Effectively Challenging Your New Jersey Tax Assessment

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Effectively Challenging Your New Jersey Tax Assessment

When a property’s assessment value has been inflated in error, a homeowner’s tax liability will consequently be higher than it ought to be. This article will educate homeowners on how they may be able to reduce their assessment value– and thereby reap significant tax savings.

In challenging a property assessment, homeowners must prove certain material facts:

The data used is inaccurate or not complete. For instance, the assessor may have declared that a home measures 4,000 square feet, when it actually only has only 3,000 square feet.

The tax assessor maintains the assessment value of a property exceeds that of other comparable homes within the same neighborhood.

The tax assessor has placed an excessive value on the current market value of a home.

If you believe you can substantiate any of these claims, it is recommended you consider proceeding with an appeal.

Making Contact With the Tax Assessor

If you feel you possess compelling evidence that the tax assessor has overvalued your property, she or he might agree to reduce your assessment on the spot. If that happens, you will not have to file a formal appeal.

Most municipalities post contact information on their town’s website. Understand that tax assessors are generally not adversarial by nature and try hard to treat property owners fairly. Be considerate and call ahead to schedule a consultation with the tax assessor. Before meeting with them, make multiple copies of your evidence, such as tax assessor reports that you consider relevant in establishing the value of your home.

When meeting with them, presume that the tax assessor is acting in good faith and is prepared to consider your evidence. Avoid being aggressive or griping about how real estate taxes have become burdensome. Present your evidence in a calm and rational manner. Always stick to the facts!

Appealing the Assessment

Should you fail to come to a satisfactory agreement with your tax assessor , you can file a formal petition for an appeal.

Where to Appeal

You can appeal the assessment of your home by presenting a petition to your countys tax board. This must be presented by April 1 or within 45 days after you’ve received your assessment notice in the mail whichever comes later. If the assessor has performed a revaluation of your town, you have until May 1 to file.

Ask the tax assessor exactly what documentation you need to submit and by what deadline. Your evidence will be considered at a formal hearing. If you have evidence relating to comparable properties, you are advised to submit copies a minimum of seven days before the hearing. Similarly, if you plan to present an appraiser’s opinion, you should submit copies of the appraisal at least seven days prior to the hearing and the appraiser must attend the hearing.

Evidence That Can Support Your Appeal

Several types of evidence may be useful in pursuing your appeal, such as:

a recent appraisal of your home

a contractor’s report itemizing the estimated cost for repair work required on your home.

documentation of current listing prices in your area, and

copies of recent comparable sold listings.

During the hearing, youll probably be granted no more than 10 minutes to present your case, so make sure you are concise. Bring multiples copies of all your evidence so each officer at the hearing has their own copy. If possible, include a chart showing comparative sales prices and taxable values. Its a good idea to arrive at the hearing early so that you can observe and learn from other peoples hearings.

Protesting The Court’s Decision

After your hearing, if you feel you dont agree with the decision the court has made, you can the New Jersey Tax Court to review the decision. You have 45 days from when the Tax Board mailed its decision to file your grievance at the court. If you plan to go to court, youre probably going to need to hire an attorney to represent you.

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