Explanation of a County Board Tax Appeal
Reason for an Appeal
An unfair assessment that is unreasonable compared to the market value. It is important to understand, you cannot appeal the taxes on a property, since taxes are the result of the budget process.
When to File an Appeal
Taxpayer must prove an assessment is unreasonable, compared to a market value standard. Your current assessment is assumed by law to be correct. You must overcome this presumption of correctness to gain an assessment reduction.
Taxpayers are required to present their opinion of true market value as of October 1st of the pre tax year. An average ratio is developed annually through the property transfers which represents the assessment level in that district. The common level of assessment is the average ratio of the district. In 1973, New Jersey Legislature adopted a formula known as Chapter 123 to test the fairness of an assessment. If the ratio of the assessment to true value exceeds the average ratio by 15%, then the assessment is automatically reduced to the common level. However, if the assessment falls within a common level range + or – 15%, of the average ratio, no adjustment will be made. If the assessment to true value ratio falls below the common level range, the Tax Board May Increase the Assessment to the Common Level.
The taxpayer must supply sufficient evidence to enable the Tax Board to determine the true market value.
A taxpayer considering an appeal should understand that he/she must prove that his/her assessed value is unreasonable compared to a market value standard.
For an assessed value to be considered excessive or discriminatory, a taxpayer must prove that the assessment does not fairly represent either the True Market Value Standard or Common Level Range Standard. The common level range for a taxing district is that range which is plus or minus 15% of the average ratio for that district.
The most credible evidence is comparable sales of other property of a similar type in your neighborhood. Remember, if you are going to discuss comparable sales, a listing of 3 to 5 sales must be attached to all copies of your appeal at the time of filing. Your assessor must receive complete details of your comparables at least 7 days in advance of your hearing in order for them to be discussed.
Comparable means that most of the characteristics between your property and the neighboring sale are similar. You should be knowledgeable of the conditions of the sales you cite and be able to give a full description of the properties. Some of the characteristics that would make a similar property comparable are: sales price, similar square footage of living area measured from the exterior, similar lot size or acreage, proximity to your property, the same zoning and same use (e.g. duplex in a duplex zone), and the same age of the structure.