Reval triggers tax spike in Haddon Heights

From the Courier Post:

Haddon Heights tax hikes spark ire

Hundreds of angry residents on Tuesday night protested sharp increases in property taxes here after a revaluation.

“It’s absolutely absurd,” shouted Ron DiMedio, who said the annual property taxes for his Kings Highway home had jumped from $16,500 to about $24,000.

“You’re telling me to get out of town,” DiMedio said.

His heated comments drew loud applause from an audience of about 600 people in St. Rose of Lima Church.

Mayor Beth Ann Haven said the borough government would contact Camden County and state tax officials in an effort to undo the tax change.

“This is a county-ordered reval and it’s approved by the state,” she said.

“Ultimately, we want to find out if we can void this reassessment and have another,” she said after listening to residents’ complaints after about three hours.

“There’s a lot of confusion,” said the mayor, who suggested homeowners may have calculated their taxes incorrectly.

“We did not,” several audience members shouted back.

Several speakers questioned the accuracy of the revaluation, contending properties were assessed at too high a level in a real estate market that his since weakened. “The estimates on these homes are wrong,” said Glenn Davis, a Lake Street resident.

Haven said the revaluation was the first in the borough in 10 years. She said it was conducted so the tax value of properties would reflect market values.

Mike and Kim Carfolite said taxes are rising 40 percent to about $10,000 on their Crest Avenue home.

“Nobody’s getting a 40 percent increase in income,” said Kim Carfolite.

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10 Responses to Reval triggers tax spike in Haddon Heights

  1. Lindsey says:

    Another butchered effort by the media. It’s quite sick really,

    This is not a hard story to get right, as it’s a one that comes up on a semi-regular basis and there aren’t that many moving parts.

    I can explain the mess if someone wants, but without a request I won’t bother. I’ll check back later to see if anybody would care to know what really happened here.

  2. Lindsey says:

    This is not part of the explanation of the paper’s mistake, but the chance to ridicule this whining couple was too good to pass up.

    From the story…

    Mike and Kim Carfolite said taxes are rising 40 percent to about $10,000 on their Crest Avenue home.

    “Nobody’s getting a 40 percent increase in income,” said Kim Carfolite.

    Kim is right, but I doubt she would be willing to sell her home at the old assessment if she could find a buyer willing to pay the new assessment.

  3. RentinginNJ says:

    Reval triggers tax spike in Haddon Heights

    Taxes didn’t spike in Haddon Heights. Property taxes are based on assessed values. Revals are done to ensure that everyone is paying their fair share (NJ considers “fair” to be an amount proportional to the value of your property). A reval doesn’t increase the tax bill, it just reallocates it among property owners based on current values.

    Not all property increases in value at the same rate. Over the last 10 years, houses appreciated much faster than commercial or industrial property. Starter homes appreciated at a greater rate than McMansions.

  4. alice says:

    Revals should redistribute taxes so that if some properties have an increase others have a decrease. And yet, the Star-Ledger studied revals in 171 towns and concluded this:

    ” A Star-Ledger study of 171 towns which underwent revaluation between 2002 and 2005 found that more than two thirds of the towns had a higher-than-average tax levy increase during the revaluation year.”

    The Star-Ledger database is available at

    Something more is going on in these towns than just a reval. I’m not familiar with the specifics of the Haddon Heights reval. If HH fits the pattern the Ledger found in 2/3 of the towns, the Carfolite’s would have a legitimate complaint. But the complaint would be with their boro for raising taxes under cover of the reval, not with the reval itself.

  5. RentinginNJ says:


    I have no doubt that towns push for higher than average tax increases under the guise of a reval, despite the Mayor’s reassurance that the reval “doesn’t change total tax collections but reapportions individual tax payments”

    If an overall increase in tax collections really is the case in Haddon Heights, then the author fell into trap of believing that the tax hikes were due to a reval, when it’s really a combination of both a reval and an increase. This gives political cover to the local government. They can claim “the county did this, we are bound by the law in how taxes are collected”.

  6. otis wildflower says:

    Kim is right, but I doubt she would be willing to sell her home at the old assessment if she could find a buyer willing to pay the new assessment.

    I still think that a locality that raises the assessed value of a home must offer to buy that home at that price.

  7. let the people pay! says:

    On the contrary, it is hard to pay a huge increase at one time, but if you live in a new house built within the last 6 or 7 years, you’d already be paying. Most sj towns have not reassessed for almost 20 years. I’d love to pay taxes from 20 years ago. This problem could be alleviated by having the towns reassessed on a timely basis, not every twenty years. Now the older home residents (which are most of the town) actually know what a burden the state has placed on our small towns. Maybe now the voices will be heard to correct the school funding situation because I’ll tell you, they weren’t heard before!

  8. Cummings says:

    I live is a modest home in fair haven,we had reval a few years ago my taxes went from 12,876 to 19,500 today my taxes are approching 30,000. I am retired have raised my family in this home for 35 years.I really don’t know how they expect people to pay this extortion.I am at my wits end trying to pay this every year.I know of no other place to live all my contacts are friend who lived in little Silver was paying 22,000 up until his death at 96 years old .

  9. Curiositykid26 says:

    Lindsey: If you can explain the mess in Haddon Heights, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please post…

  10. Amy St.Pierre says:

    I live in Haddon Heights, so let me explain what happened. There was a budget increase of $1.4 million, but that is usual (my taxes go up $600-800/yr due to this usual increase….at lease every year since I bought the house in 2002). I am fairly unbiased because my taxes only went up $1600 (from $9000) and I am greatful, but most of Haddon Heights (mostly the East side) got screwed and I am outraged about how bad they messed this up. The problem came down to three things:
    1- the assessment was down at the height of the market, so even people who bought their house at that time or who had their house on the market at that time, could not even get what their house was assessed at.
    2- Assessment was based mostly on square footage and didn’t take into account some of the houses are extremely old (many of the large ones built in the 30’s, and small one’s in the 50’s), so some really old houses with no A/C got appraised similar to newly built of similar size.
    3- The biggest problem was that many people on the west side of town ended up paying less. And the more east you were, the more you paid. Haddon Heights does not have any bad parts of town and the east is not better than the west. My boss lives on the west, has a bigger, nicer house, nice neighborhood, next to a park and got assessed $60,000 less than me. They assessed the West as if it were Camden and the east as if it were Haddonfield. So the east picked up the west’s taxes.

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