Bloomfield, New Jersey

Bloomfield was incorporated as a township in 1812. Several municipalities formed out of Bloomfield in the 19th century including Belleville (1839), Montclair (1868), Woodside Township (1869), and Glen Ridge (1895).

General Electric opened a facility in 1915, but relocated in 1959. The facility was then turned into 361 housing units in 2013.

In 1920 a Westinghouse Lamp Plant was on Arlington Avenue near Watsessing Station. The Lamp Plant played an important role in the war effort because  they found a practical process for producing pure uranium metal. That building was decommissioned in 1988 and carefully demolished between 1993 – 2004. Despite the careful nature of the demolition, the area site is considered by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection as a brownfield site with continuing remediation.

Following the war and the reduction of jobs in the industrial sector led to stagnant growth that has kept the population largely stable (between 45,000 and 52,000) since 1950.

In 2003 Bloomfield was designated a transit village by the state and has been aggressive in the redevelopment of its downtown area. The centerpiece of this redevelopment is Glenwood Village, which was conceived with 50,000 square feet of retail space, 10,000 square feet of restaurant space and 224 apartment units.

To get a closer look at Bloomfield, click on each green box below.

 

 

 

Transportation between NYC and Bloomfield, NJ

TRAIN

  • New Jersey Transit: Bloomfield is approximately 30-minutes via New Jersey Transit's Montclair-Boonton line to New York City's Penn Station. A one-way ticket will cost approximately $7; a monthly pass is around $184. NJ Transit also offers various discounted fares, including Family Supersaver Fares and BusinessPass (which allows you to save on monthly passes by deducting a portion of the cost from your pre-tax salary). 
  • Bloomfield has two train stations:
  • The Bloomfield station is located at 56 Washington Street, Bloomfield, NJ 07003. There is a Bloomfield Shuttle that runs on a set schedule and route to and from the Bloomfield station from Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Learn more under the "Bus" category below.
  • The Watsessing station, located beneath the Bloomfield Police Benevolent Association meeting hall, is at the corner of Watsessing Avenue and Orange Street in Bloomfield. It is one of two stations where the boarding platform is below ground (Glen Ridge station is the other). A one-way fare to/from NYC is approximately $7.
  • For additional information call (973) 275-5555. Click here to view a NJ Transit rail system map.

BUS

 

 

CAR

  • Bloomfield is about 16 miles from New York City or an average 30 to 45-minute drive depending on traffic. Driving from Bloomfield to NYC via Garden State Parkway will cost a $1.50 cash or transponder fee. The Lincoln Tunnel will cost a $15 cash or $10.50 transponder fee; the Holland Tunnel will cost $15 cash or $10.50 transponder fee. When driving from NYC to Bloomfield you can expect to pay a $1.50 toll.

Property Taxes in New Jersey

Thinking of buying a home in New Jersey but not sure how to figure out your property taxes? You’re not alone. Taxes anywhere can be a mystery but for some reason they seem extra complicated in the Garden State.

Since we're not tax experts, we set out to find one. Town Hopper Tours recently spoke with David Wolfe, an attorney at Skoloff & Wolfe, P.C., one of New Jersey’s best-known law firms focusing on complex property, real estate, matrimonial, trusts and estates, and litigation matters.  Wolfe, who was appointed by the Supreme Court of New Jersey to serve as a member of its Committee on the Tax Court, and has served as the co-Chair of the Real Property Tax Practice and Procedure Committee of the New Jersey State Bar Association since 2004, also serves on the Board of the National Association of Property Tax Attorneys. 

Wolfe says the tax rates vary dramatically by town in New Jersey, simply because they’re a function of local government and county government, and the biggest expense is typically school expenses within each town. 

“Maplewood would be around $3.60 versus Millburn would be around $2.10, so there can be a big spread,” explains Wolfe. “South Orange is all the way up around $3.70 per $100,000 of assessment, so obviously the first place to start is the tax rate.” To look up the general tax rate for a particular town in Essex County, click here (To look up the tax rate for a town in another county, click here, then choose your county and select your town).

“In addition, New Jersey municipalities are required to assess at 100% of the value, and since municipalities are only theoretically at 100% in the year in which they perform the municipal-wide revaluation or reassessment, the further you get away from a revaluation and reassessment, the further you can be from that 100% value,” Wolfe explains. “So what you need to know is what the average ratio or chapter 123 ratio  is in whatever municipality you’re looking at in order to understand your assessment.”

So, what does that mean to us non-tax pros? It basically means you need to have two important pieces of information to calculate your taxes:

  1.  The chapter 123 ratio for your town 
  2.  The general tax rate for your town

Let’s say you’re considering a home in South Orange and in 2016 it’s being assessed at 85% of the value, that would imply is that if you had a property that was assessed at $1 million you’d be paying taxes as though that property was worth $1,172,000. “The Division of Taxation publishes by county each of the common level ranges, or the average ratio, that you need to know for every municipality. In order to understand whether or you’d be over-assessed, or properly assessed, or under-assessed, you need to know both your assessed value and those ratios because without those ratios you have no way of knowing what the implied value of your assessment is. In some counties, ratios can be as low as in the 20% range so those assessments don’t really mean anything. What you desperately need to know is the ratios and there’s a big difference between 85% and 100%,” says Wolfe. 

So, say you decide to go with a $500,000 for a home in South Orange instead, multiply that sales price by the average ratio (which we know from the chapter 123 ratio is 85.28… so we move the decimal point over twice to get 0.8528) you’d be entitled in theory to an assessment of $426,400. If you could prove that the assessment was indicative of fair market value, and the value of your property succeeded in proving that was the value of your property, the law would say you’re entitled to an assessment of $426,400, explains Wolfe. Now to calculate your actual taxes you’ll have to multiply this new amount of $426,400 by the tax rate (which we know from the general tax rate for 2016 is 3.739… so we move the decimal point over twice to get 0.03739) and we reach an estimated tax bill of $15,943.096.

In other words, the formula to calculate what your taxes looks like this:

  • STEP 1

Multiply the Chapter 123 Ratio by the home purchase price to reach the Assessed Value.

  • STEP 2

Then multiply the Assessed Value by the General Tax Rate  to calculate what your taxes are likely to be.

“The one thing that’s very important for home owners to do when they’re looking at any particular municipality is to find out if the town is looking at performing a municipal revaluation and if all of the assessments are about to change,” stresses Wolfe. “That’s’ certainly something that I would want to know.”

For example, Millburn township assess at 86% this year but for 2017 they’re going to be at 100% because every assessment in that municipality is going to be redone, revalued, and brought to 100%, he explains. The Essex County Board of Taxation is a good place to call to find out if a particular municipality will be revaluing for the coming year. The site also features a free guide to property taxes in New Jersey and has additional information on what the process is like.

While Wolfe does not counsel on permits, in regard to home improvement projects he does say that obtaining a permit and closing out a permit for a home renovation can trigger an analysis by an assessor as to whether on not an increase in the assessment is warranted. “If a property is under-assessed, certainly there can be a significant increase from only a modest improvement,” says Wolfe. “The job of the assessor is to value the property as a whole, not just the increase in value attributed to the new improvement. So if you add a deck, it’s not that they just value how much is the deck is worth. They’re supposed to value the entire property and then look at the difference between the current assessment and the new assessment with the deck.”

Sure, there’s a chance that if your property is already over-assessed, an assessor will not add anything, even though you’ve done an improvement but that’s rare. “It’s certainly the norm that improving your property leads to increasing the assessment.”

Separately, keep in mind – especially if you’re renting an apartment in New York City and making the switch to home ownership in New Jersey – that what’s covered in the general tax rate can vary from municipality to municipality. This means that in some towns garbage collection and sewer costs may be separate out-of-pocket expenses; in addition to your water bill. To find out what might be an additional expense for you, call or visit your local municipality’s tax collector website. Also note that in some counties and municipalities there may be additional taxes to pay depending on your neighborhood.

If you buy a home in New Jersey and feel your taxes are too high. You can appeal them. That’s where someone like David Wolfe would come in. “The best way that I can help is to help them figure out if they have a meritorious tax appeal, and if so file an appeal on their behalf.” 

Wolfe says in New Jersey, unlike in New York, “you appeal at your peril so you should not just automatically appeal your taxes because you don’t want to pay $15,000 or $20,000 or whatever it is. You need to have a merit to your case otherwise you risk potentially having an increase in your taxes as a result to the appeal,” which is why it’s important to screen your case with a tax attorney first. 

“When you have a recent purchase price for a single family home that’s typically the best indication of the value of that property, unless you’re looking at a distressed sale, foreclosure, or short sale,” he adds.

As for what’s the most important takeaway in regard to taxes – find out the current year’s assessments. 

“Frequently on real estate listings they have the prior year’s property tax assessment and taxes, and there can be great variations from one year to the next, especially if there has been a revaluation and the property or the home has been on the market for some time, so it’s vital that you know the latest year the current year’s assessment,” says Wolfe. 

it’s also crucial that you know if it’s a town in which there is an ongoing revaluation, which some of these municipalities in Essex County are undergoing,” he says, pointing at South Orange and Maplewood. Wolfe suggests you ask the municipality if the homeowner is allowed access to the revaluation firm and whether or not they’ve received notice of what their potential assessment is going to be for the following year.

For additional articles with New Jersey tax information, check out the publications page at Skoloff & Wolfe:

Schools in Bloomfield, New Jersey

PUBLIC SCHOOLS

The Bloomfield School District is a K-12 school district. It enrolls approximately 6,400 students. Its staff consists of approximately 750 teaching and support personnel. Click here to view the district narrative report card for the 2014-2015 school year.

EARLY CHILDHOOD - PUBLIC

ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS - PUBLIC

MIDDLE SCHOOL - PUBLIC

HIGH SCHOOL - PUBLIC

PRIVATE SCHOOLS

DAYCARES/PRESCHOOLS/KINDERGARTENS - PRIVATE

  • Brookdale Christian Academy: PK-8; (973) 338-9646; 1350 Broad Street, Bloomfield, NJ 07003 -- ministry of the Brookdale Baptist Church. The school enrolls approximately 184 students and has a student to teacher ratio of 17 to 1, per PrivateSchoolReview.com.
  • Each 1 Teach 1 Academy: PK; (973) 566-6100; 59 Dodd Street, Bloomfield, NJ 07003 -- no website. The school enrolls approximately 42 students and has a student to teacher ratio of 21 to 1, per PrivateSchoolReview.com.
  • Education Center Day Care Center: 6 weeks-8 years; (973) 743-7003; 156 Washington Street, Bloomfield, NJ 07003. The school enrolls approximately 118 students and has a student to teacher ratio of 3 to 1, per PrivateSchoolReview.com.
  • Looking Glass Children's Center: 6 weeks-6 years; (973) 338-0264; 16 Bellevue Ave, Bloomfield, NJ 07003. The school enrolls approximately 57 students and has a student to teacher ratio of 10 to 1, per PrivateSchoolReview.com.
  • Olive Tree Child Care Center: PK-K; (973) 748-1984; 314 Broad Street, Bloomfield, NJ 07003 -- no website. The school enrolls approximately 45 students and has a student to teacher ratio of 23 to 1, per PrivateSchoolReview.com.
  • Precious Moments Childcare Center: Infant-PK; (973) 680-1133; 217 Bloomfield Ave, Bloomfield, NJ 07003. The school has capacity for 36 students, per ChildcareCenter.us.
  • Rainbow Montessori School: 6 weeks-6 years; (973) 338-8300; 1293 Broad St, Bloomfield, NJ 07003. The school enrolls approximately 48 students and has a student to teacher ratio of 24 to 1, per PrivateSchoolReview.com.
  • Shoresh Preschool of Temple Ner Tamid: 2-5 years and parent/child classes for 15-23 months; (973) 338-1500; 936 Broad Street, Bloomfield, NJ 07003 -- Jewish faith

 

ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS - PRIVATE

 

MIDDLE SCHOOLS - PRIVATE

HIGH SCHOOL - PRIVATE

SPECIAL NEEDS - PRIVATE

  • Mount Carmel Guild School: special needs grades 1-2; (973) 639-6624; 236 Hoover Ave, Bloomfield, NJ 07003 -- Roman Catholic affiliation. The school enrolls approximately 32 students and has a student to teacher ratio of 11 to 1, per PrivateSchoolReview.com.
  • Westbridge Academy: special education K-12 grades; (973) 429-8110; 60 West St, Bloomfield, NJ 07003. The school enrolls approximately 90 students and has a student to teacher ratio of 6 to 1, per PrivateSchoolReview.com.

COLLEGE

  • Bloomfield College: an independent, four-year, coeducational college that was founded in 1868; (973) 748-9000; 467 Franklin Street, Bloomfield, NJ 07003. The college enrolls approximately 2,007 students and has a student to faculty ratio of 16 to 1, per U.S. News and World Report.

Arts and Culture in Bloomfield, New Jersey

  • Bloomfield Art League: The League is one of the oldest art organizations in the state. Various classes, lectures, and demonstrations are held at the View the 2016 brochure here. (973) 743-9074; Bloomfield Civic Center at 84 Broad Street, Bloomfield, New Jersey 07003.
  • Bloomfield Symphony Orchestra: A non-profit, all-volunteer, community symphony orchestra serving the Bloomfield area since 1931. (609) 273-6869.
  • Historical Society of Bloomfield: The museum aims to bring together those interested in the history of Bloomfield and surrounding areas. It also undertakes the preservation of historic buildings, monuments and markers. The museum is located on the third floor of the Children's Library at 90 Broad Street, Bloomfield, NJ 07003; (973) 743-8844.
  • Oakeside Bloomfield Cultural Center: A cultural organization that provides programming for the arts and history communities in Bloomfield. The Bloomfield Cultural Commission holds its monthly meeting here. The Center is housed in the Oakes Estate, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places because of its architecture, landscape, and the Oakes family association with industry. (973) 428-0960; 240 Belleville Ave, Bloomfield, NJ 07003.
  • Westminster Arts Center at Bloomfield College: The Westminster Arts Center creates and presents diverse arts and cultural programs in collaboration with the Bloomfield College's faculty, staff, students, community partners and professional arts groups. (973) 748-9000; 467 Franklin Street, Bloomfield, NJ 07003. 

Activities for Kids in Bloomfield, New Jersey

Looking for fun things for your children to do in Bloomfield, New Jersey? Here are some local options:

Parks in Bloomfield, New Jersey

  • Brookside Park: 5.68 acres, 247,421 sq. ft. Offers: baseball/softball diamond, two tot-lots, picnic area, lighted walking path and gazebo; 90 Bay Ave at Broad Street.
  • Clark's Pond South: 12.34 acres, 537,530 sq. ft. Offers: lighted basketball court, three lighted tennis courts, tot-lot, lighted turf softball diamond and a 22-space parking lot. North side consists of passive recreational area with fishing pond; 111 Dewey Street off Broughton Ave.
  • Felton Field: 3.71 acres, 161,608 sq. ft. Offers: tot-lot, field house, two little league diamonds, challenger field, passive area, and a 28 space parking lot; 145 Floyd Avenue, between LaFrance Avenue and Watsessing Avenue.
  • Memorial Park: 12.50 acres, 544,500 sq. ft. Offers: three tennis courts, two baseball diamonds, football field, Joseph F. Tiseo Ramp Park (more info below), tot-lot, field house, 84 space parking lot, recreation maintenance garage; 231 Belleville Ave on John F. Kennedy Drive between Belleville Avenue and Spring Street.
  • Joseph F Tiseo Ramp Park: A popular skate park located where JFK Drive and James Street intersect in Bloomfield. Passes and Skate Park IDs are necessary and can be obtained at the Bloomfield Civic Center at 84 Broad Street, Bloomfield, NJ 07003. Bloomfield residents must show proof of residency. Participants under 18 must have waiver signed by guardian. Additional information available on Facebook.
  • Milbank Park: 0.50 acres, 283,140 sq. ft., offers: passive mini-green with tot-lot; 264 N. 17th Street off of Bloomfield Ave.
  • Pulaski Park: 6.50 acres, 283,140 sq. ft. Offers: lighted softball diamond (Hank Barlow Field), one full basketball court, two half court basketball courts, four lighted tennis courts, sledding, tot-lot, hand ball courts, field house, 60 space parking lot; 24 Mt. Vernon Ave between Chapel and Howard Street.
  • Vassar Field: 6.20 acres, 270,072 sq. ft. Offers: one full basketball court, turf little league diamond, clay little league diamond, two tee-ball diamonds, two field houses, tot-lot, and 200+ space parking lot courtesy of St Thomas the Apostle Church; 60 Byrd Ave behind St. Thomas Church and School.
  • Wright's Field: 7.80 acres, 339,768 sq. ft. Offers: lighted baseball/football/ soccer/little league fields, tee-ball field, two field houses, two tot-lots and 32 space parking lot. 

Gyms in Bloomfield, New Jersey

Are you relocating to Bloomfield, New Jersey, and looking for a new gym? Here are some neighborhood workout spots:

Pets in Bloomfield, New Jersey

Thinking about moving to Bloomfield, New Jersey, with a pet? Or, thinking about getting one now that you're in town? Here are some local resources to help you on your way.

NJ PET LICENSE

  • Any owner of a dog seven months of age or older is required to annually apply for a dog license to the licensing clerk of the municipality in which he or she resides, according to the Official Website for the State of New Jersey
  • To apply for a pet license (for a dog or a cat) in Bloomfield, complete this form, and send a check or money order to the "Township of Bloomfield" at Bloomfield Municipal Clerk's Office, Room 2141, Municipal Plaza, Bloomfield, NJ 07003. The fees are as follows: $22 for spayed/neutered pets (you must submit proof of spay/neutering) and $25 for non-spayed/non-neutered pets.

ANIMAL SHELTER

BLOOMFIELD VETERINARIANS

DOG PARKS

 

Places of Worship in Bloomfield, NJ

Looking for a church, temple, or place of worship in Bloomfield, New Jersey? Here are some in the immediate area:


APOSTOLIC

  • Christ Apostolic Church: Apostolic; 14 1st Avenue, Bloomfield, NJ 07003

 

BAPTIST

CATHOLIC

 

ROMAN CATHOLIC



CHURCH OF GOD

DISCIPLES OF CHRIST

EPISCOPAL

  • Advent Episcopal Church: Episcopal; 15 William St, Bloomfield, NJ 07003

JEWISH

LUTHERAN

NON-DENOMINATIONAL

 

PRESBYTERIAN

REFORMED

 

UNITED METHODIST

Glen Ridge, New Jersey

Glen Ridge is a small town (7,527) with a highly educated and sophisticated population. In 1895 Glen Ridge came into incorporation by separating itself from Bloomfield. In 1982, the official name was changed to “Township of Glen Ridge Borough” in order to take part in a federal revenue sharing policy.  In 1993 the original name of Glen Ridge Borough was restored. Glen Ridge is one of very few towns with operating gaslights (665).

A population boom between 1920 and 1930 increased the population by 55 percent bringing the total population to 7365 people. Since that time, the population peaked at 8518 people in the 70’s and falling to  around 7000 people in the 1990’s.  

There is a community pool in Glen Ridge (Bloomfield Avenue at 35 Clark Street). The pool is open from Memorial Day to Labor day. The pool requires a joiner fee of $1,250. The annual dues are $775 (family), $515 (couple) and $360 (single). There is a 10% discount for seniors and children under the age of 3 are free.

There are 408 acres of hills, streams, valleys and trails just a nine minute car ride, one hour walk, or twenty minute bike ride, from Glen Ridge.

The Glen Ridge government is in Borough form. There is a Mayor and Borough Council (six members). The Mayor is elected by the voters to a four-year term. The Borough Council’s six members are elected to three-year terms on a staggered basis.

To get a closer look at Glen Ridge, click on each green box below.

Transportation Between NYC and Glen Ridge, New Jersey

TRAIN

  • New Jersey Transit: Glen Ridge is approximately 30-minutes via New Jersey Transit's Montclair-Boonton line to New York City's Penn Station. A one-way ticket will cost approximately $7; a monthly pass is around $184. NJ Transit also offers various discounted fares, including Family Supersaver Fares and BusinessPass (which allows you to save on monthly passes by deducting a portion of the cost from your pre-tax salary).
  • The Glen Ridge NJ Transit station is located at 224 Ridgewood Avenue at Darwin Place, Glen Ridge, NJ 07028.
  • For additional information call (973) 275-5555.  Click here to view a NJ Transit rail system map. 

  

BUS

  • NJ Transit does not offer direct bus service to Glen Ridge though there is bus service to nearby Montclair and Bloomfield. You will need to budget about $9 and an hour-and-15 minutes for your one-way commute, in addition to time to arrive at the stations. The bus departing from New York City leaves from Port Authority toward Willowbrook Mall and costs about $11; usually bus 193 or 194 but to quickly identify the bus you would need at the time you need it; click here to select your starting and end points. At Willowbrook Mall you'd need to connect to Bus 11 to Glen Ridge. At the mall you could also choose to take the PATH train to Newark, then connect to the lightrail to Bloomfield, and then take Bus 28 to Bloomfield Avenue and Ridgewood Avenue in Glen Ridge. The PATH/lightrail/bus combination is a fraction of the cost at about $3. 
  • Once you've identified the right bus for you, return to this page so you may download a PDF of the timetable for your desired route. You may also click here to view a NJ transit bus map for Essex County.

 

JITNEY

  • Glen Ridge has a Jitney Service Program that runs Monday through Friday on a set schedule and costs $3 each way; fares may also be purchased in packs of 10 for $20 or monthly for $25.  To view the jitney schedule and hours/days of operation, click here.

The morning shuttle picks up at the following locations (order may vary) to cross-check locations with time, click here

  • SOUTH END ROUTE
  • Washington & R.W.A.
  • Cross & R.W.A.
  • Midland & Maolis
  • Appleton & Hillside
  • R.W.A. Station
  • NORTH END ROUTE
  • Avon & R.W.A.
  • Sunset & R.W.A.
  • Bay & Forest
  • Benson St. Lot
  • R.W.A. Station

CAR

  • Glen Ridge is about 20 miles from New York City or an average 50-minute drive depending on traffic. Driving from Glen Ridge to NYC via Lincoln Tunnel will cost $15 cash or a $10.50 transponder fee; the Holland Tunnel will cost $15 cash or $10.50 transponder fee. When driving from NYC to Glen Ridge you can expect to pay a $1.50 toll.

Property Taxes in New Jersey

Thinking of buying a home in New Jersey but not sure how to figure out your property taxes? You’re not alone. Taxes anywhere can be a mystery but for some reason they seem extra complicated in the Garden State.

Since we're not tax experts, we set out to find one. Town Hopper Tours recently spoke with David Wolfe, an attorney at Skoloff & Wolfe, P.C., one of New Jersey’s best-known law firms focusing on complex property, real estate, matrimonial, trusts and estates, and litigation matters.  Wolfe, who was appointed by the Supreme Court of New Jersey to serve as a member of its Committee on the Tax Court, and has served as the co-Chair of the Real Property Tax Practice and Procedure Committee of the New Jersey State Bar Association since 2004, also serves on the Board of the National Association of Property Tax Attorneys. 

Wolfe says the tax rates vary dramatically by town in New Jersey, simply because they’re a function of local government and county government, and the biggest expense is typically school expenses within each town. 

“Maplewood would be around $3.60 versus Millburn would be around $2.10, so there can be a big spread,” explains Wolfe. “South Orange is all the way up around $3.70 per $100,000 of assessment, so obviously the first place to start is the tax rate.” To look up the general tax rate for a particular town in Essex County, click here (To look up the tax rate for a town in another county, click here, then choose your county and select your town).

“In addition, New Jersey municipalities are required to assess at 100% of the value, and since municipalities are only theoretically at 100% in the year in which they perform the municipal-wide revaluation or reassessment, the further you get away from a revaluation and reassessment, the further you can be from that 100% value,” Wolfe explains. “So what you need to know is what the average ratio or chapter 123 ratio  is in whatever municipality you’re looking at in order to understand your assessment.”

So, what does that mean to us non-tax pros? It basically means you need to have two important pieces of information to calculate your taxes:

  1.  The chapter 123 ratio for your town 
  2.  The general tax rate for your town

Let’s say you’re considering a home in South Orange and in 2016 it’s being assessed at 85% of the value, that would imply is that if you had a property that was assessed at $1 million you’d be paying taxes as though that property was worth $1,172,000. “The Division of Taxation publishes by county each of the common level ranges, or the average ratio, that you need to know for every municipality. In order to understand whether or you’d be over-assessed, or properly assessed, or under-assessed, you need to know both your assessed value and those ratios because without those ratios you have no way of knowing what the implied value of your assessment is. In some counties, ratios can be as low as in the 20% range so those assessments don’t really mean anything. What you desperately need to know is the ratios and there’s a big difference between 85% and 100%,” says Wolfe. 

So, say you decide to go with a $500,000 for a home in South Orange instead, multiply that sales price by the average ratio (which we know from the chapter 123 ratio is 85.28… so we move the decimal point over twice to get 0.8528) you’d be entitled in theory to an assessment of $426,400. If you could prove that the assessment was indicative of fair market value, and the value of your property succeeded in proving that was the value of your property, the law would say you’re entitled to an assessment of $426,400, explains Wolfe. Now to calculate your actual taxes you’ll have to multiply this new amount of $426,400 by the tax rate (which we know from the general tax rate for 2016 is 3.739… so we move the decimal point over twice to get 0.03739) and we reach an estimated tax bill of $15,943.096.

In other words, the formula to calculate what your taxes looks like this:

  • STEP 1

Multiply the Chapter 123 Ratio by the home purchase price to reach the Assessed Value.

  • STEP 2

Then multiply the Assessed Value by the General Tax Rate  to calculate what your taxes are likely to be.

“The one thing that’s very important for home owners to do when they’re looking at any particular municipality is to find out if the town is looking at performing a municipal revaluation and if all of the assessments are about to change,” stresses Wolfe. “That’s’ certainly something that I would want to know.”

For example, Millburn township assess at 86% this year but for 2017 they’re going to be at 100% because every assessment in that municipality is going to be redone, revalued, and brought to 100%, he explains. The Essex County Board of Taxation is a good place to call to find out if a particular municipality will be revaluing for the coming year. The site also features a free guide to property taxes in New Jersey and has additional information on what the process is like.

While Wolfe does not counsel on permits, in regard to home improvement projects he does say that obtaining a permit and closing out a permit for a home renovation can trigger an analysis by an assessor as to whether on not an increase in the assessment is warranted. “If a property is under-assessed, certainly there can be a significant increase from only a modest improvement,” says Wolfe. “The job of the assessor is to value the property as a whole, not just the increase in value attributed to the new improvement. So if you add a deck, it’s not that they just value how much is the deck is worth. They’re supposed to value the entire property and then look at the difference between the current assessment and the new assessment with the deck.”

Sure, there’s a chance that if your property is already over-assessed, an assessor will not add anything, even though you’ve done an improvement but that’s rare. “It’s certainly the norm that improving your property leads to increasing the assessment.”

Separately, keep in mind – especially if you’re renting an apartment in New York City and making the switch to home ownership in New Jersey – that what’s covered in the general tax rate can vary from municipality to municipality. This means that in some towns garbage collection and sewer costs may be separate out-of-pocket expenses; in addition to your water bill. To find out what might be an additional expense for you, call or visit your local municipality’s tax collector website. Also note that in some counties and municipalities there may be additional taxes to pay depending on your neighborhood.

If you buy a home in New Jersey and feel your taxes are too high. You can appeal them. That’s where someone like David Wolfe would come in. “The best way that I can help is to help them figure out if they have a meritorious tax appeal, and if so file an appeal on their behalf.” 

Wolfe says in New Jersey, unlike in New York, “you appeal at your peril so you should not just automatically appeal your taxes because you don’t want to pay $15,000 or $20,000 or whatever it is. You need to have a merit to your case otherwise you risk potentially having an increase in your taxes as a result to the appeal,” which is why it’s important to screen your case with a tax attorney first. 

“When you have a recent purchase price for a single family home that’s typically the best indication of the value of that property, unless you’re looking at a distressed sale, foreclosure, or short sale,” he adds.

As for what’s the most important takeaway in regard to taxes – find out the current year’s assessments. 

“Frequently on real estate listings they have the prior year’s property tax assessment and taxes, and there can be great variations from one year to the next, especially if there has been a revaluation and the property or the home has been on the market for some time, so it’s vital that you know the latest year the current year’s assessment,” says Wolfe. 

it’s also crucial that you know if it’s a town in which there is an ongoing revaluation, which some of these municipalities in Essex County are undergoing,” he says, pointing at South Orange and Maplewood. Wolfe suggests you ask the municipality if the homeowner is allowed access to the revaluation firm and whether or not they’ve received notice of what their potential assessment is going to be for the following year.

For additional articles with New Jersey tax information, check out the publications page at Skoloff & Wolfe:

Schools in Glen Ridge, New Jersey

PUBLIC SCHOOLS

The Glen Ridge School District is a K-12 grade school district that serves 1,933 students. The district consists of four schools. We were unable to find a district narrative report card available for this school for the 2014-2015 academic year. 

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL - PUBLIC

MIDDLE SCHOOL - PUBLIC

 

HIGH SCHOOL - PUBLIC

 

DAYCARES/PRESCHOOLS/KINDERGARTENS - PRIVATE

ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS - PRIVATE

  • There are no private elementary schools located within Glen Ridge. There are; however, private options in Montclair and other nearby towns.

MIDDLE SCHOOLS - PRIVATE

  • There are no private middle schools located within Glen Ridge. There are; however, private options in Montclair and other nearby towns.

HIGH SCHOOLS - PRIVATE

  • There are no private high schools located within Glen Ridge. There are; however, private options in Montclair and other nearby towns.

Arts and Culture in Glen Ridge, NJ

  • Glen Ridge Art Patrons Association: GRAPA is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to furthering fine, visual, and media arts in the Glen Ridge schools and community. It presents the Glen Ridge Arts festival each year in May; email via form.
  • Glen Ridge Historical Society: Founded in 1977, this voluntary membership organization seeks to protect the unique character and rich architectural history of Glen Ridge. Its yearly events include a walking tour in Glen Ridge each October; programs each winter and spring on subjects such as local history, garden design, and antiques; and a holiday party each December at a historic Glen Ridge home. The Society also maintains a collection of historical artifacts and photos in its Museum Room, which serves as an important resource for homeowners seeking to restore their homes with historical accuracy. The Museum Room tends to be open the second Saturday of the month from 9am-12 pm at the Terry S Webster Museum on 222 Ridgewood Avenue, Glen Ridge, NJ 07028. For more information about the Museum Room, email historian [at] glenridgehistory.org. For other inquiries email glenridgehs [at] gmail.com.
  • Museum Pass Program: The Museum Pass Program allows Glen Ridge Library Card Holders free admission to nearby museums when they borrow a membership pass. To view the rules and the participating museums, click here.  For additional information contact the Glen Ridge Public Library at (973) 748-5482; 240 Ridgewood Avenue, Glen Ridge, NJ 07028.
  • The Women's Club of Glen Ridge: The Women's Club is the scene of many social gatherings, educational programs, cultural events and meetings. This non-profit organization is open to all women of the community over the age of 18. Men are encouraged to support the Club as Associate Members. Glen Ridge girls from 9th to 12th grades enjoy membership in the Girls' Club; (973) 748-5459; 219 Ridgewood Avenue, Glen Ridge, NJ 07028.
  • Sharing the Arts: This non-profit performing arts program is for individuals with mild to moderate developmental delays, including chromosomal abnormalities, Asperger's, genetic anomalies, and other developmental delays. Its mission is to enhance the lives of individuals with special needs though the performing arts; (201) 689-2397; info [at] sharinghearts.com.
  • Gas Lamp Inc.: is a non-profit independent arts organization that offers classes and holds performances; email via form.

Activities for Kids in Glen Ridge, New Jersey

Looking for fun things for your children to do in Glen Ridge, New Jersey? Here are some local options:

  • Acoustic Open Mic Night: Glen Ridge resident Paul Byrne hosts Acoustic Open Mic Night at the Glen Ridge Senior Community Center, usually on the last Friday night of each month. Glen Ridge students of all ages are encouraged to perform and/or listen; (973) 748-2924; 228 Ridgewood Avenue, Glen Ridge, NJ 07028. For additional information email jtcowan [at] glenridgenj.org.
  • Friday Night Rec: A free, fun-filled, 90-minutes of gym games for kids in grades 3,4,5, and 6, supervised by staff. The program runs December through March; (973) 748-2924; Ridgewood Avenue School, 235 Ridgewood Avenue, Glen Ridge, NJ 07028. For additional information email jtcowan [at] glenridgenj.org.
  • Glen Ridge Athletic Association: The GRAA is a volunteer organization that sponsors, organizes, and promotes organized sports activities for the children of Glen Ridge. Sports include: baseballboys basketballgirls basketballcheerleadingfield hockeyfloor hockeyfootballgirls lacrosseboys lacrossefall box lacrossesoccergirls softballvolleyball, and wrestling.
  • Glen Ridge Country Club: Established in 1894, this private, family-friendly, country club is recognized as one of the oldest in New Jersey; (973) 744-7800; 555 Ridgewood Avenue, Glen Ridge, NJ 07028.
  • Glen Ridge Public Library: The library's children's department has an ongoing calendar of fun activities. Find details on storytime, homework help, and various other programming here. It also has programming just for teens.
  • Special Events: Glen Ridge hosts various events throughout the year, including a Memorial Day parade, Municipal Tree lighting, pumpkin hunt, egg hunt, Fitzgerald's 1928 Lager Run 5K Race, and the Ashenfelter 8K Classic (A8K)it also has the Glen Ridge Men's Softball League, a competitive slo-pitch league, for men 30+ from late June through early August.
  • Youth Drop In Center: From 3-5 pm on school days the Glen Ridge Senior/Community Center has adult staff to supervise school age children, free of charge; (973) 748-2924; 228 Ridgewood Avenue, Glen Ridge, NJ 07028. For additional information email jtcowan [at] glenridgenj.org.

Parks in Glen Ridge, New Jersey

  • Glenridge has nine parks. The best known is Glenfield Park, a 20.1-acre park in the central section of Essex County in Montclair, with a small corner extending into Glen Ridge. Glenfield serves as a community park and most of the users walk to it from the surrounding neighborhoods. Glenfield Park, has athletic fields, playgrounds, and tennis courts. Click here to download a park map.
  • In addition to the parks, Glen Ridge has a community pool that's open from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. The pool is located just off Bloomfield Avenue at 35 Clark Street. To register to use the pool, you'll need to use Community Pass. To learn more about the pool rules, calendar, and classes, click here.
  • For more information visit the Glen Ridge Parks and Recreation webpage.

 

Gyms in Glen Ridge, New Jersey

Are you relocating to Glen Ridge, New Jersey, and looking for a new gym? Here are some neighborhood workout spots: