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The Filing Deadline for some New Jersey Property Tax Appeal is changing

Thumbnail image for watching-time-860275-s.jpgIf you own property in Monmouth County the property tax appeal deadline has changed. While the new date in the rest of the state remains April 1st, Monmouth County has volunteered to test out a new law changing the appeal date to January 15, 2014 or within 45 days of the bulk mailing of the municipal assessments, whichever is later. If your property is in Monmouth County and you did not file your petition to appeal your property tax assessment on or before January 15th, you will not be able to file and appeal this year unless the notice was mailed within the last 45 days or there was a town-wide revaluation.

New legislation was enacted and the governor signed into law, P.L. 2013, c. 15, creating a demonstration program which allows up to four counties to opt into the new law, two in the first two years and two more in the following two years. At the present time, only one county has opted in, Monmouth County.

This is a significant change because the deadline to file a petition to appeal a property tax assessment in the rest of the state of New Jersey remains April 1, or within 45 days of the bulk mailing of the property tax cards, whichever is later. While property tax cards are traditionally been mailed out in February, most Monmouth County municipalities have already mailed out their property tax cards. The appeals hearings in participating counties are expected to be conducted by the end of April.

The stated purpose of the new law is to establish a collaborative system of property assessment between the county board of taxation and the municipal assessors which it is hoped will result reductions in cost and increases in accuracy and consistency of assessments. The stated purpose of the change in the appeal deadline is to assist in municipal budgeting and to more evenly distribute tax losses to municipalities which result from tax appeals across the various governmental entities on whose behalf taxes are collected (i.e. school, county). However, the change appears suspiciously timed to limit property owners’ right to challenge their assessments and make more money for the towns.

The law requires that revaluations and reassessments of real property be performed on specific software that will utilized by all municipalities. It creates at steering committee to oversee the administration of the demonstration project. The county will also have more oversight and be permitted to conduct revaluations on its own if the municipality fails to do so after being so ordered by the county board. At the end of the four year demonstration program, each participating county shall submit a report detailing the successes and failures of the new system with recommendations for legislative action.

While this new legislation currently only affects Monmouth County, three additional counties can opt in over the next few years. If the demonstration program is deed successful, it could be implemented throughout the state of New Jersey.

Contact the attorneys at McLaughlin & Nardi, LLC by phone or e-mail if you believe your property tax assessment is too high.