Tax Appeals 101 for the State of New Jersey; How to Save Money on Property Taxes

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Nobody likes to pay taxes. So when it comes time to pay taxes on your property, it’s the same drill every year; when on the one hand homeowners like to think their home has a high property value, at tax time they do their best to “lower” that value and pay less taxes.

Tax Appeal Filings Window Jan 1 to April 1, 2013
Right now, we are nearing the end of our window where homeowners can appeal their property taxes to their local municipality and attempt to lower their taxes. There is only one window of opportunity each year to do this and it has saved countless homeowners a lot of money. First, you need to find out whether your taxes are too high.

How to Investigate Your Property Taxes
The first thing you will need to do is to find out your tax ratio. This is the assessed value of your home, divided by the actual market value. The reason property values from the municipality are often different than what you might expect to sell your home for is that often due to limited resources a tax assessment can be one from a while back. Towns do not go back and assess all properties too often because of the sheer expense involved.

First, determine your home’s market value. Your Realtor® will pull comparable sales in your market to see what other similar homes have sold for in the previous year – and then come up with todays’ market value. Next, determine the ratio between your assessed value and the market value.

Finally, look up your municipality in Chapter 123 (New Jersey’s Statute that governs how properties are taxed) and if your ratio is more than 15% of the average ratio there is a good chance you will have a successful tax appeal.

Choosing a Real Estate Attorney for Your Tax Appeal
Once you realize there is a chance your tax appeal will be successful, meet with a qualified and reputable real estate attorney for a consultation. It is important to share accurate information and it is equally as important that you choose a good attorney that will be honest about your property. The risk with a failed attempt to appeal your property taxes is that you could end up having to pay higher property taxes.

Keep in mind, a good attorney will assess the likelihood of success in your case and let you know. Choose an attorney that will charge you based on a contingent fee, so that you only end up paying for their services if and when you have a successful tax appeal.
For more information on this topic or anything else real estate related, please contact our office today. You can reach Evan Drachman directly via phone or email and also visit his firm’s website (below).

Evan R. Drachman, Esq. | Dollinger Drachman, LLC
293 Eisenhower Parkway | Suite 310 | Livingston, New Jersey | 07039
p: 973-992-1700 x 106 | f: 973-992-6835 | direct fax: 973-629-1303 |