September 27, 2021

Volume XI, Number 270

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September 24, 2021

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Property Tax Appeals Can Save You Money in 2021

One obvious reason for filing real estate property tax appeals is to obtain a lower assessment on your real property and thereby save significant tax dollars. Another important reason to lower your assessment and taxes is to help maintain the value of the property by making it more marketable to potential buyers. COVID-19 has been particularly impactful on commercial property values, whose assessments were set prior to COVID.

Property Tax Appeals

Property owners often believe that their property is worth an amount equal to the assessment on the property. This misconception leads owners to overlook the different ratios of assessed value to true value applicable in each of the assessing districts of New Jersey and the fact that these ratios generally decline each year. For example, if a property worth one million dollars this year is located in a municipality with a 60% ratio, it should be assessed at $600,000 this year. If that ratio drops to 54% next year, its assessment should be $540,000. If the ratio drops, but the assessment remains high, it may be time for an appeal. The revaluation of all property within a municipality may increase the possibility of over-assessment on larger commercial and industrial parcels.

If the taxpayer prevails in securing a tax appeal judgment reducing its assessment, the “Freeze Act” binds the municipality for the years covered by the tax appeal plus two additional years, subject to two exceptions. The first is a complete revaluation of all real property in the municipality, and the second is proof by the municipality of a substantial increase in the property’s value. These exceptions aside, the assessment is frozen at the reduced level, at the taxpayer’s sole option. Thus, if a taxpayer wishes to appeal for a further reduction during the freeze period, he or she is free to do so.

Save Money in 2021

These points are intended to merely scratch the surface of this area of the law. This should also help to explain why property owners should have their tax assessments reviewed by legal counsel each year to determine whether a tax appeal is warranted. 

For all counties, other than Monmouth, Gloucester, and Burlington, the deadline to file a tax appeal in 2021 is April 1st. For all towns subject to a revaluation or reassessment (other than those towns in Monmouth County), the deadline is extended to May 1, 2021.

©2021 Norris McLaughlin P.A., All Rights ReservedNational Law Review, Volume XI, Number 67
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About this Author

Nicholas F. Pellitta attorney for commercial law, including contract review at Norris McLaughlin in New Jersey
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Nicholas F. Pellitta, a Member of the firm, has substantial experience in a variety of legal areas in both federal and state courts. It is his goal to maximize efficiency for his clients by promptly analyzing their objectives, identifying necessary strategies, and implementing an appropriate course of action.

Nick provides a wide variety of litigation strategies and assistance for business clients in commercial matters, including contract review, insurance-related issues, and real property tax appeals.

In the area of higher education, Nick has represented colleges and...

(908) 252-4164
Timothy P. McKeown Litigation Attorney Norris McLaughlin Law Firm New Jersey
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Timothy P. McKeown concentrates his practice on a variety of civil and commercial litigation with an emphasis on commercial real estate related matters, centered on real estate contract disputes, contractor disputes, construction lien and title issues, partition actions, and access issues under New Jersey environmental statutes. Tim has extensive experience handling commercial lease negotiations and related disputes and has tried scores of bench trials, as well as jury trials, throughout his career on behalf of commercial landlords, tenants, and others.

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(908) 252-4305
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