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NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Argued November 26, 2001

These consolidated appeals implicate the applicability and scope of the Supreme Court’s decision in West Milford v. Van Decker, 120 N.J. 354 (1990). The homeowner, Marianne Centorino, challenged her 1998 and 1999 assessment increases on the grounds that they were based on her recent purchase of the property and therefore were unconstitutional spot assessments under the “welcome stranger” practice. Centorino was unsuccessful before the Hunterdon County Board of Taxation (County Tax Board) as to her 1998 assessment on procedural grounds, but prevailed on her 1999 appeal which the County Tax Board found was based solely on its sale price. Centorino sought separate relief in the Tax Court on the merits of the 1998 assessment, but that assessment was sustained. Tewksbury Township appealed the County Tax Board’s rejection of the 1999 increased assessment and reinstatement of the pre-1998 assessment. The Tax Court reversed the County Tax Board and reinstated the 1999 increased assessment. Centorino then appealed the two separate adverse determinations, and those appeals are now consolidated. For the reasons hereafter stated we reverse in both appeals.

 
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