Property Tax Appeal FAQs
Why are NJ Property Taxes so High?
Like many homeowners in New Jersey, you undoubtedly feel your Property Taxes are too high. After all, homeowners in New Jersey pay the highest property taxes of any state in the country. In fact, rates in some areas are more than double the national average. The average effective property tax rate in New Jersey is over 2%, compared to the national average of 1%. Property taxes support municipal and county governments and local school districts. And in NJ we have over 560 municipalities, 21 county governments and over 600 school districts. That’s a lot of payroll. School taxes alone accounted for about 53% of total property taxes levied in 2021. NJ is also a very dense state with an older infrastructure requiring a higher cost of maintenance and we have higher than average labor costs. All that contributes to our very high tax rate.
How are my Property Taxes Calculated?
Property taxes are calculated by taking the assessed value of your home and multiplying it by the tax rate that has been determined by your municipality. The tax rate is simply a formula updated yearly by each municipality and takes the budgeted tax requirement divided by sum of all municipal assessments resulting in a tax rate.
Can I APPEAL my Property Taxes?
Although the tax rate and hence the calculation for property taxes cannot be appealed, there is some good news. Your property’s assessment may be appealed. By law, your current assessment is assumed to be correct. You must overcome this presumption of correctness in order to obtain an assessment change. This can be a complex and time consuming process and retaining experienced professionals is the best way to ensure success. Joseph C. Petriello and Matthew J. Petriello at Petriello Law are experienced attorneys who have successfully assisted many clients with their tax appeals.
Is there a filing deadline for Tax Appeals?
As mentioned, Tax Appeals are on assessments only, not taxes. There is also a filing deadline every year, typically April 1st in most counties. Burlington, Gloucester and Monmouth counties follow an alternative assessment calendar and their deadline is January 15th. And different deadlines apply to properties that have been revalued or reassessed in the current year.
What is the Appeal Process?
When filing a Tax Appeal, the burden is on you to prove that your assessment is in error, unreasonable, excessive or discriminatory. It must be proved that the assessment does not fairly represent one of two standards with the most common being the True Market Value Standard. With this method you must prove a more appropriate value by showing the County Tax Board the market value of your property as of Oct 1 of the prior tax year. The Common Level Range Standard is another option. Joseph and Matthew will review the assessment of your property and provide persuasive and credible evidence to the Tax Board in order to achieve the lowest assessment possible for your property.
So When and Where are the Hearings?
Tax appeal hearings are typically held within 3 months of the filing deadline. Once all parties including the assessor and municipal attorney agree to a settlement, the Settlement Stipulations must be submitted to and approved by the County Tax Board. If not approved by the county, a formal Appeal hearing will need to be scheduled. Joseph C. Petriello and Matthew J. Petriello at Petriello Law will represent you through the entire process so that your attendance is not required.
So What Now?
The best time to consider filing an Appeal is now. Give our office a call now – 973-890-7262. Joseph C. Petriello or Matthew J. Petriello can discuss your particular situation and we can get your appeal process started.