Ocean County Tax Board, President & Commissioners
New Jersey Division of Taxation
Lakewood Township Manager
August 31, 2009
On or about August 13th, 2009 the Lakewood Tax Assessor, Ms. Linda Solakian (“Assessor”) in the presence of many people, verbally attacked Mr. P. G. Waxman , a Commissioner of the Ocean County Tax Board and its current president. During the verbal tirade the Assessor included “racist remarks” including “your people”. Judges and other public Officials were forced to step down for similar remarks. The assessor also verbally attacked others from the Orthodox Jewish community.
Commissioner Waxman did not respond regarding the racist remark, nor has he taken any action legal, or otherwise, (as far as I know) towards the Assessor.
It is unethical and unconscionable that Commissioner Waxman has not taken any action towards the Assessor and has allowed her to testify in front of the Tax Board.
Commissioner Waxman, who is a resident of Lakewood, should have been aware that most of the Lakewood tax appeals are from the orthodox Jewish community whom the assessor used the racist remark against them.
Commissioner Waxman should have had the Assessor disqualified and set up a hearing to relieve the Assessor of her duties.
It is fact that, previous Tax Board Commissioners who were intimidated by the above Assessor and allegedly received telephone communications from upper echelon political power brokers not to challenge the above mentioned Assessor, actually resigned from the tax board due to her intimidation and actions. That in itself does not justify Commissioner Waxman’s lack of actions against the Assessor.
The Comps produced by The Lakewood Assessor & Mr. Gagliano “ MAI” ? for the Lakewood Tax Appeals contain much erroneous information and should therefore be disqualified. The Assessor & Mr. Gagliano may have committed perjury by presenting documentation & evidence that they should have known was erroneous.
The appraisals are not conforming to any guidelines in Appraisal practice and were done in complete disregard to the ethics and moral duty required of them.
The erroneous appraisals that Lakewood Township presented to the Tax Board to justify the Lakewood Assessors inflated property values is a clear indicator of the Assessors valuation practice. Therefore there is no “presumption of correctness” for all of the Assessors Lakewood valuations. In conclusion, the only item in front of the Commissioners’ to consider is the Appellants’ Comps or testimony.
The Tax Board Commissioners’ actions are granted “immunity” by the State. It may be a broad immunity but it is not blanket immunity.
The Lakewood Assessors prepared SR1A’s, which are used by the Division for the Ratios, should be disqualified, as they contain erroneous information in determining useable and non-useable sales. The sales that come in with lower than the assessed values which would be an indicator of possible market change, are disqualified as non-useable with the use of #26, etc.
When there is a clear non-useable inflated sale (double of the last sale of a mere 2-3 months ago), it is listed as a useable sale. When there are other verifiable circumstances why a property is sold “out of proportion to the market condition” no sufficient research is done to ascertain the true circumstances.
When the Assessor and Appraiser will opt to use an out of area, out of date, dis-similar properties, etc with loads of adjustments, when there are area comps, closer dates, more similar comps, less adjustments, that should be suspect and looked upon as a discrimination appeal as well, and the appellants should be allowed to show other assessments that are lower as well.
As the board heard from appellants during the hearings, the proper adjustments were not made from the Township’s comps to the appellant subject properties (e.g. pool, square footage, zoning, water & sewer vs. well &Septic , etc).
Additionally, when a selected comp is used by Lakewood to maintain the assessment for numerous properties there is no consistency in that home’s features and line item adjustment values. It just depends on what the Assessor and appraiser want as “the bottom line”.
The Assessor is not in compliance with the state mandated Code of Ethics of Municipal Assessors as appears in Handbook for New Jersey Assessors.
The Handbook for New Jersey Assessors has very clear requirements for Proper “public relations” with an Assessor’s office. It is clearly not being followed by the above mentioned Assessor. There is actually intimidation and fear in dealing with the current Assessor.
The Assessor is also not complying with the Handbooks section 1102.2
Section 1102.3 Second paragraph
Section 320.1 “The Assessor having made every reasonable effort to help……
Section 320.4 “If doubt exists……..The presentation of additional….
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Lakewood, NJ 08701
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