Property Values Adjusted for the Consolidated Princeton

Assessed values for almost 20 percent of properties in the united Princeton will change this year under a plan approved by the Mercer County Tax Board on Friday.

Most of the property owners receiving adjustments will see their assessed values decrease, Mercer County Tax Administrator Marty Guhl said.

A so-called compliance plan, which allows the local tax assessor to adjust the values for up to 50 percent of properties in a municipality, is normally due Nov. 1. Princeton Tax Assessor Neal Snyder was granted an extension because of consolidation.

“The plan involved looking at every single neighborhood  and determining which areas needed adjustment,” Guhl said. “About 18 percent of the property line items needed some adjustment. All the neighborhoods adjusted have been reduced. A few individual properties have increased in assessed value, very few.”

For assessment purposes, municipalities are divided in to neighborhoods. Guhl said there are 161 neighborhoods in the combined Princeton, and 28 neighborhoods received an adjustment. Guhl said 1,482 properties of a total of 8,232 will be adjusted.

“The compliance plan brings outlying neighborhoods in line with the town,” Guhl said.

The 2010 revaluation of the two Princetons caused an uproar, with many residents challenging the results and methodology used to determine property values in a volatile real estate market with few sales available to compare properties to in order to determine values.

Taxes on the more modest homes, on average, went up, in some cases more than double. At the same time, owners of the more expensive homes in the two Princetons saw their taxes go down on average, in some cases dramatically.

A citizen group formed called “Princeton Fair Tax Revaluation Group”. Residents who belong to the group filed a lawsuit challenging the revaluation in 2011. The lawsuit is still making its way through the court system.