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Big firms fight value in North Brunswick


Twenty-seven of the township’s largest firms are fighting the township’s assessment of their worth. The big firms were listed among the 136 appeals of property valuations filed by the township. The total amount involved is $46,794,800. At stake is $1 million in property taxes for the township.

The appeals to the Middlesex County Board of Taxation seek to have property values set by the township upheld. The township and its tax assessor, Margaret M. Kikelhan. this year tried to adjust figures placed"* on commercial and industrial buildings by a professional appraisal-firm two years ago. To change the amounts listed in the tax books, Mrs. Kikelhan had to file appeals to the tax board on behalf of the township.

Now the big firms are appealing to have the township’s valuations set aside. Among the major counter appeals will be those of Johnson & Johnson, E.R. Squibb & Sons Inc., Goodyear, Kelly-Springfield, the Okonite Co."and the town-snip’s two shopping centers.

By contrast, there were no tax appeals filed from the Brunswick Knolls housing development where last December angry homeowners bitterly complained of inequities. “I feel we did something fair there,” Mrs. Kikelhan said.

Because he 1970-71 assessments for J&J and Squibb did not climb enough to counter the drop in the tax rate created by a paper increase in township ratables from $92 million to $133 million that year, the two companies alone saved S320,021.

Mrs. Kikelhan said she has been concerned with the accuracy and appropriateness of the commercial and industrial assessments since the New York firm was retained to do a complete revaluation. “I would never have recommended an out-of-state firm,” she said.

As she checked their findings, Mrs. Kikelhan said she discovered “many glaring errors and omissions.” She said she was “very pleased when the township committee accepted my recommendation for a complete recheck by independent and Qualified appraisers.”

Mrs. Kikelhan will arrange individual appointments through her office between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. In addition to the 27 counter-appeals one of the 13 apartment complexes in the township, the 428-unit North Brunswick Village has filed an appeal. Only two residential appeals were filed.

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