All Of The Town's 521 Structures Were Either Damaged Or Destroyed

MANTOLOKING, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – The Jersey shore town decimated by superstorm Sandy plans to adjust its property tax assessments to account for the massive damage the storm caused.

Mantoloking will vote Wednesday morning to carry out a reassessment of all taxable properties for the 2014 tax year.

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Mayor George Nebel said the recalculation is necessary due to the severe damage the Ocean County borough sustained in the storm. All 521 of the buildings that existed in Mantoloking before the Oct. 29, 2012 storm were either damaged or destroyed. Scores were simply washed away into Barnegat Bay.

“The taxable value of property in Mantoloking was reduced by the storm,” he said. “We hope to get the assessed value much closer to the real value.”

Borough spokesman Chris Nelson added, “It’s to make sure our tax assessments are more in line with post-storm conditions.”

The reassessment aims to more accurately calculate what each property is worth for taxation.

The move also means Mantoloking’s tax rate is likely to go up next year to compensate for an expected lower property value in town. To bring in roughly the same amount of tax money next year, the rate will have to go up because assessments will likely go down.

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An influx of storm-related aid helped Mantoloking avoid a big tax increase this year. But much of that aid is not likely to be available next year, officials realize.

Mantoloking, a narrow barrier island community between the ocean and Barnegat Bay, was devastated by the storm, which cut a channel through it from the ocean to the bay, destroyed part of Route 35, and washed away part of the approach to the Mantoloking bridge.

The damage necessitated a massive emergency reconstruction project to fill in the breach and rebuild the section of Route 35, a major north-south highway along the ocean County shoreline.

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