Do I Have To Appear In Person At The Hearing?
If you are unrepresented, you have to appear at the hearing. If you do not appear, your case will be dismissed and you’ll lose your ability to contest your property tax assessment. If you are a business in New Jersey and you own or rent the property, you need to retain an attorney and the attorney would appear on your behalf. If your company is organized as anything other than a sole proprietorship, you cannot appear unrepresented.
Where Are The Hearings Generally Held?
If you’re at a local level, they may have a local Board of Assessment, which would be in the municipal complex of your town. If you’re going to a county board, there’s a County Board of Taxation, and they have a specific building in the county the board is located in. Information regarding where the hearing will take place can be found on your hearing notice, by getting in contact with the authority that will be conducting the hearing, or by contacting a Tax Attorney to represent you before the Local Board, County Board or Tax Court.
I Have Filed My Appeal. Is There Any Way To Settle The Case Prior To The Hearing?
Yes. It is imperative to have an open dialogue with the taxing authority and try to resolve the case prior to the hearing. You cannot predict what a local board or a judge is going to decide, and therefore it is always good to try and settle the case before a hearing. This ensures an outcome that is certainty—while the case may not be resolved exactly the way you would like or at the exact value you were seeking, you can attempt to negotiate an assessment reduction with the taxing authority. Settlement can be reached at any time prior to or during a hearing.
Do I Have Any Options If I’m Not Satisfied With The Results Of My Appeal Hearing?
If you are unsatisfied with the results at a hearing, you have the option to appeal to a higher level. In New Jersey, if you’re unsatisfied with the County Board of Taxation’s decision, you can appeal to the Tax Court. There are time limitations on how long you have to file that appeal after receiving the judgment. If you were unrepresented before the County Board, it would be wise to retain an experienced Tax Attorney to help navigate the Tax Court as Tax Court is more complex than the County Board.
My Municipality Has Just Undergone A Revaluation. If I Meet With The Re-Evaluation Company In Their Agreed Reduction, Am I Then Done? Do I Need Any Further Tax Appeal?
If you think your property is still over assessed, after the reduction of the evaluation company, you can still appeal to the local Board of Taxation or the tax court. If you’re satisfied with the results of the informal discussion with an evaluation company, it would be unnecessary to appeal further. It would always be a good idea, however, to have a professional tax attorney review your assessment to determine whether or not you should seek a further reduction.
What Additional Evidence Could I Need To Win My Property Tax Appeal?
In terms of evidence for a property tax appeal, you should have comparable sales data. An appraisal report on the testimony of the expert appraiser is typically the best evidence. You may want to have photographs of your property and the comparable properties. If you have an income producing property, you’re going to need evidence of rental range with that type of property within that market, as well as data with regard to the capitalization rates that are applicable to that type of property in that market. There are quite a few pieces of evidence that are necessary to win a property tax appeal.
If After Filing The Property Tax Appeal I Decide I No Longer Want To Proceed With The Case. Can I Withdraw That Appeal?
If you’ve carefully reviewed your assessment and your property’s value and you feel that the property is, in fact, fairly assessed, you can file a withdrawal and have your case taken off the list of cases to be heard. If the taxing authority has filed a counterclaim seeking an increase in your assessment and they do not agree to withdraw that counterclaim, you may be stuck in that appeal. Even if you decide that you don’t want to seek a reduction, they can still seek an increase in your property tax.
For more information on Appearing In Person At A Tax Appeal Hearing, a complimentary initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (973) 869-5550 today.
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