Important 2019 deadlines are quickly approaching for all taxpayers who lease or own real property in New Jersey seeking to reduce their tax burden and protect their tax appeal rights. Failure to meet important filing deadlines may completely bar your right to file a property tax appeal this year.
NOTICE OF ASSESSMENT – FEBRUARY 1, 2019
The first step in the appeal process is carefully reviewing your Notice of Assessment, upon which you will base your decision to appeal. Tax Assessors are required to mail out Notices of Assessment to all taxpayers by February 1, 2019. Taxpayers typically receive the Notice of Assessment by the first week of February. The Notice of Assessment will contain important information regarding your assessment. It lists the 2019 assessment for your property, the prior year’s assessment, and the prior year’s taxes. It does not include the taxes due for 2019 based on the new tax assessment. You will not know the taxes you owe for 2019 until the third quarter of 2019, after the deadline to appeal. The decision to appeal is based solely on the assessment and its relationship to true market value, not on the amount of taxes due.
APPEAL DEADLINE - APRIL 1, 2019
After receiving your Notice of Assessment, there is a very small window to consider whether to file an appeal. Unless the municipality has undergone a municipal-wide revaluation or reassessment, the strict deadline for taxpayers to file an appeal directly to the New Jersey Tax Court is the later of April 1, 2019, or 45 days from the date the bulk mailing of the Notice of Assessments is completed. This is also the deadline to file an appeal to the County Board of Taxation in every county except Monmouth County. Filing deadlines are strictly enforced. Failure to meet the filing deadline may completely bar your right to appeal your assessment for 2019 regardless of the unfairness of your assessment and tax burden.
REVALUATION APPEAL DEADLINE - MAY 1, 2019
The deadline to file an appeal in the New Jersey Tax Court and the County Board of Taxation for municipalities that have undergone a municipal-wide revaluation or reassessment is the later of May 1, 2019, or 45 days from the date the bulk mailing of the Notice of Assessments is completed. Notable municipal-wide reassessments this year were performed in Hackensack and Paterson.
WHERE TO FILE
If the assessment is over $1,000,000, the taxpayer may file an appeal in either the Tax Court of New Jersey or the County Board of Taxation of the county where the property is located. If the assessment is under $1,000,000 the taxpayer must file with the County Board of Taxation.
DECIDING WHETHER TO APPEAL
Deciding whether to appeal an assessment in order to reduce your tax burden requires careful analysis and consideration of your tax assessment, as adjusted by the applicable county equalization ratio, and its fairness in relationship to the true market value of the property. Importantly, in New Jersey, a municipality has the right to file a counterclaim to seek to increase your assessment if it determines you are under assessed. Therefore, failure to properly evaluate your case prior to filing may prove costly. It is vital to use experienced legal counsel to review your assessment to determine the risks and benefits prior to filing the appeal in order to understand any tax relief that may be available and to avoid an unwanted tax increase.
To determine whether your property may be eligible for an appeal, the experienced team at Murphy Partners LLP is ready to provide a complimentary evaluation of your property. If we determine that an appeal will be beneficial, we will recommend a strategy to reduce your tax burden and can file and pursue your appeal. As a boutique law firm specializing in commercial real estate, our team has invaluable insight into the real estate market and has successfully litigated the value of virtually all property types. Our team also has considerable experience advising on tax exemptions, or other tax incentive programs, that may be available to reduce your property tax burden outside of the appeal process. Our experience and deep broad-based knowledge allow us to consider all options that may be available to potentially reduce your tax burden.
For additional information concerning our property tax appeal services, or to request an evaluation of your property, please feel free to reach out to us directly by phone or email:
CHRIS J. MURPHY
Mobile: (973) 723-7036
KELLEN F. MURPHY
Mobile: (201) 650-3126
THOMAS S. DOLAN
Mobile: (973) 803-9758
Murphy Schiller & Wilkes LLP is a boutique law firm specializing in commercial real estate and development matters. Headquartered in Newark, NJ, the firm was founded to provide effective, efficient, and creative legal services to meet the distinctive needs of our clients. Through the development of comprehensive legal strategies, our team works tirelessly to create a blueprint for success and advance our clients’ interests in every matter.