Fort Monmouth Closure: Affect On New Jersey Property Values

Fort Monmouth.bmpFor more than 80 years, Fort Monmouth had been a vital component of Monmouth County’s economic base. It had provided thousands of residents with jobs and housing, and has provided indirect benefits to thousands of businesses, including those in the retail sector. In April of 2005, the Pentagon recommended that Fort Monmouth be permanently closed. During the years that followed, some of the Fort Monmouth jobs were relocated to other bases within the State of New Jersey, others were relocated out of state, and some jobs were phased out of existence. On September 15, 2011, the Fort Monmouth Army Base was retired.

The sudden loss of jobs has resulted in a downturn in the economy throughout Monmouth County. Some of the towns that bordered or neighbored Fort Monmouth have felt the most serious impact. In particular, Eatontown, Oceanport, Tinton Falls, Shrewsbury and West Long Branch have seen major downturns in their housing markets. As with all deflationary markets, some of the diminution in value is directly attributable to the loss of demand and some of the deflation is attributable to a distorted the supply and demand quotient created by a surplus of sellers and a deficiency of buyers amidst concerns that the area will not make a speedy recovery.

The unfortunate result is that some towns, like Shrewsbury and West Long Branch, are now assessed at more than 100% of value. Other over-assessed towns in Monmouth County include Brielle, Englishtown, Farmingdale, Loch Arbour, and Red Bank. While assessors strive to create assessment models that will minimize their coefficients of deviation, it is an inevitability of basic arithmetic that a ratio of greater than 100% must yield several line items that are over-assessed. During the course of the past 5 years, during the downturn of the real estate market, towns have raced against time to perform re-assessments or revaluations to avoid this problem. Not coincidentally, during this same time period, our firm has enjoyed great success at reducing the assessments for several hundred taxpayers in towns whose assessments have not kept pace with the deflation of the market.

If you have a question about tax appeals, please call our office. Please also remember that in most cases, the deadline to file your Tax Appeal is April 1.