Wednesday, February 13, 2019

ONLY WAY IS UP!

Thank you to everyone who contacted us regarding last week's ABC News story. While embarrassing for the town as a whole, this incident provides an excellent opportunity for us to grow as a Borough and community. For those who aren't familiar, below is a link to Chad Pradelli's investigative piece.

Despite complaints, N.J. mayor refuses to move illegally parked RV 


Click the image to enlarge or the link above to watch the story.

We as the residents, the taxpayers - the ones who pay the bills - can harness this tremendous opportunity to generate growth for our beloved Borough of Lindenwold. 

To help answer the many questions we are getting, we offer a long-winded update. Feel free to share with other concerned citizens. The RV was moved.

As many of you noted, Lindenwold has a bit of history with Code Enforcement issues.  While many challenges still exist, we are happy to report, Mayor Roach announced at this year's Reorganization meeting, that our borough officials enforced 2700 Code Compliance issues in 2018.  It seems we may finally be on the right track. See video here.

Be that as it may, to help save taxpayers money and to ensure an unbiased operation, many surrounding towns now utilize PROCHAMPS to help with codes problems, handle foreclosures and fight blight. 


Click image to enlarge or zoom.

That being said, Lindenwold has an established set of Community Standards (Codes), and your property taxes pay the salaries of your Borough officials, who are tasked with upholding said standards. With that in mind, here are a few suggestions to help make your taxes work for you and the greater good of Lindenwold.

First, compile a list of the offending properties. Include pictures* and the code violation** if you can (see below). Then, email that list and pictures to your Codes Official, Wayne Hans, at whans@lindenwold.net and "copy" the following people: your Mayor, Richard Roach, at rroach@lindenwold.net, your Codes Councilman Liaison, Justin Jackson, at jjackson@lindenwold.net, your Borough Administrator, Dawn Thompson, at dthompson@lindenwold.net and your Borough Solicitor, Dave Capozzi, at david@daclaw.net. This process will document your request and ensure that it doesn't fall through the cracks. If there's no improvement after 30 days, forward a copy of the email to your Camden County Board of Freeholders at: freeholders@camdencounty.com and ask that they look into the matter.

*Images of properties that have been non-compliant for more than 2 years are freely available via Google Maps using the "satellite" or "street" view. Dates in the upper left corner will indicate when the picture was taken and also provide evidence of how long the property has been non-compliant.

**Borough of Lindenwold Codes can be found here

Second, consider a tax appeal, which are heard at the county level. According to research, between 30 and 60 percent of taxable property has an inflated assessment. Any financial advisor worth their weight, recommends that homeowners appeal their tax assessment annually. The strategy being, that for a little bit of time and effort you just might get an assessment reduction, which will lower your taxes. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. In addition to appropriate "comps," in the evidence section, be sure to include pictures of all of the offending properties and argue that your property (and everybody else's) aren't worth what they're assessed because our Borough officials aren't upholding our Community Standards. The deadline for appeals is April 1st. For more information, click here

Good luck! Here's to a Better Borough!


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