Tax Assessments - Knowing When to Appeal

Tax Assessments – Knowing When to Appeal

Filing a tax appeal on a tax assessment can be an effective tool for many New Jersey property owners. It’s important to understand the tax assessment timeline, however, before you consider a tax appeal. While no one likes staring down a tax assessment that’s perceived as astonishingly high, it’s important to understand the tax appeal schedule.

Tax Assessment/Tax Appeal Confusion

Most New Jersey residents receive their preliminary tax bills (which reflect the tax assessment that they received earlier in the year) in late July or early August. For residents of towns that have been recently reassessed or revalued by the Assessment Demonstration Program – as most of the towns in Monmouth County have been – their 2017 tax assessment may be considerably higher than last year’s. The postcard you receive in July or August of each year is simply a bill that reflects the assessment you received earlier in the year, and this bill is no longer appealable. The postcard is simply billing you for the value of your tax assessment.

It’s Too Late to Appeal for 2017

To appeal a 2017 tax assessment, you would have had to respond to the tax assessment postcard that you received much earlier in the year (or near the end of 2016). In fact, to appeal a tax assessment, you must file by April 1 of the year you are appealing (or by January 15 if you own properties in Monmouth County). In other words, to appeal your 2017 tax assessment, you would have needed to respond by April 1, 2017 (or January 15, 2017) to the tax assessment you received earlier in the year and not to the assessment bill that you received in the summer.

Further Tax Appeal Confusion

Most of the towns in Monmouth County participate in the Assessment Demonstration Program, which means that annual revaluations of properties are necessary. As such, your 2018 tax assessment is likely to be substantially different than your 2017 assessment. For this reason, it’s pointless to consider appealing any assessment during the summer months – before your 2018 assessment has been completed and after the appeal deadline for 2017. To further complicate the issue, whether a town reassesses or not, tax assessments are meant to reflect a property’s value as of October 1 of the previous tax year. In other words, the fair market value of your property can’t be adequately calculated without access to information about all the sales that occurred through October 1 (and beyond, if possible) of the previous year.

Your Tax Assessment

It’s a lot to take in, but never fear, an experienced real estate attorney can help. Just remember your timing – the tax assessment that you receive early each year is appealable (when appropriate), but the assessment bill that you receive in July or August is not.

If You Have Concerns about Your New Jersey Property Taxes, Call 201-498-9768 Today for More Information

Taxes tend to freak out even the most sanguine among us. An experienced real-estate attorney, however, can help guide you through your tax quandary. At John L. Schettino law, we’ll work with you to ensure that your tax assessment is appropriate and will guide you through the appeal process when necessary. Contact or call me at 201-498-9768 for a free consultation today.