May 9, 2024
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Spotlight on Teaneck’s Finances

This article represents the first in a series of articles shining a spotlight on Teaneck’s finances.

By now, we all know that the Teaneck Township has revalued the town’s properties for the 2024 tax year to reflect their market value. Upon first blush, one may understandably assume that their proposed taxes had increased because Teaneck property values have undoubtedly increased. But this assumption was not necessarily correct because the current tax rate has declined to $2.047 (at least for the time being) from $3.302, so that one’s property taxes too may have declined.

The tax rate has fallen (again, at least for the time being) because the totality of the taxes on Teaneck’s reassessed properties are to remain constant for the duration of the current fiscal year at approximately $142 million. Indeed, 60% of Teaneck residential property owners have seen a decline in their estimated 2024 property taxes. (Full disclosure: This author’s proposed property taxes have increased by approximately $100.) To Teaneck’s credit, its assessments and reassessments are transparent and can be found on Appraisal System’s website in the form of an 11,000-line spreadsheet. By modifying this spreadsheet with a few additional basic formulas and some data sorting, we can glean some interesting observations.

As stated previously, 60% of residential property owners have actually seen a decline in their property taxes. At its extreme, one fortunate Teaneck property owner saw a decline of his property taxes exceeding $17,000! Before one begrudges this property owner for his substantial tax windfall, please be mindful that this property owner will still be paying over $100,000 a year in taxes. Interestingly, this property owner is one of four property owners in Teaneck who merit the dubious distinction of paying in excess of $100,000 a year in property taxes. And fortunately for these heavy hitters, all four have seen a decline in their property taxes with their new assessed values. Parenthetically, one may recall that under the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017, taxpayers are limited to a $10,000 SALT (state and local tax) deduction on their personal tax returns, so that under the current tax system, at least $90,000 of their Teaneck real estate taxes are not deductible.

On the other side of the spectrum, one Teaneck property owner has the dubious distinction of seeing a surge in his property taxes of over $30,000! And what is the presumptive reason for this surge? It is apparently attributable to the property’s status of being newly constructed. On a side note, this property is one of 17 properties in Teaneck that is recognized as being newly constructed in 2023.

Another interesting observation: One Teaneck property in particular has a lot size exceeding 100,000 square feet. To put this property size in perspective, an NFL regulation-size field is “merely” 57,600 square feet, whereas the median lot size of a residential property in Teaneck is a more modest 6,000 square feet. It should come as no surprise that this Teaneck neighbor titan is paying in excess of $100,000 a year in property taxes.

One final point: The Appraisal System’s spreadsheet omits from its listing multiple-dwelling properties (think apartment building) and commercial properties (think auto mechanic shop and barber shop). I hope to address these properties in a future article.

In closing, you may have noticed that neither the property owners nor their addresses have been identified in this article. This omission was by design, so as to (hopefully) discourage one from engaging in lashon hara. I urge you to please stay with this refrain.


Michael Cohen, CFE and CPA practices as a consultant in forensic accounting and includes the U.S. Department of Justice as one of his clients. If you have any thoughts on this article or on suggested future articles to shine a spotlight on Teaneck’s finances, you may email me at [email protected].

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