Rahway homeowners overcharged on tax bills

Rahway homeowners are overcharged due to faulty assessments according to research conducted by Democratic activist James J. Devine, whose findings are reflected in this chart:

City homeowners are paying property taxes that are often two to four times higher than they should be, according to a new study by Democratic activist James J. Devine.

Devine examined the assessed value, on which tax bills are based, compared to the most recent sale prices for 144 homes and found only 10 had fair assessments.

If these findings are consistent with the city wide assessments, fewer than seven percent of Rahway homeowners are paying a fair tax bill while the remaining 93 percent of residential property owners are being cheated. On top of the massive tax giveaways to giant corporations, such as Merck, City Hall has failed Rahway residents on a fundamental promise of tax fairness.

You are paying higher taxes because a greedy corporation that is sitting on $55 billion in profits stashed overseas never got a fight when it demanded a one-third reduction in its tax bill. Merck did not have to fight City Hall because the people we elected failed to fight for Rahway residents.

Americans for Tax Fairness identified Merck among the five most aggressive offshore tax dodgers, or corporations keeping trillions in profits stashed in foreign accounts to avoid declaring federal income and paying to support America.

Corporate profits are at a 60-year high, while corporate taxes are near a 60-year low. In 1952, under Republican President Dwight D Eisenhower, corporate income taxes were nearly a third of the federal government’s receipts but had declined to less than 10% by 2012.

Meanwhile, stock markets are at record levels and American CEOs are paid 380 times as much as average workers and the richest one percent of population owns half of all stocks, bonds and mutual funds.

President Barack Obama during his State of the Union Address declared that “corporate profits and stock prices have rarely been higher,” but the wages of average workers “have barely budged. Inequality has deepened. Upward mobility has stalled. Our job is to reverse these trends.”

Half the nation is struggling with poverty due to retirees whose fixed income is inadequate, underpaid workers stuck in positions that fail to provide enough money to make ends meet, and unemployment that remains high as 25 percent among Americans jobless or working part time.

I strongly encourage residents to use this evidence for filing tax appeals.