Voorhees Township had gone without a property reassessment for 19 years, until 2006, when Camden County required the township to do so.
But in the years that followed, the housing market continued on a downward spiral.
The reassessment process is mainly governed by the state and county, said Township Administrator Larry Spellman.
So now, he said, Voorhees is trying to catch up and bring all homes in the community up to fair-market value.
“The state never took into consideration six straight years of housing decline,” Spellman said.
A member of the Tyler/CLT Appraisal Services will inspect about half of the homes and businesses in the township in the coming weeks.
Any home or business visited in the last four years will not be inspected during this “re-inspection” process.
Appraisals are already underway as of last week. Those receiving inspections should be notified via mail about two weeks prior to the visit.
Spellman said the Voorhees Township Police Department has done full background checks on each of the four inspectors who will visit homes in the township. Tyler/CLT employees will also wear a yellow vest and carry an ID card.
Inspectors will not be allowed to roam free in a home or business, and the property owner will be able to accompany them at all times while on the premises.
If no one is home, only an outside inspection can be performed. Inspectors will leave a card with a number to call to reschedule.
Inspectors are mainly looking for the size of the building and number of bedrooms and bathrooms.
Reassessments don’t automatically mean a homeowner’s property taxes will rise, Spellman added.
Instead, many residents will see a decrease in value – and taxes.
“Another misconception is that more money is going to the township and schools,” Spellman said. “It reshuffles money to be fair.”
Inspectors will need to have the assessments completed by Oct. 1.
After that, the appraisal company will submit the figures to the county. The new tax values will take effect for the 2013 tax cycle, Spellman said.
Residents looking for more information and a video explaining the reassessment process should visit the township’s website at www.voorheesnj.com and click on 2013 “Reassessment Info.”
Tyler/CLT Appraisal Services can be reached at (856) 852-5243. You may also contact the tax assessor’s office at (856) 429-7767.