Written by attorney Kevin I. Asadi

How to determine if you should appeal your property tax assessment in New Jersey

The deadline for this is April 1!

There is a chance you are paying more than your fair share of property taxes. This is an easy, plain English way to analyze whether or not you would be able to successfully appeal your property tax assessment.

Step 1: Find your assessed value. If you do not know it, go to this site and you will be able to locate it there: Step 2: Estimate your true market value as of 10/1 of the previous year. Step 3: Calculate the fraction that is the assessed value over the true market value. Write that number down. Step 4: Find your municipality's equalization ratio. You can click to find that here: (when you find your municipality, the number you are looking for is in column 2) Step 5: Divide that number by 100. Write down the quotient. Step 6: Multiply the quotient from Step 5 by 0.85: write down the product and call it the lower limit. Step 7: Multiply the quotient from Step 5 by 1.15: write down the product and call it the upper limit. If the figure you came up with in Step 3 is greater than the lower limit and less than the upper limit, then you are appropriately assessed. No need to appeal. If the figure you came up with in Step 3 is less than the lower limit, you are actually under-assessed, and your assessment and property taxes would actually increase. If the figure from Step 3 is greater than the upper limit, then you are over-assessed and you should appeal. You generally must file by April 1 unless you are appealing a revaluation or reassessment. In that case, different deadlines apply. Example: Hypothetical property: 1766 Scarlet Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 1. Assessed value: $400,000 2. True market value: $800,000 3. 400,000/800,000 = 0.50 4. New Brunswick equalization ratio: 39.05 5. 39.05/100 = 0.3905 6. 0.3905 * .85 = 0.331925 7. 0.3905 * 1.15= 0.449075 Step 3 in this example is greater than the upper limit found in step 7. That means this property is over-assessed. The assessment would be adjusted to the true market value ($800,000) times the equalization ratio (.3905). In other words, the new assessed value for this property would be reduced to $312,400. That would represent significant property tax savings. So take the time, see if you are over-assessed and, if so, file your appeal before April 1 and get your assessment reduced. Beware, though, if you do not follow all of the rules for correctly filing your appeal, the county may not hear it and you would lose out. So make sure you do it right, or hire someone who can do it for you. I am handling a number of these right now so if you want someone to do it for you, let me know! I hope this was easy to follow. If you have any questions, drop me a line [email protected]. Good luck!

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