On January 16, 2010 (a Saturday outside the typical “news cycle”) former New Jersey Governor John Corsine quietly signed a piece of legislation that effectively makes it much more difficult for many property owners to appeal their property taxes. Amidst the din and clamor of hot button topics like New Jersey’s legalization of gay marriage and medical marijuana, Corsine modified the powers granted to tax assessors, while also raising the jurisdictional limit to $1,000,000 for filing a direct appeal to the Tax Court. The prior limit was $750,000.
This change was effective, immediately, and just days before New Jersey residents were to receive their annual Notice of Property Tax Assessment.
Filing a tax assessment appeal in New Jersey can be a complex undertaking. The rules for filing with your local Board of Taxation versus with the Tax Court vary widely and do not always offer a level playing field for the property owner. It is always wise to research the process thoroughly and to consult with an attorney who has successfully appealed assessments in your community. It is just as important to retain a qualified licensed and/or certified real estate appraiser, who is not only familiar with the appeal process but who is very familiar with your local real estate market.