How Do I Request A Formal Review Of My Tax Assessment?
A formal review of a tax assessment can be requested by filing a property tax appeal with the county tax board or the state tax court. In most areas of New Jersey, appeals must be filed by April 1st of each year, but in Monmouth County and Gloucester County, the tax appeal filing deadline is January 15th of each year. For assessed values that are one million dollars and below, a property owner must file the appeal with the county tax board. If a property owner has made improvements or done construction on their property, then there may be an added assessment. Notices of such assessments are usually delivered around October or early November. The appeal deadline for an added assessment is December 1st of each year.
When in doubt about whether an appeal is appropriate, a property owner can speak with the assessor about the property without the assistance of an attorney. However, prior to initiating dialogue with the assessor, the property owner should be well-informed and have a copy of their property record card on hand. That card should contain all of the facts related to the property, such as the square footage, land area, the year it was built, what kind of features it has, and whether or not any improvements have been made. It is not uncommon for a property to be over assessed simply as a result of the assessor having inaccurate information.
In New Jersey—unlike New York State—the tax bills don’t publish what percentage of value the property is being assessed. If a tax bill shows an assessed value of one million dollars, but the property owner doesn’t know that the ratio in the town is 50 percent, then the owner wouldn’t know that the implied value of their property is actually two million dollars. For this reason, many property owners who do not obtain advice from an attorney who specializes in this type of work, will be unaware that their property has been over assessed.
Should I Automatically Appeal My Property Taxes If They Are Too High?
In order for a property owner to determine whether or not he or she should file a tax appeal, they should speak to an attorney who knows the ins and outs of property tax assessments.
Should I Contact The Tax Assessor On My Own Or Do I Need An Attorney To Do So?
It’s certainly permissible for a property owner to contact the assessor before filing a tax appeal. Once a tax appeal has been filed on a property owned by a corporate entity, the owner cannot have direct contact with the assessor because the case will be considered to be pending litigation. At that point, communication must occur through an attorney. However, an owner of residential property can initiate a call to the assessor at any time, even if there is a tax appeal pending. With that said, if there is litigation pending, the expectation from the town is that the owner will not initiate dialogue with the town’s attorney or assessor without their attorney being involved.
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