Real Property Tax Appeals Update 2007

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Title:
Real Property Tax Appeals Update 2007
Date:
February 7, 2007
Author(s):
Scott G. Collins, John M. Pellecchia, James L. Lott, Jr.
Area(s) of Practice:
Real Estate Law, Tax Law

All real property (real estate and buildings and other structures located on the real estate) in the State of New Jersey is valued each year for purposes of real property taxation. The value, known as the "assessment," is determined by the municipal tax assessor.

Tax assessors are required to notify each taxpayer of the current assessment and preceding year's taxes by mail prior to February 1. If a Notice of Assessment is not received by March 1, a written request for the Notice of Assessment should be sent to the assessor via certified mail. We recommend that you carefully review your 2007 Notices of Assessment.

An owner of real property may challenge the assessment of property by appealing to the County Board of Taxation, or in some instances directly to the Tax Court of New Jersey. Grounds for a tax appeal exist when an assessment is in excess of the true value of the property. Taxpayers may also challenge denials of tax exemptions or tax abatements, and added or omitted assessments, which assessors may impose in response to new construction or the failure to include property in previously made assessments.

In practice assessors do not reassess each property annually. As a consequence, assessments equal or approximate 100% of “true value” only in the years for which a revaluation or reassessment has occurred.

Each year, the Director of the Division of Taxation determines the ratio of assessed value to “true value” on an average basis for each municipality by utilizing sales data of preceding years. These ratios are known as "average ratios." True value means the fair market value of the property or the price for which the real property would sell in an arm's length transaction between a willing buyer and a willing seller. To determine the assessor's contention of true value, you must divide the assessment by the average ratio.

 

Revaluation and Reassessment

A revaluation occurs when a municipality reassesses all properties within the municipality. A reassessment occurs when a municipality reassesses all properties within a certain class (e.g., all business properties within the municipality). In New Jersey last year, several municipalities revalued property within their boundaries. The municipalities in the charts below are scheduled to implement reassessments or revaluations for 2007. The revaluation and reassessment of property by local taxing districts may increase the possibility of properties being assessed incorrectly, and assessments that arise from a revaluation or reassessment should be carefully analyzed to determine whether such assessments exceed the true value of the subject property.

 

Appeal Procedure and Deadline

In order to bring an appeal, taxes must be kept current. With respect to most municipalities, a petition must be filed with the County Board of Taxation, or a complaint must be filed with the Tax Court no later than April 2, 2007. A business partnership or corporation that seeks to challenge a tax assessment must be represented before the County Board of Taxation and Tax Court by an attorney at law. If you believe that your commercial property may be over-assessed and would like to consider appealing the assessment, please contact a member of our Real Property Tax Appeals Group prior to March 26, 2007.

 

NJ Municipalities Reassessed for Tax Year 2007
County Municipalities
Atlantic Buena Borough
Bergen Englewood Cliffs Borough; Glen Rock Borough
Burlington Bass River Twp.; Bordentown City; Chesterfield Twp.; Evesham Twp.; Lumberton Twp.; Mansfield Twp.; Washington Twp.; Woodland Twp.
Cape May Ocean City; Woodbine Borough
Essex Millburn Township
Hunterdon Flemington Borough
Mercer Washington Twp.
Monmouth Long Branch City; Red Bank Borough
Morris Chester Borough
Ocean Beachwood Borough; Mantoloking Borough
Somerset Bedminster Twp.; Far Hills Borough; Millstone Borough; Montgomery Twp.; Watchung Borough
Sussex Sandyston Twp.

 

NJ Municipalities Revalued for Tax Year 2007
County Municipalities
Bergen Edgewater Borough; Emerson Borough; Englewood City; Fair Lawn Borough; Franklin Lakes Borough; Hackensack City; Hillsdale Borough; Northvale Borough; River Vale Twp.; Teaneck Twp.
Burlington Delanco Twp.
Camden Cherry Hill Twp.; Hadden Heights Borough
Cape May Middle Twp.; West Cape May Borough
Essex Belleville Twp.; East Orange City; Fairfield Twp.; Irvington Twp.; Montclair Twp.
Gloucester Elk Twp.
Hunterdon Lebanon Borough; Raritan Twp.; Stockton Borough
Middlesex Cranbury Twp.; Helmetta Borough
Monmouth Aberdeen Twp.; Allenhurst Borough; Brielle Borough; Holmdel Twp.; Howell Twp.; Keansburg Borough; Loch Arbour Village; Manalapan Twp.; Marlboro Twp.; Roosevelt Borough
Morris Boonton Town; Boonton Twp.; Dover Town; Lincoln Park Borough
Ocean Barnegat Twp.; Pt. Pleasant Beach Borough; Seaside Heights Borough
Passaic Paterson City
Salem Pilesgrove Township; Salem City
Sussex Hopatcong Borough
Warren Hope Township; Oxford Township