You are not appealing your taxes but you are appealing your Assessment on your property.
Tax rates are set by the local township budget process. You are only appealing what your house/property is assessed for.
What is needed to be successful
In order to be successful with a taxpayer appeal - the appellant must prove that his/her assessed value is unreasonable compared to the market value standard. By law, your current assessment is assumed to be correct. You must overcome this presumption of correctness to obtain an assessment change. As an assessment value to be considered excessive or discriminatory, it must be proved that the assessment does not fairly represent one of two standards: 1) TRUE MARKET VALUE- All assessments in the municipality must be 100% of the true market value as of October 1st of the previous year. 2) COMMON LEVEL RANGE- Sales value that takes into consideration outside values such as inflation, recession, appreciation, depreciation, physical condition, deterioration also know, as Comps in the Real Estate Language.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY ASSESSMENT IS FAIR?
In 1973, NJ Legislature adopted a formula as Chapter 123 to test the fairness of the assessment. Once the tax board determines a property's true market value during an appeal, they are required to compare true market to taxable assessed value. If the assessed value exceeds the true value by 15% the assessed value, the assessment is reduced to the common value. Chapter 123 test assumes that the taxpayer will supply the Tax Board with sufficient evidence to determine the true market value of the property subject to the appeal.
HOW TO APPEAL
Tax appeals must be filed on or before April 1st or within 45 days of the assessment notice, whichever is latest. Once filed, a hearing before the County Tax Board is scheduled. Tax Board consists of members called Commissioners appointed by the Governor. Individuals can represent themselves. Corporations must be represented by counsel. State (taxing district) is represented by the municipal attorney. They will call the assessor or appraiser at the hearing an expert witness. Who is the expert witness? An expert witness is anyone employed as a real estate appraiser and designated as such from an association of professionals according to licensing or certification requirements of the State of New Jersey. The municipal attorney can challenge the expert's qualifications and get them denied as an expert. If you intend to rely on expert testimony at your hearing, you must supply a copy of the appraisal report for the assessor and each member of the County Tax Board at least 7 days before the scheduled hearing. The appraiser who completes the appraisal report must be available to testify at the hearing and afford the municipality an opportunity to cross examine the report. This will be done at the public hearing usually held between April 1st and May 1st. Adjournments are not usually granted.
WHAT TYPE OF EVIDENCE IS NEEDED
Because you are the appellant, the burden of proof is on you to prove that the assessment is in error, unreasonable, excessive or discriminatory. You must suggest a more appropriate value by showing the Tax Board the market value of the property as of October 1st of the pre-tax year. To proceed on the appeal, the taxes and municipal charges must be up to date. The taxpayer must be persuasive and use credible event. Credible evidence is supported in fact, not assumptions or beliefs. - Photographs of property and comps are needed - Comparative sales 3-5 in the neighborhood of similar houses. Comparable means most of the characteristics of your property. Sales price Similar square footage of living area Similar square footage of size/acreage Similar square footage, construction and style of structure
A taxpayer filing an appeal should consider: 1) What was the market value of my property on the preceding October 1st, the statutory assessment and date? 2) Can I support my opinion of market value by credible evidence? 3) If a reassessment/revaluation was applied in the current tax year, is my property assessed in the excess of its market value? 4) If a revaluation/reassessment was not implemented, does my assessment exceed market value or does the ratio of my property's assessed value to its market value exceed 15%? MUST be filed by April 1st, need to provide documents 7 days before.
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