As the appellant, the burden is on you to prove that your assessment is in error, unreasonable, excessive, or discriminatory. You must suggest a more appropriate value by showing the Tax Board the market value of the property as of October 1 of the pretax year. To proceed with an appeal, all taxes and municipal charges up to and including the first quarter of the tax year must be paid.
The taxpayer must be persuasive and present credible evidence. Credible evidence is supported by fact, not assumptions or beliefs. Photographs of both the subject property (the property under appeal) and comparable properties are useful in illustrating your argument. Factual evidence concerning special circumstances is necessary. For example, if the property cannot be further developed, e.g. conservation restriction, supporting evidence must be provided. In the context of an appeal, taxpayers can review Property Record Cards which are available at the local tax office.
The most credible evidence is recent comparable sales of other properties of a similar type in your neighborhood. When using comparable sales, a listing of 3 to 5 sales should be attached to your appeal at the time of filing. Your assessor and County Tax Board Commissioners must receive copies of your comparables at least 7 days before your hearing for them to be discussed. Sales ratio forms, called SR-1A’s, (available at the County Tax Board) and deeds (available at the County Clerk’s office) are public records and can be used to identify comparable sales and their significant characteristics. Comparable means that most of the characteristics of your property and the neighboring properties sold are similar. Be able to give full property descriptions and be knowledgeable of the conditions, including financing, of the cited sales. Some characteristics that would make a 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, construction and style of structure.
For more information about and assistance with the NJ Tax Appeal Process, call or text me on my cell at (609) 304-1057 or Cindy@CindyKieft.com.