Residential Property Tax Appeals
Our attorneys pursue property tax appeals for New Jersey homeowners who are paying to much in real estate taxes.
Why Your Property Taxes May Be Too High
While the value of many homes has gone down, New Jersey property taxes have not. There is therefore a good chance the property taxes you are paying are too high. If so, you should file a property tax appeal. Doing nothing can cost you thousands of dollars.
The filing deadline is April 1st (or May 1st if your town or city has had a town-wide revaluation). There is considerable work to be done before you can file a tax appeal, so you should contact our attorneys as soon as possible, after you receive your annual notice of assessment (which are usually sent out in February).
How New Jersey Property Taxes Are Calculated
All assessments are required by law to reflect the actual fair market value of your home.
New Jersey’s property tax law establishes a formula to determine what your taxes should be. It has three components. The first is the tax rate; this is town wide, and cannot be appealed. This is set by local government (including the municipality, the school board and county) based on budget realities. The second is the equalization ratio (sometimes called the Chapter 123 ratio because of its chapter in New Jersey’s property tax law); this is set by New Jersey’s Department of Community Affairs and also cannot be appealed. The equalization ratio tries to make sure the assessments on a town-wide basis match the fair market value of the property based on actual market conditions. The last, and most important section, is the property valuation, which can be appealed.
If the town’s tax rate is three dollars per hundred dollars of assessed value, the equalization ratio is fifty percent, and the assessed value of your home is $300,000, then your taxes would be $9,000 ($300,000 ÷ 100 = $3,000 // $3,000 x 3 = $9,000).
This is accurate if your home is really worth $600,000 (because the equalization ratio of fifty percent gives you an equalized value of $300,000). However, if your home value had actually dropped by fifty percent, you are paying far too much. If the fair market value was actually $300,000, then the equalized value should only be $150,000, you should only be paying $4,500, and you are paying twice what you should be ($150,000 ÷ 100 = $1,500 // $1,500 x 3 = $4,500).
Each year you should receive a notice about your taxes, which includes the assessed valuation of property. Since it must be equalized to compare it to the fair market value, it does not mean what your property is actually valued at. To determine whether the assessment value of your home is overvalued you must apply the equalization ration.
In order to appeal your taxes, your home must be valued more than fifteen percent higher than its actual fair market value.
What We Will Do
Our attorneys will gather the evidence necessary to prove your home is overvalued, including an appraisal, and then file an appeal on your behalf. We will present your appeal to the tax board in your county. We will also negotiate directly with your local tax assessor.
Contact Us About Your Property Taxes
If you believe that your property taxes may be too high, contact us today about a property tax appeal. You can email us or call (973) 890-0004.