt selfishness can take full root- someplace like Somalia will allow you all to e the self-sufficient, rugged individualists you claim to be.... You live in a community where most citizens expect services, services we're aware of- along with current tax rates, when we purchase our homes
Tommy P July 07, 2012 at 03:55 PM
My taxes are 10x what they were when I moved here. The waste by the BoE and city hall are destroying our property values while we spend millions to entertain small minorities. Seniors are leaving at an alarming rate, families are finding it more difficult to live here as well. Short sales occur regularly, visit the county sherif's website, any idea how many foreclosures are in Fair Lawn? There are appropriate things we should be spending on for the community where we fall short, ie the police department, while we hand out crony increases to borough employees and subsidize things like the senior center, pool and the community center. We raised the taxes to the max allowed, crime is up, cops are quitting, Cook is MIA and the PBA has no confidence in leadership. Multiple borough owned properties have tall grass, and the minibus runs empty most of the time. Those members of the community who bowl, pay for it, why shouldn't those who swim? Many of us belong to private clubs which we pay for, why shouldn't people pay to use the senior center.
Tommy P July 07, 2012 at 03:56 PM
Araminoff and Pace, now there is a ticket I would donate to.
David Fidler July 07, 2012 at 09:12 PM
Again, you simply agave no sense of community. Fair Lawn is known for having good schools and schools draw young families- I know, that's why we moved here with our young family. People with your point of view tend to cluster in places like South Carolina- dirt cheap schools, but good luck finding people who can think critically or even read well. People are drawn to services as well. As a family we've enjoyed the community center in various ways- it's what communities do. And it draws people. Your anecdotal review of the real estate situation is meaningless- since the real estate market imploded it's difficult to see a clear trend, but when I look at recent sales you see families selling to families most frequently, not banks selling to people. Your negative view of the town is not compelling, but it's too bad that people could stumble upon your poorly conceived statements. I know when we moved here that most communities around us, in Bergen County at least, had higher ta es and many of them had less compelling school districts. I will say, the more I see of your comments, on almost every topic onPatch, the more I think South Carolina really deserves you.
David Fidler July 07, 2012 at 09:17 PM
@Zack, actually the expectation on usage of rainy day funds was that they get filled as tax receipts pick up when the economic environment improves. However, you see many public entities that attempt to do the 'refill' early and that may be our situation here- after all I thought we still had several millions of dollars in ours, but perhaps I'm mistaken.
Deleted because of harassment July 07, 2012 at 11:52 PM
Am I the only one seeing the irony of a person bitching about town services while living in an elitist and misgoverned Radburn, where no one even knows the truth about where their assessments are spent? Tommy goes on and on about the evil government "forcing" him to pay for things he does not use, like Memorial Pool, and happily forking over a few thousand a year to the RA, where no one is accountable or electable or has to even show a budget to anyone but their self-suceeding cronies. I am not happy about the Rec Center being built the way it was - as an excuse to have the "magic box" that the BCIA really was for the corrupt BCDO under Ferriero - but I am not calling for it to be plowed into the ground. Nor am i begrudging the Senior Center for those that use it, nor the library, nor other parts of the government that I may not use right now. I do not see the need for the RRIC and the BSIC and all those lovely and useless tax-funded sops to a guy that does not even live in Fair Lawn, bought to us by the ever-generous former mayor who built the Rec Center, and cheered the sale of a park to a developer under the guise of a "transit village", almost handed off Broadway to another, and other development that chased rateables and found new ways to channel the money to the people that fill the partisan coffers. We are lucky to have had the businesses in town named in this article, because it puts Fair Lawn at an advantage that other less developed towns don't have.
Stuart Pace July 08, 2012 at 12:39 PM
misgoverned? how is Radburn misgoverned when it isn't a government entity?
Stuart Pace July 08, 2012 at 12:39 PM
misgoverned? how is Radburn misgoverned when it isn't a government entity? and you see the difference with Radburn pools is I pay for it in my assessments, but don't get charged a second time to use them like Fair Lawn does with memorial.
RuinsInFL July 08, 2012 at 01:55 PM
Good to see Fair Lawn Commons is the highest taxed, my prediction that the "not-so-Commons" will soon become the "Fair Lawn Christopher Columbus projects" will occur in my lifetime
numbers July 08, 2012 at 02:13 PM
Tommy p- can you provide any info that seniors are moving at an "alarming rate". do you have any evidence that more seniors move now than they did 10 years ago- or are you just making up stuff like usual.. did your cheapskate brother who uses are facilities for free give you this info through word of mouth?
Deleted because of harassment July 08, 2012 at 02:26 PM
Clearly "Ruins" has never been in an apartment in the Commons, which are nicer than most of our 1920's - 50's homes, with larger rooms and better layouts (and a price to boot). Having lived in an apartment built in the 1920's, and two houses in town, I can safely say that the chances of the Commons becoming anything close to the "Projects" is about the same as some people manging to get past their prejudices in this lifetime. Except for the lack of a yard (with my lovely cheek-to-jowl neighbors looking on), moving to the Commons would be a big improvement. I don't see anyone refering to Knollcroft or "Park Estates" the same way, as "projects". Guess you find the residents in them more to your liking.
RuinsInFL July 08, 2012 at 03:04 PM
Deleted, nothing against apartment dwellers. My point is that eventually those high taxed apartments you live in will be passed along to you and price you out, then when the floors and roof rot out the rents will drop much like the projects, history always repeats itself.
Deleted because of harassment July 08, 2012 at 03:12 PM
Why, "Ruins", how "big" -oted of you. I live in a house, because apparently you missed that part, too. And i never liked that stupid TV show - nice of you to remnd us of the level that passes for tolerance in some folk. Stu: Radburn is, at best, an oligarcy - and a poorly devised one at that. Having been born into it and lived there all your life, perhaps that is why you can't see that. Having been on that outside all of mine, and having briefly considered moving there instead of here, i see it all too clearly. There is a odd kind of logic in running for public office while living in a place that would never let you in the insider door without all those personal associations that are considered the bain of politics in this country. With those insider connections in a town you'velived in all your life, the party would have been funneling a lot more than 700 votes your way. Radburn works like that - and even more so. Real life does not find that to be an improvement on the system, however, unless, like royalty, one is born into the job. Take a look at the politics of "Zisaville" to see how representative government functions when that is all there is.
Tommy P July 08, 2012 at 04:07 PM
David, people usually suggest New Hampshire as an alternative to NJ's glut of government. There are many things about our community which the government is not responsible for. The idea that only government can create a community flies in the face of common sense. People make a community, we have great organizations like the Cosmos, Rotorary, etc. I have great neighbors, as do most of us in town. We have good restaurant's, and we are just a few miles away from 3 malls to name a few. We have $32+ million of our tax dollars going to schools in Hoboken and 30 other districts, yet our BoE and council are silent. Our reps in Trenton have 0 Abbott districts and are also silent. That 1 change could lower our property taxes by over 20%. That $2,400+ average saving could easily help people afford a much better pool, without a government subsidy. I have to say, you have a real sense of community suggesting I leave. Not that I am part of the uber rich, but do you really want more people paying taxes elsewhere with the same number of people collecting services here? Is that really good for the community? As for seniors, in 2010, they were 10.7% of the population, in 2000, it was 12..3%, is a almost 15% decline over a decade alarming? (Source US Census) Most people purchase real estate using debt (mortgages) and the monthly costs determine what the max they are willing to spend is. Higher taxes means less budget for the mortgage, and in turn the selling price.
RuinsInFL July 08, 2012 at 05:32 PM
Demented because of harassment, the other apartments you mentioned, "High Street, Knollcroft" or "Park Estates", it has already started, as english is the second language there. God bless what was America!
Deleted because of harassment July 08, 2012 at 05:48 PM
Love how you repost your comments to edit out the rather obvious....I guess your ancestors came over on the Mayflower, speaking perfect King's English, since you are disturbed by people who migrate here, into a melting pot of a nation, aren't as perfect as you. Yes, bless America, except for those that bring a legacy of hatred and bigotry to the forefront whenever they open their virtual mouths. "Deleted, nothing against apartment dwellers, I personally liked the "Jeffersons" TV show. My point is that eventually those high taxed apartments you live in will be passed along to you and price you out, then when the floors and roof rot out the rents will drop much like the projects!" Want me to post all the versions of your comments that you posted and deleted, lest they reveal you in all your glory? You seem to forget that everything you post, even the ones you delete, get sent to those following the article's comments. My mother came over here and learned English as a second language, as did my great-grandparents on the other side of the family. My great-grandparents were landlords who bought a two-family house, then a small house and rented out the apartments, and eventually owned about two blocks of properties. That's what the American Dream is supposed to be about. Unfortunately, the bigots are always among us, denying everyone not like them a place to start, a place to live, a place to assimilate. Fortunately, most of the people here outnumber them. "
Vladimir Kukushkin July 11, 2012 at 02:11 AM
http://www.facebook.com/groups/335719726513710/members/#!/groups/335719726513710/members/ Open Group We are a group of Fair Lawn residents, who fed up with ever growing municipal and school budgets and unjustifiable property tax increases during times of weak economy. Our goal is to put restrains on Fair Lawn budget and taxes.
Fair Lawn Commoner July 11, 2012 at 02:22 AM
Vlad, is your group the one going around looking to cut Metzler's pay by 30k down to $110,000 and adding the residency requirement to his contract?
David Fidler July 12, 2012 at 10:36 PM
New Hampshire does not work for your anti-tax rhetoric as property taxes there are high. You need to live somewhere where low taxes exist in every sense and you get the services you deserve- South Carolina. And my sense of community most definitely does not come self-selected groups based on religion or ethnicity. I have no issue and no problem with people forming or joining those groups, but that's not community.
Zak Koeske July 12, 2012 at 10:45 PM
@David Regardless of the original purpose of the surplus, it is no longer just a "rainy day fund." Previous administrations used it by the millions each year to balance the budget and hold down taxes. Like I said above, if the surplus is depleted it'll create a large revenue hole in the budget that needs to be made up somewhere.

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