The Township of Lafayette is located in rural Sussex County in
the northwest corner of New Jersey. Lafayette is a small
community comprising of 18.7 square miles and a population of approximately
2,400 residents. Lafayette Township was incorporated
in 1845 and is the first town in the United States to be named
after the Marquis de LaFayette.
Saturday, November 7, 9 a.m. to 12 noon
at the Firehouse on Route 15, Lafayette
DEP TO AUCTION FARMING LEASES
AT 12 STATE PARKS, FORESTS, RECREATION AREAS
TWO REGIONAL AUCTIONS NEXT WEEK OPEN TO ALL FARMERS
The Department of Environmental Protection will hold two regional auctions next week for farm leases on land owned by the DEP, managed by the State Park Service and spread across a dozen state parks, forests and recreation areas.
The auction leases in New Jersey’s Central and Northern regions, to be held on Tuesday, September 29 and Thursday, October 1, will see the 2,744 acres of land available for bidding.
Central Region farming leases are up for auction in Allaire State Park, Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park, Monmouth Battlefield State Park, Rancocas State Park, Spruce Run Recreation Area, Upper Freehold Township and Washington Crossing State Park.
Northern Region farming leases are available in High Point State Park, Hopatcong State Park, Jenny Jump State Forest, Kittatinny Valley State Park and Wawayanda State Park.
Farmers may preregister to bid on specific parcels. Each lease will be for a five-year term, with an option to renew for three additional five-year terms. Multi-year farm leases will allow farmers to invest in the land and be eligible to participate in federal conservation or set-aside programs. A professional auctioneer will auction the parcels.
“Supporting agriculture within appropriate locations on our preserved open space lands has long been an initiative for the DEP,” said Rich Boornazian, the DEP’s Assistant Commissioner for Natural and Historic Resources. “We hope the availability of these long-term leases will encourage farmers to consider working public lands for the mutual benefit of the agricultural community as well as the public.”
Rental values and minimum bids will be based on the soil types of each parcel and calculated using the soil rental rates established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency (FSA), and discounted by 20 percent in consideration of the disadvantages of farming on public lands. Hedgerows and other property characteristics where farming cannot occur will not be included in the calculated lease rates.
The DEP launched the farm lease program in 2009, auctioning 49 leases. Last year, auctions yielded 46 leases. This year, farmers will have a variety of plot sizes from which to choose on 45 leases across both regions.
Land leases range in size from a 1.56-acre lot in Wawayanda State Park to nearly 100-acre plots in Monmouth Battlefield State Park. In many cases, farmers may bid on multiple smaller plots of land that are adjacent to or near other plots of varying sizes.
The auction details are as follows:
Central Auction (Hunterdon, Middlesex, Monmouth and Somerset counties): Tuesday, September 29, 2015 at 11 a.m., Assunpink Wildlife Management Area, Conservation Building, One Eldridge Road, Robbinsville, NJ 08691.
Northern Auction (Morris, Sussex and Warren counties): Thursday, October 1, 2015 at 11 a.m., Pequest Trout Hatchery, 605 Pequest Road, Oxford, NJ 07863.
Interested bidders must preregister by 5 p.m. Thursday, September 24, 2015. For information about the individual farm parcels and about registering, please visit: http://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/business_ops/current_leases.htm
In total, the DEP’s Division of Parks and Forestry owns 445,409 acres of land across the state. The Division of Fish and Wildlife owns 354,000 acres.
Military Families Survey
The Center for Prevention and Counseling would like to support the active and veteran military families in Sussex County. Our goal is to create an advisory board to aide in identifying military families in our area and gather information to help address the needs of those who have served and sacrificed for our Country. This includes not just our service members, but their spouses, children, and other loved ones as well. In our recent interaction with local military families it has been brought to our attention that finding and accessing services can be very challenging. This is especially due to our remote location.
In achieving this, we are asking that you please complete this anonymous survey to aide us in compiling a local resource list that can help guide those in need towards easily obtainable and helpful services. The online link is https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2TV3DY6. For more information please contact Natalie Yanoff-Smith at the Center for Prevention and Counseling, 973-383-4787.
Property Taxes And Your Assessment
The Tax Assessor has no control over the tax rate or the taxes you pay. Property taxes are a direct result of your assessment. The tax rate is a direct result of the County, School, and Municipal budgets. The tax rate is annually applied to each hundred of assessed value to determine your annual taxes.
Your assessment is reflective of market value. In 2013, the Township of Lafayette was at 100% of fair market value. The ratio, of 94.62% in 2013, is a result of the SR1A program which separates usable sales (fair market value – arms length transactions) from non-usable sales (foreclosures, short sales, estate sales, etc.)
If you disagree with your assessment, you have the right to file an appeal on or before April 1, 2014. However, you must prove your assessed value is incorrect and outside the common level range (Chapter 123).
You cannot file an appeal of your taxes. You cannot compare assessments.
The way to prove market value is by SALES of similar properties. The properties should have sold between 10/01/12 and 10/01/13. They must be usable sales. Adjustments must be made for differences in square footage (gross living area), finished basements, number of bathrooms, etc. Once you have completed that evaluation, then you must see if your assessment falls within the common level range.
As to Zillow, or one of the companies that solicit tax appeals, be wary. Zillow averages sales and non-usable sales can be included in that averaging. Companies that solicit you requesting payment for information, provides you with public information that you can obtain online without payment. The Assessor’s office annually, in February, posts a list of all usable sales in the Township which can be considered by taxpayers. But again, you cannot file an appeal of your taxes but must prove your assessment is incorrect.
In an effort to assist you in determining whether your assessment is equitable and to assist you in understanding property taxation, I’ve listed some articles and included the appropriate website. DOWNLOAD PROPERTY TAX INFORMATION
It is Hurricane Season in the Atlantic. Be alert and pay attention to rapidly changing weather conditions which can include severe thunderstorms with lightning, heavy rain, hail and high winds. Be prepared by monitoring the weather and use common sense to minimize the danger to you and your family. The NJ Office of Emergency Management website is a valuable source of information for preparedness. Please visit this website to learn how to create your emergency tool kit:
Elections - Video Guide for First Time NJ Voters
The Hall Institute of Public Policy and the League of Women Voters of New Jersey have created a five-minute video public service (PSA) announcement entitled "What Happens When You Go To Vote in New Jersey: A Step-by-Step Guide". For full details about the PSA, visit www.hallnj.org.
Low Energy Assistance Program
The Department of Community Affairs recently announced that supplemental benefits are available through the federally-funded Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Eligible households do not need to reapply for the program to receive supplemental benefits. The benefits are available because LIHEAP funding for the year increased beyond the original projection provided by the federal government. read more
NJDEP Reminds Residents of Events & Natural Resources
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) would like to remind residents of New Jersey of the various events and natural resources that are available at New Jersey's 39 State Parks, 11 Forests, 50 Historic sites and 121 Wildlife Management Areas.
Last year, New Jersey's State Parks had 19 million visitors and offer opportunities to experience first-hand our natural and historic beauty by visiting our wildlife management and interpretation centers, hiking trails, lakes, rivers, forest, beaches and historic monuments and battlefields covering nearly 800,000 acres.
The NJDEP is pleased to announce the launch of our new mobile phone application to help visitors plan for and make the most out of their trips to New Jersey's State parks, forest and historic sites:
Solutions to Stormwater Pollution
Easy things you can do every day to protect our water: download brochure
Public Service Announcement: Grill Safety
The Department of Community Affairs' Division of Fire Safety recently reminded residents to review fire safety grilling tips to avoid injury this summer. Download Safe Summer Cooking Tips
"The Making of Our Nation's Law" is a four page document that concisely explains how the Legislative Branch operates in the United States Capitol. The pamphlet appears at http://www.njslom.org/nations_laws.html.
Veteran Discount Program
Jeffery Parrott, Acting Sussex County Clerk attended our November 1st meeting to present information on the Veteran Discount Program that is available through the Clerk's office. Participating merchants are posted at: www.sussexcountyclerk.com. This list will be updated as new businesses are added.
Jeff also advised us that residents should be aware of phone scams. Never give out or confirm any personal or financial information over the phone. There are scams involving Social Security, insurance or certified copies of your deed. More information is provided at: www.sussexcountyclerk.com.
Additional information can be picked up at the municipal building or by calling 973-383-1817
Notice to All Veterans and to All Persons/Organizations Interfacing with Veterans download information, PDF
Have the following available:
* Social security number
* Private insurance information, if available
* Address and zip code of the damaged property
* Directions to the damaged home or property
* Daytime telephone number
DEP, DHSS urge residents to take precautions against mosquitoes in wake of heavy summer rainfall. Click here for press release. (PDF)
State Police Issues Warning of Asphalt Paving and Seal
Coating Scam; Canadian Lottery Check Cashing Scheme. Click
here to read the PSA.