If you're City Hall, it means you'll have to add even more debt to the city's multi-million dollar budget shortfall.
The City Council approved the refund at their Aug. 20 meeting.
The refund is on municipal taxes that Mack-Cali said they overpaid on their Harborside II and III buildings at 8 Columbus Drive, and Plaza I building at 10 Columbus Drive, in 2006, 2007, and 2008.
The recent refund is the result of an agreement reached between the tax assessor's office and Mack-Cali.
The Harborside II and III and the Plaza I are part of the Harborside Financial Center, an office complex consisting of six office buildings totaling 3.6 million square feet.
Mack-Cali declined to comment on the refund by press time.Crunching the numbers
In Mack-Cali's case, the assessed value over the past three years of Harborside II and III by the city was $165 million, and Plaza I was $30 million.
But Mack-Cali said that the assessments should have been different.
The city's tax assessor, Ed Toloza, said that the assessment ratio (percentage of the market value that determines assessment of taxes) of the Mack-Cali properties had changed from year to year, but the city did not take that into account when computing the assessments.
In 2006, the ratio should have been 34.6 percent, he said. In 2007, it should have been 28.7 percent, and in 2008, it should have been 26.1 percent.
So the city recalculated the amounts.
The settled assessed value between the city and Mack-Cali for Harborside II and III is now $102.9 million for 2008, approximately a $63 million reduction. For 2007, it is $113 million, a $52 million reduction, and for 2006 it is $136 million, a $29 million reduction.
For Plaza I, the settled assessed value is $27.7 million in 2006; $23 million in 2007, and $21 million for 2006.
The reduction in the assessed value meant a reduction in the taxes, thus a refund.
The city's business administrator, Brian O'Reilly, said at the Aug. 18 council caucus that the refund will have to be financed by issuing municipal bonds, meaning more debt for the city. Comments on this article can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.