Revaluation Firm Awarded Appraisals Contract

Council awarded an $18,000 Non-Fair and Open contract to Realty Appraisal, Co. for real estate appraisal service at the May 17th municipal meeting.

Resolution 169-18 will cover new appraisals for new construction such as the Meridia At Roselle Park development complex along with other new projects.

Resident Dave Robertson, during the first public comment portion of the May 17th meeting, asked,”For what reason is this contract being let now and why was it not subject to bid?”

Chief Financial Officer Ken Blum responded, “Realty Appraisal’s the company that did our reval. This is the third year and the final year for them to defend the county board appeals for free. We still have to pay for state board appeals and they are also used in assistance with the tax assessor for any new appraisals or future project appraisals that are needed . . . We’ve always done it as a professional service contract.”

In New Jersey, contracts with government entities are either ‘fair and open’ or ‘non-fair and open’. A Fair & Open contract is one that goes out for bid and is awarded to the lowest responsible bidder is the anticipated cost is over $17,500. “Non-Fair & Open” is a no-bid contract awarded to contractor with the conditions that the service provider has completed and submitted a Business Entity Disclosure Certification which certifies that it has not made any reportable contributions to a political or candidate committee in Roselle Park in the previous one (1) year and that it will not make any reportable contributions through the term of the contract.

Later in the meeting, just before the vote to approve the resolution, Councilman-At-Large further explained, “I just want to clarify that the firm that’s being used is specifically focusing on properties other than residential. It’s commercial and industrial [properties], right? And just for the record, an assessor’s expertise is probably more so in residential than it is in these other categories so it makes sense to have a professional defend us in a case of an appeal for these type[s] of properties . . . There was a comment before so I wanted to make, just put it out there that it makes sense.”

The breakdown of general rates for new appraisals are listed below:

Minor Construction / Alteration
$100 each
New Construction or Additions (up to 15,000 sq. ft.)
$250 each
New Construction or Additions (over 15,000 sq. ft.)
$500 each
New Construction (up to 15,000 sq. ft.)
$300 each
New Construction (over 15,000 sq. ft.)
$900 each
5 - 10 families inclusive
$600 each
21 - 50 families
$800 each
Over 50 families
By Agreement

New commercial or industrial construction over 15,000 square feet, and apartment houses over 50 families will be by agreement between Realty Appraisal, Co. and the Borough of Roselle Park prior to the commencement of work.

As of this publication, it is not definitely known if there is a separate line item missing for 11-20 family apartment houses or if the designation was 11-50. In either case, such a change would require a simple re-vote by the governing body to officially approve the resolution with the correct appraisal rates.

Realty Appraisals, as part of a three-year agreement after conducting the townwide revaluation in 2015, defends appeals of property assessments – more commonly known as tax appeals – that go before the county tax board at no cost to the borough. Appeals that end up in state court are charged $90/hour by Realty Appraisals.