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Looking Out For Belmar’s Flooded Taxpayers?

Or looking to hose them?

From the Morris County Daily Record:

Belmar taxpayers lost out on post-Sandy savings

Countywide program offered tax reductions based on damages

BELMAR — Doug Sweeny should have saved $1,100 on his property taxes after superstorm Sandy flooded his borough home, but he never saved a dime.

That money would still sit in the pocket of the 68-year-old seasonal resident had his single-family residence on Ocean Avenue remained on a list of 1,000 homes originally requested for inspection after the storm. However, the borough inexplicably dropped his home from that list as it did with hundreds of others.

Now, it appears the borough might have cost nearly 736 of its home-owning storm victims as much as $478,000 in property taxes through its failure to take full advantage of Monmouth County’s Superstorm Sandy Inspection Program, which offered temporary reductions in property assessments and taxes based on damages…………………..

……………………Originally, Ed Mullane — the borough’s tax assessor — emailed the county Tax Board on Nov. 23 with a request for inspections of 1,000 homes based on aerial photos of Sandy’s damage, according to a series of emails obtained through an OPRA request by Asbury Park Press.

The original list included Sweeny’s home, the entirety of the borough’s shoreline and two blocks inland, virtually the whole area around Silver Lake, and a few homes on and across the street from the Shark River, according to the emails.

But a couple of weeks later on Dec. 5, Mullane emailed the county Tax Board again to withdraw the list because borough officials never responded to him, according to the emails.

“I will reach out to the new Administrator and find out what the Mayor wants,” Mullane wrote to Clark. “I recommended your entire system. This latest disaster has put my patience with Municipal professionals over the top.”

Finally, on Dec. 11, Mullane emailed the county Tax Board a revised list of properties at the recommendation of the borough’s “upper management.” The edited list only included 264 homes within the borough’s southeastern section between B Street and Ocean Avenue, and Lake Como and 17th Avenue, according to the emails.

If you watch this video of the Oct 3 council meeting you can witness the mayor and administrator try to do a tap dance around Jim Bean’s tough questioning on this.  It begins at the 21:30 mark.


  1. Tom Burke wrote:

    This is yet another reason why change is needed on the Belmar Council. Mr.Sweeny , though a seasonal resident, has always been involved with Belmar home owners, and a strong supporter of our local Republicans. During the aftermath of the storm, When Doherty spoke of bipartisan efforts and was kissing Christie’s back side, he was only thinking of bipartisan up the ladder, not down the ladder. Why is it only Councilman Bean who sees and speaks up about this loss to property owners? Where are the other council people? This whole situation is shameful. The Mayor and his council cronies need to stand up on this one. I guess that $478,000 that was saved in the borough coffers was needed for those new DPW trucks, the amount is about the same. Go Jim Bean !

    Friday, October 18, 2013 at 6:26 am | Permalink
  2. Belmar's Finest wrote:

    Holy cow what an expose’! Maybe the list was cut so as to avoid cuts to the budget or have a rate increase which the mayor seems so proud to tout, possibly for his political future?

    Saturday, October 19, 2013 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

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