When you receive your property tax assessment, you will likely have a lot of questions about what it means and if it’s accurate. Since property values change so swiftly with the changes of the economy and the municipal taxes which you pay, it is important to get your real estate taxes assessed annually. If your annual tax is too high, you will generally be able to appeal for a change by April 1st. If successful, you will be able to reduce your annual assessment for the upcoming year to lower your taxes and obligations to pay.
Immediately after receiving your assessment, you should take steps to determine if the assessment was correct or if you believe it is too high. If you plan to file an appeal, you should take steps to do so as soon as possible. To determine if you do have a tax appeal that could bear fruit, you will need to first understand a few basic points about the property assessment and how it is determined.
The tax assessor in each NJ municipality is required to annually determine the value of each piece of real estate from the year previously, which is then adjusted to fit with the upcoming year accordingly. They would then send you notice by mail of their assessment. However, the number sent in your Notice Assessment is more of the average tax ratio in your area, rather than that applied to your specific property. If you believe that this average unfairly represents your own property, you would have the ability to file a real estate tax appeal to challenge this number which you believe does not fit in your circumstance.
Your property taxes are established by the state and this assessor, and can take several months to determine based on the information available. The property, according to NJ law, must be assessed and valued each October of the pre-tax year at 100% of its free and fair value. Since this is significantly before the tax is implemented, major changes could occur during that period that would be worth noting in your appeal documents. Overall, this is a drawn out and complicated process that is worth it to discuss with an experienced professional who can guide you through the process and help you to achieve full success in your financial claims and goals.
For more information about the services that I, John Schettino, provide in this arena in regards to your property taxes, tax assessment, and tax appeals process, give me a call today. I would be happy to give you a free consultation by phone at 201-498-9768 at our main office in Hackensack, NJ.