Posted by & filed under Homeowner Tips.

tax appealIt’s tax appeal season – how to appeal your assessment is what this article is about.

Every year from January 1st through March 31st Bergen County property owners can file an appeal of their property tax assessment.  You can only appeal the assessment; you can’t appeal the property tax.  However taxes are calculated by multiplying the assessment by the tax rate.

The rule of thumb is you must prove that your current assessment should be reduced by 15% or more.  The burden of proof is on you; not on the tax assessor.  You need at least 3 but no more than 5 comparable sales which closed before October 1st of the prior year.  Appeals are filed with the Bergen County Board of Taxation in Hackensack.

The Bergen County Board of Taxation will mail you the required petition of appeal form (scroll halfway down the page to get the links).  You can complete it and mail it in or deliver it directly to their Hackensack location.  Email and faxing isn’t allowed.  You must also give your local tax assessor a copy.

Comparable sales should be near your property, have similar lot and structure size, age, style and condition.  It’s also a good idea to take pictures of your property and comparables used.  It’s essential that you know every property intimately well so you can present a detailed presentation and a suggested new value based on the evidence you cite.  tax appeal

While not impossible to do yourself, this is an involved process done at a public hearing.Everything you need to know is halfway down the page on the Bergen County Board of Taxation website

When my clients ask me about an attorney to represent them in a tax appeal, my advice is to use the services of Martin Sharit, Esq.  Marty Sharit is an accomplished real estate attorney who also specializes in tax appeals.  You can reach Mr. Sharit at 201-488-7711.

It’s tax appeal season and it ends on April 1st.  Do your homework.  You must be able to prove that your assessed value is too high.  You must prove that your current assessment should be 85% or less than it is now.  Good luck!


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