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NEWS REPORT: USR Mayor & Council Meeting of August 6, 2020

Residents of the Borough of Upper Saddle River have two big issues that will affect their property taxes in the upcoming years, it was learned.

At this meeting, the mayor and council approved a referendum (Resolution #83-20) to establish an open space trust fund for a tax levy to be put up for a vote on this November’s ballot. The funds would be earmarked for the creation of the proposed athletic fields to be constructed on 9 acres at the 1 Lake St property owned by the borough. Voters must choose in November whether they wish their taxes to increase by $.01 per $100.00 of assessed value of their property for each of the next five years. For a property tax assessed at $750,000, this would equate to a tax increase of $75.00 per year for the next five years. 

Adding to that is the proposed tax revaluation/reassessment next year (in 2021) of all real estate in Upper Saddle River, which has been proposed by the Bergen County Board of Taxation.  According to Robert F. Layton, Bergen County Tax Administrator, “The proposal for Upper Saddle River’s revaluation/reassessment has gone down to Trenton to the Division of Taxation, and we are awaiting approval.” He stated that the revaluation/reassessment would be scheduled to take place, upon approval, in 2021. The borough was last reassessed in 2002.

So the mayor and council are asking residents to decide whether their taxes should be increased for the next five years to build ball fields, not knowing to what extent the proposed revaluation/reassessment will also affect their property taxes. 

Do residents want to know and deserve to know what their revaluation/reassessment will be prior to making a decision on additional taxation to cover recreation and open space plans to be voted on in this November’s ballot referendum? And how will residents pay for the increased maintenance expenses on the recreation fields and open space in the future and what will those projected costs be?

This meeting was held virtually online due to the State of New Jersey’s social distancing mandates resulting from the Covid-19 virus outbreak.

By Ruellen B. Eisen