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Owners of damaged homes concerned about property taxes

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Alan Salowe was shocked when he saw his Mantoloking summer home for the first time after hurricane Sandy. Salowe bought the home 13 years ago. For its prime oceanfront location he paid $15,500 in property taxes last year.

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In New Jersey, property taxes are based on an assessment of the property's condition and value as of October 1. But because Hurricane Sandy happened at the end of October, many homes -- including Salowe's -- decreased in value.

His attorney, Tom Olson, said that homeowners who have storm damage should notify tax assessors in writing as soon as possible and definitely before January 9, 2013. Many towns will have to find ways to make up for the decrease in tax revenue.

Brick Township Mayor Stephen Acropolis said that luckily his township has a $9 million surplus. He is hoping the township can get through 2013 and that when homes are rebuilt more property taxes will be paid.

Salowe's home is structurally unsafe and must be torn down. He said he is not sure whether he will ever rebuild.

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