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Old 09-04-2019, 02:49 PM
 
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Tax assessment of the house I bought is $27,000 more then the sale price. Purchase price is in the mid 400s. If taxes were lowered to the sale price, I would be saving roughly $730 a year.

Do I have a viable case and is it worth doing?
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Old 09-04-2019, 03:52 PM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
58,513 posts, read 56,441,297 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GiantRutgersfan View Post
Tax assessment of the house I bought is $27,000 more then the sale price. Purchase price is in the mid 400s. If taxes were lowered to the sale price, I would be saving roughly $730 a year.

Do I have a viable case and is it worth doing?
You know, as a mod I should tell you that you ought to do a search before opening a new thread. I remember responding to this question years ago...

But I won't report you to the Jersey mod THIS time.

If I were you, I'd take a shot at it, and you start by doing research. The way it works is that you present your case by showing comparable sales for houses as similar to yours as you can find. Mine was not complicated--I am in a condo, so there are other units like mine. Fortunately, 1200 s.f. units in my complex were selling for less than what my 942 s.f. unit was assessed for, so it was easy enough to demonstrate.

You file it online on your County website, IIRC (I'm in Monmouth), uploading your evidence from websites showing sales. Then you get a date to go to the county courthouse and they take each case one by one. That's why I know about the necessity of needing actual comparables. The County tax guy was telling one woman assessed at $800K and claiming $650K or something like that "no, your house has a finished basement, and that one does not" and pointing out other differences that account for the assessment differences. So they WILL look into the evidence you provide.

If you think it's worth it, find out the information and go in armed. As I said, mine was only a small condo, but doing the tax appeal knocked $400 a year off my taxes.

Start with finding out the process on the County website, and do some searching for recent sales (I think there's a time frame that is probably in the rules on the website) and see if you can put together a case.
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Last edited by Mightyqueen801; 09-04-2019 at 07:07 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 09-04-2019, 05:19 PM
46H
 
1,057 posts, read 639,621 times
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The purchase price is not related to the assessment. They will not lower an individual house based on a sale price difference. You need to find if there are inaccuracies in the assessment and how the houses similar to your house are assessed (higher, lower or similar).

Go to your town hall and ask to see your assessment. See if there are any discrepancies with your house that make you assessment inaccurate- number of bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen description, garage details, etc. I found that my house was assessed as if it had 2 dormers and my house did not have any dormers. My neighbor with one pool was assessed for 2 pools. You can also look at comparable houses and get copies of those assessments in order to see if your house is over or under or properly assessed.

When I found the dormer mistake on my assessment, I spoke to the town assessor and he lowered my assessment. I did not have to go to the county at that time. The previous assessor in my town was an a-hole and never would have done that for a resident. If you have a good case, try speaking to your town assessor first. If the assessor says no, ask when you have to file with the county. I seem to remember there is a hard date for filing. If you miss the date you will need to wait 1 year to file.

After the financial mess in 2008, I hired a lawyer to go to the county to get my house reassessed. He was able to get a reduction, but it did not drop to match the actual value of my house at the time. Only after a full town-wide assessment did my house match its actual (much lower) value.
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Old 09-06-2019, 08:48 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania & New Jersey
1,512 posts, read 3,610,914 times
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Default Chapter 123 Ratio and The Common Range

Quote:
Originally Posted by GiantRutgersfan View Post
Tax assessment of the house I bought is $27,000 more then the sale price. Purchase price is in the mid 400s. If taxes were lowered to the sale price, I would be saving roughly $730 a year. Do I have a viable case and is it worth doing?
Save yourself some time. NO, you do not have a viable case!

First, before you compare the sales price to the assessed value, the latter needs to be adjusted by the market adjustment ratio, a/k/a "Chapter 123 ratio", a/k/a "common range ratio." The assessor does not reassess annually, so this ratio factors the assessed value for annual market movements. (Search Chapter 123 Ratio)

Second, to prevail, you need to show you're over assessed by more than 15%. Assuming the 123ratio is 100%, using the numbers you've provided the assessment falls within that range. Dems da berries!

Then, as 46H indicates, the purchase price of your house is somewhat irrelevant. (Even less relevant in NJ than in most other states, but that's a post for another day.) How does your home compare to neighboring properties? Is the assessor's property record card correct for your home?

Does this mean you're SOL? Partly. But if you can avoid using the purchase price as a crutch to make your argument with, and instead show property record card errors or inconsistencies with neighboring properties, you may find the assessor willing to lower your assessment without the need for a formal appeal.

Assessors are trained to repel arguments based on "I bought my house for less than the assessment". Legally, those arguments don't hold water in NJ. No, I'm not suggesting you arm yourself with coffee and a box of donuts, but meeting with the assessor, bringing the right evidence, may win you reprieve — even if the over assessment is less than 15%.
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Old 09-07-2019, 07:23 AM
 
Location: Westfield, NJ
33 posts, read 111,087 times
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My understanding is that the 15% limit does not apply for a one year period after the property was assesed. In that window you can appeal, and get a reduction, for any amount.
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Old 09-07-2019, 09:36 AM
 
Location: New Jersey/Florida
5,475 posts, read 10,682,128 times
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I appealed, the town tax assessor dropped my assessed value to my purchase price right before my court date.
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Old 09-07-2019, 11:43 AM
 
Location: Union City, NJ
1,597 posts, read 999,447 times
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Looks like every post on here has contradicted the previous post. Might as well just give it a shot and hope for the best.
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Old 09-07-2019, 09:33 PM
 
550 posts, read 1,171,743 times
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see if you can get a lawyer, its no cost basically....50% of first year's savings and thats it
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Old 09-08-2019, 07:45 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
15,126 posts, read 14,077,323 times
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It's worth a shot. I did one this year after purchasing a condo late last year. It was a good time since I had an appraisal report and comparables. I hired an attorney and successfully had the assessed value lowered which resulted in a $400 annual property tax reduction. Attorney gets half the savings.
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Old 09-10-2019, 12:39 PM
 
2,063 posts, read 537,396 times
Reputation: 3562
Quote:
Originally Posted by GiantRutgersfan View Post
Tax assessment of the house I bought is $27,000 more then the sale price. Purchase price is in the mid 400s. If taxes were lowered to the sale price, I would be saving roughly $730 a year.

Do I have a viable case and is it worth doing?
I know a fellow who worked for a NJ township, and he said it can be a gamble asking for a tax re-assessment because it could come back higher than what you are currently paying. This might be because the home was long overdue for a re-assessment anyway.

Each township seems to have their own rules about how they determine property taxes.
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