Trenton property taxes skyrocket, owners call it unfair

Monday, August 7, 2017
Trenton property taxes skyrocket, owners call it unfair
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Trenton property taxes skyrocket, owners call it unfair. Nora Muchanic reports during Action News at 6 p.m. on August 7, 2017.

TRENTON (WPVI) -- A citywide reassessment is causing some Trenton property taxes to skyrocket, and property owners say they can't cope.

Following the recent evaluation, Kaars on Parker Avenue has had its property taxes raised by over $100,000. Bessie Reyes, the manager of the auto junkyard, calls it unfair and extortion.

"They want to move. They want to shut down and move this company to another state," Reyes said.

The state ordered a reevaluation as a condition for Trenton to get financial aid. There hasn't been a tax assessment in the city in over 26 years.

Local businesses are in an uproar.

"No business, no property in Trenton has appreciated 250% in the last 12 years. If anything, Trenton's are going down," auto repair shop owner Dave Kish said.

Kish bought his shop building for $40,000 in 2006. It's now assessed at $101,000, raising his quarterly tax payment from $262 to over $2,200.

The extreme jumps in property taxes mean some businesses won't be able to stay afloat and at least one owner, Johnny Mendola, has already put up his property for sale.

"I just put up a sign out there," Mendola, owner of Johnny's Deli said. "I'm not going to stay. I've been here 40 years. I just, I had enough."

Down the street at Perlstein & Son Inc. plumbing supply, the tax bill is jumping 140%.

"It's a lot of tax to go up and we don't get that much out of our taxes. I'm the one that sweeps the street," owner Sue Perlstein said.

The mayor's office had no comment Monday.

But City Council President Zachary Chester, whose property taxes jumped almost $4,000, says the city doesn't want businesses leaving.

"Let us try to figure out something, ask the state, see what we can do legally, so that people don't have to close their doors," Chester said.

Chester wants to formulate a plan to help residents and businesses with tax appeals and review the assessment process that led to these jaw-dropping tax hikes.


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