Appealing Your New Jersey Property Taxes
Each year, New Jersey homeowners have to file property taxes. However, since taxes in New Jersey are based on the real estate market in 2006, people are paying taxes at peak value from before the economy crashed in 2007. What this means is that New Jersey homeowners are losing tons of money every year in property taxes, simply because the local government agencies have failed to revise the rates based on today's market.
How you can lower your property taxes
Because of the lack of equity in property taxes which has gone on for over half a decade, New Jersey property owners have a right to make an appeal. A property tax appeal is a basic right that states if you are being taxed based on outdated numbers, an adjustment can be made which, if done successfully, could save you thousands of dollars. Since the market is no longer at its peak, making a tax appeal will adjust your taxable property to current market values, meaning that since no one has been investing in property or buying homes, current homeowners will be able to hold onto the money that would have otherwise gone to pay taxes. This allows people to put that money into savings, or put it back into the state and local economies by purchasing things for themselves. In the long run, a successful appeal actually benefits homeowners as well as the private sector.
Filing an appeal
While many people can find the information on how to prepare an property tax appeal and can go through the motions, when it comes to the actual presentation, members of appeals committees prefer to have the data explained to them by lawyers and assessors with experience in the tax appeal field. In reality, the best way to go about filing for a property tax appeal is to consult with an appraiser, real estate attorney, or property assessor who can give you a detailed breakdown of the value of your property. If the rate you are being taxed differs by 15% or greater from the True Market Value (what you property is work in today's market), then you could be entitled to an appeal. Provided the state of New Jersey or your particular municipality hasn't already made adjustments to property taxes for this year, you could be looking at thousands of dollars in tax savings. To help bolster your case, it is also helpful to prove that property adjacent to yours is being taxed at a rate that is well above todays market value.
Please keep in mind that you do not have to file an appeal because it is tax season – you can file a property tax appeal at any time, if you realize that the taxes on your property fall outside of the 15% mark compared to current market values.
If you want to do some of the legwork yourself, and see if you are eligible for a property tax appeal in New Jersey, you can find an on-line tax calculator. This property tax appeal calculator takes the current taxes you are paying, along with the value of your property and then compares those values with what your municipality assumes your home is worth. The end result will allow you to compare what you are paying in taxes and what the true market value is for your property in New Jersey. If you can show that what you are paying in property taxes is 15% or greater than the amount your would pay according to the actual value of your home in the New Jersey property market, then you need to bring this information to a New Jersey property assessor or attorney, so they can put together a stong case and argue it in your favor.
Many people think it is too much of a hassle to file for an appeal, but the few that do usually end up winning because the figures do not lie, and the truth is New Jersey is hoping people won't realize that they haven't adjusted property taxes for the current market value, so that people continue to pay more than they should until they (slowly) change the rates. There is absolutly no reason for you to be paying more taxes than you should in this economy. In a homeowner's market that is currently rock bottom, wouldn't it be nice to pay the current market value in taxes than peak market rates? Check out property assessors and attorneys near you, and see if you are elligible for a New Jersey property tax appeal today.
Peter Jordan is a realtor in Westfield, New Jersey committed to helping and informing home buyers and sellers.
For more information regarding property tax appeals in New Jersey visit NJ Tax Appeal