Measure Would Empower Taxpayers to Appeal Massive Tax Hikes Due to Revaluation
TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senators Loretta Weinberg and Bob Gordon which would extend the deadline for taxpayers to appeal their property assessment under a municipal-wide revaluation was unanimously approved by the Senate today.
“New Jersey taxpayers already have the highest property tax burdens in the entire country, and this year, that’s compounded by reduced State aid and a difficult national economy,” said Senator Weinberg, D-Bergen. “We have to give taxpayers a fair opportunity to appeal burdensome tax increases as a result of municipal-wide revaluation. This bill extends the deadline to allow taxpayers to consider all the facts and build the best case possible before filing their appeal.”
“During difficult economic periods, more and more taxpayers are exercising their right to appeal overly burdensome tax increases,” said Senator Gordon, D-Bergen. “But in the case of revaluation, it make take months to fully recognize the impact that changes in property value have on the taxpayers’ bottom line. This bill gives hard-hit taxpayers a fair chance to appeal at a time when many are struggling to meet the high cost of living in the Garden State.”
The bill, S-861, would change the deadlines for property taxpayers to appeal after a municipal-wide revaluation or reassessment has been implemented. Under the bill, taxpayers would be able to appeal any increase in their taxes on or before May 1 following a revaluation, or 90 days from the date on which the taxing district sent out their bulk notification of assessment, whichever’s later. Under current law, property owners only have until May 1 to file an appeal after a municipal-wide revaluation, but the sponsors argued that deadline may be too short for property owners still trying to understand the impact of revaluation.
“Without an appropriate and fair deadline in the tax appeal process, the ability to appeal is pretty meaningless,” said Senator Weinberg. “We want to make sure that taxpayers have enough opportunity to exercise their appeal as possible, not short-change taxpayers who may not be familiar with the impact of revaluation.”
“The tax appeal system was set up to give taxpayers a voice in the process,” said Senator Gordon. “Unless we give them due opportunity to prepare and file an appeal, we’re doing taxpayers a serious injustice in the Garden State.”
The bill now heads to the Assembly for consideration. It was approved by the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee earlier this month.