On top of the impending property tax increase -- next Tuesday -- some property owners' pocketbooks are set to take an additional, sometimes far greater hit, from the recent reassessment.
The reassessment, approved by council last fall and conducted by Appraisal Systems, Inc. over the winter, involved the inspection of all properties in the borough to ensure uniform and equitable property value assessments across the municipality.
As a result of the reassessment, the town's total rateable base dropped 18.4 percent, with plummeting residential property values accounting for much of the decline.
The average assessed home in Fair Lawn, previously listed at $411,663, is down 21.4 percent to $323,679.
Fair Lawn's commercial, industrial and apartment property values, while also on the decline, have dipped only a combined 2.3 percent.
This disparity in the severity of property devaluation between residential and commercial property owners has effectively shifted the town's tax burden away from residents and onto the backs of business and apartment owners, as had been anticipated.
"That’s been the trend in the other reassessments that I've seen," borough tax assessor Tim Henderson said. "Commercial values never seem to fluctuate as much as residential values, historically."
To determine how the reassessment has affected your taxes, simply compare the change in your property value to the overall shift in the town's rateables. If your property's value has decreased more than 18.4 percent, your taxes went down as a result of the reassessment. If your property's value has not decreased by as much as 18.4 percent or has actually increased, the reassessment has directly contributed, sometimes quite significantly, to your estimated tax increase.