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Property Tax Appeals

Property Tax Appeals

If your taxes are too high you have the option of filing an appeal to lower your taxes. You cannot appeal the tax rate, which is set between your county, town and school district.

However, you can appeal the assessment. If your property is assessed too high, you are paying too much, because the town-wide tax rate is multiplied by the assessed value of your property. The higher the assessment, the higher your taxes. If the equalized assessment is more than fifteen per cent higher than the fair market value (or higher at all after a town-wide revaluation), taking into account the equalization ratio, you can successfully appeal.

Property owners can appeal. A tenant required to pay taxes as part of rent can appeal. Likewise, tax sale certificate and mortgage holders can sometimes also appeal. Others may be entitled to a reduction of their taxes, such as seniors, veterans and charitable organizations.

New Jersey law requires that assessments must be within fifteen percent of the true fair market value of the property as of October of the previous year. So, for example, the assessment for 2017 taxes must equal the property’s fair market value as of October 2016.

The deadline to file an appeal is April 1st (when there is a town-wide valuation, this may be extended to May 1st). If you miss the deadline, you lose your right to appeal and will have to wait until the following tax year.

Our office can review the information you have about the true market value of your property and determine if it is worth pursuing an appeal. If it is, we will work closely with you and an appraiser to establish proof that your property was overvalued. We will then file the appeal on your behalf, represent you at the County Tax Board or State Tax Court as appropriate, negotiate with the taxing authorities, and present your case.

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