We are in a difficult and uncertain time and I hope everyone is staying safely at home. In the meantime, our office has been receiving daily updates from the New Jersey Supreme Court and the Legislature, concerning delays in Court dates and filing deadlines. We have been trying to forward this information to our clients as it becomes available. On March 19, 2020, Chief Justice Rabner signed an Order delaying the filing deadline for local property tax appeals from April 1 to a new date, which will be scheduled for 30 days following the determination that the state of emergency declared by Governor Murphy has ended.
Accordingly, if you believe your property is substantially over-assessed, and you are concerned that you may miss the April 1 filing deadline, you may still have plenty of time to file your appeal. However, please note that the delay of the filing deadline will only apply to Tax Appeal filings where the filing deadline would have been April 1 or later. It will not apply to those matters in which the due date for the filing was before the signing of the Court’s Order. For instance, if your property is in Monmouth County, where the County Tax Board’s filing deadline was changed to January 15, you will not be able to file an appeal with the County Tax Board at that time. However, if your property’s assessment exceeds $1 Million, we can still appeal the assessment directly to the Tax Court.
Coronavirus Related Valuation Arguments Will Not Be Successful In 2020 Tax Appeals
While the property tax appeal filing deadline remains extended, our office will continue to file appeals for taxpayers whose properties are over-assessed. In the meantime, many of our clients have asked us whether their properties may be worth less as a result of the global health pandemic, which seems to have universally impacted the entire economy of New Jersey. While it is reasonable to assume that this economic crisis will have an adverse impact on property values, it is important for clients to keep in mind that any challenge of property valuation for the 2020 tax year must be based on data that existed as of October 1 of the pre-tax year (i.e.; October 1, 2019). Therefore, any argument that a property may be worth less as a result of the recent economic crisis, which began in March of this year, will not be admissible in a tax appeal that is filed in 2020. That data will, however, be admissible in tax appeals for future years in the unfortunate event that property values decline.
Please click here for a full text of the Court’s Order.
Should you have any questions regarding Tax Appeals, please feel free to contact our office.