A key area of practice for Stephen is counseling property owners on issues related to their property tax assessments, including valuation, exemption and abatement. The firm regularly represents clients with property tax appeals in residential, commercial and multi-family residential real estate matters.
Over the past 20+ years, he has represented both municipalities and taxpayers through the tax appeal process.
Stephen reviews each assessment and analyzes it with the property owner to determine whether a tax appeal is appropriate, recommending filing a tax appeal only where there is a high likelihood of success in achieving a significant reduction in assessment.
PROPERTY TAX ASSESSMENTS AND THE RATIO
Property tax assessments are based upon the market value of the property. This changes from year to year and is set on October 1 of each year for the following year. However, the assessment is a percentage of the market value of the property, called the ratio. This percentage differs in each municipality and changes yearly. The State Department of the Treasury sets the ratio annually based on the trends in market values unique to each municipality.
FILING A PROPERTY TAX APPEAL
Who may file a property tax appeal?
Under New Jersey law, a “taxpayer” has the right to file an appeal. Taxpayers may be the actual owner of the property, a tenant, the mortgage holder, anyone who has contracted to purchase property and a tax sale certificate holder.
Deadlines for filing a Tax Appeal:
April 1 of each year is the deadline for appealing that year’s assessment, except under certain circumstances, including:
May 1 is the deadline for towns that have implemented a revaluation or reassessment program.
Farmland assessment applications must be filed with the municipal assessor by August 1.
Applications for exemption from assessment must be filed with the municipal assessor by November 1.
Appeals of added or omitted assessments must be filed by December 1.
REPRESENTATION OF CLIENTS
Every owner of real property in the State has an obligation to pay their fair share of property taxes. However, because of how the assessment system works, frequently individual assessments no longer represent a fair assessment. When an assessment exceeds the indicated market value by 15% or more or exceeds 100% of the market value of the property, a taxpayer may file an appeal.
If you think you are over-assessed and may have a valid appeal, call 908.876.8700 for a free evaluation of your case. Stephen will discuss your case with real estate valuation professionals and make a recommendation as to whether or not you should proceed with an appeal. Based upon the results of that evaluation, you can decide whether to proceed with an appeal.