Property Tax Appeals

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Property taxes are the result of the local  budget process and may not be appealed but  the property’s assessment may be. A taxpayer  considering an appeal should understand that  he/she must prove that his/her assessed value  is unreasonable compared to a market value  standard. By law, your current assessment is  assumed to be correct. You must overcome  this presumption of correctness to obtain an  assessment change.


What is the basis for my assessment? An assessment is an opinion of value by a  licensed professional. For an assessed value  to be considered excessive or discriminatory,  it must be proved that the assessment does  not fairly represent one of two standards: 1. True Market Value Standard

After a revaluation, all assessments in the  municipality must be 100% of true market  value as of October 1 of the previous year.  October 1 pre-tax year is the annual  “assessment date.” All evidence for a tax  appeal should precede the October 1st assessment date, especially property  sales used for comparison. 

  1. Common Level Range” Standard To explain the common level range you  must consider what happens after a  revaluation in your town is completed.  External factors such as inflation,  recession, appreciation, and depreciation  cause values to increase or decrease at  varying rates. Other factors such as  physical deterioration may change  property values. If assessments are not  adjusted annually, a deviation from 100%  of true market value occurs. 

The State Division of Taxation, with local  assessors assisting, annually conducts a  statewide fiscal year sales survey,  investigating most real property transfers. Sale  value is compared to assessed value  individually to determine an average level of  assessment in a municipality. An average ratio  is developed from all bona fide, arm’s length  property sales to represent the assessment  level in your community. In any year, except  the year a revaluation is implemented, the  common level of assessment is the average  ratio of the district in which your property is  situated, and is used by the County Tax Board  to determine the fairness of your assessment. 

How do I know if my assessment is fair? In 1973, the NJ Legislature adopted a formula  known as Chapter 123 to test the fairness of  an assessment. Once the Tax Board  determines a property’s true market value  during an appeal, they are required to  compare true market value to taxable  assessed value

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