Ask Kane in Your Corner: Appealing your property taxes
This week’s “Ask Kane In Your Corner” deals with property tax assessments.
News 12 New Jersey viewer Terry asked, “My assessment went up over $100,000, raising my quarterly taxes from $1,600 to $2,050. I live on Social Security. Now I won’t have enough money to pay my utilities. My house is in need of many repairs. What can I do?”
Kane In Your Corner’s response:
Terry, homeowners do successfully challenge their property taxes in New Jersey, but it’s not an easy process. Last year, more than 24,000 New Jersey homeowners appealed their assessments. Only about 2,000 were successful. If you want to try, bear in mind the burden of proof is on you – you must show your house is assessed for too much. Municipalities are also allowed a 15% margin of error, so you must show your home is assessed at least 15% too high.
To do this, you’ll need to provide evidence. That can mean showing the assessor made a mistake – like saying your house is much larger than it really is – but more often than not, it means comparing your house with at least three similar homes that recently sold in your neighborhood. You’ll need to get all this to your county assessor and tax board at least a week before your tax hearing. If you don’t like the decision, you can file an appeal with the tax court, within 45 days.
You can do this on your own – but if that sounds too overwhelming, there are companies that specialize in handling property tax challenges. Of course, that comes at a price.
If you want to move forward, appeals must be filed by April 1, except in Burlington, Gloucester and Monmouth counties. They have a Jan. 15 deadline, which means if you live there, you’ll have to wait until 2024.
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