Written by attorney Steven Jay Eisenstein

Chapter 123 Corridor

If a property tax assessment in New Jersey is not based on 100% of true value it will be based on a published ratio. By way of example if you own property in Newark and you receive a 2011 assessment notice of $200,000 that means the assessor believes your property to be worth $297,885 because the published ratio for Newark for 2011 is 67.14%. This ratio varies from year to year.

If you file a tax appeal challenging your assessment you need to understand that the assessor is not required to get the value exactly right. The assessor is allowed to be off by up to 15% of the ratio. 15% on either side of the ratio is called the common level range. In the above example the upper limit of the range would be 77.21% and the lower limit would be 57.07%.

To obtain relief in a tax appeal you must prove that the true value of your property is beyond this range. If you do you receive a reduction to that equalized true value. Again by way of the above example you would have to prove the property is worth $259,034 or less to get relief. If you prove the property is worth $260,000 you get nothing.

The same is true of the municipality which must prove your property is worth more than $350,447 in the above example in order to raise your assessment through its own appeal or counterclaim.

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