When It Makes Sense To Appeal Your Property Taxes

Performance Property Real Estate Question

Q: I met someone who told me that I could lower my property taxes. How does that process work? Susan, Montclair, NJ

A: A tax appeal is the legal method through which you may be able to lower your property taxes. NJ property taxes are among the highest in the US. You can appeal your taxes if your property’s actual value is less than its assessed value. There’s no guarantee but you can appeal your property assessment with your County Board of Taxation. Most times the tax appeal filing needs to be done on or before April 1st of each year, but check with your County Board of Taxation for the correct date. Some Boards of Taxation require the property owner to be present during the tax appeal hearing. If your property is owned by a separate entity like an LLC, normally an attorney will be required to file the appeal, but the attorney will not be allowed to testify as to the value of the property. Only a licensed appraiser can testify to the value of the property before the Board of Taxation. Look at average taxes for the city where your property is located, get a market analysis of your property from a local licensed realtor or an appraisal from a local licensed appraiser–this will help you determine whether you can reasonably expect your property taxes to be reduced by the appeal. Thanks for your question, Susan.

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