File your property tax appeal before the April 1 deadline

UNDERSTANDING PROPERTY ASSESSMENT APPEALS

April 1st is the deadline for filing an appeal to lower your property tax with the Hudson County Board of Taxation.  In order to show that your property tax is too high you will need to provide evidence that the assessment is unreasonable compared to the true market value. Your current assessment is assumed to be correct, so you need to provide evidence that it is in error.

In order to determine whether an assessment is fair, it needs to be within 15% of true market value.  If the ratio of the assessment to the true value exceeds the average ratio by 15%, then an adjustment will be made.  This assumes the property owner will supply sufficient evidence to the Tax Board so they may determine the true market value of the property subject to the appeal.

Gathering the Evidence

The evidence you gather should be supported by fact, not assumptions or beliefs. Photographs of the property that show current finishes, conditions and any defects are considered credible evidence and are very useful in illustrating your argument. In addition, a minimum of 3, and a maximum of 5 comparable sales of similar homes within the last valuation period (Oct 1, 2017 – Sept 30, 2018) should also be submitted to support your position. 

“Comparable” means most of the characteristics of your property and the selected sale are similar. Your local Realtor can usually help with this.  Some of the characteristics that make your property comparable are: recent sale price, similar square footage of living area measured from the exterior, similar lot size or acreage, proximity to your property, the same zoning use (e.g. duplex in a duplex zone), and similar age and style of structure, etc.

Obtaining Comparable Sales

There are several ways of finding comparable sales in your area.  Sales of all properties are available at www.njactb.org, and the Tax Assessor’s office.  You can also obtain comparative sales by requesting a free comparative market analysis from a local realtor. You will need to verify that the sales you have selected are deemed usable by checking the deed to ensure that the sale was an “arms-length” transaction.  You can learn more about this by reading the online handbook. 

Filing your Petition

Petitioners can file online, or print the forms from the county website and submit them to the County Board of Taxation. Appeals can also be filed in person at the Hudson County Board of Taxation.

Get Your Free Comparable Market Analysis (CMA)

Please feel free to contact me if you’d like assistance with obtaining 3-5 comparable sales for use in your tax appeal OR  Click here and complete the form for your free CMA. 

This article was prepared by Tom Gibbons, a licensed Real Estate Agent in the state of New Jersey. If you liked this article and would like learn more about Jersey City real estate, please visit my website.