Assessor FAQ's

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Tax Assessor FAQ

A property record card itemizes the specific features of your property such as number of bedrooms, baths, heating system, basement type, acreage, presence of easements or wetlands, etc. All these factors impact your assessment.

You can request that a copy of your property record card be sent to you by calling the Assessor’s Office at (609)823-7911, or you may stop in at the Assessor’s office to obtain a copy. To ensure the accuracy of their assessment, residents are encouraged to periodically verify the information on their property record cards.

The assessed value of a property is determined by the size of the land, the building(s), what is heated, what is cooled, what is finished/unfinished area, basement/finished or unfinished, attic/finished or unfinished, number of bathroom fixtures, garage area, and other physical characteristics of your property. After a number has been obtained using the State of New Jersey manual the result is compared to the market sales for the previous two years.

The building(s) will be measured and the interiors will be inspected.

While owners or occupants are not obligated to allow a data collector to enter their property, interior information is required under State guidelines and characteristics will be estimated if they cannot be observed. Interior inspections enhance overall assessment quality, as there may be conditions apparent from the inside that are not discernible from the outside.

Data collectors will check items such as:

· Number of bathrooms

· Number of bedrooms

· Types of heating and cooling systems

· Year house was built

· General construction, materials and physical condition of the interior and exterior

· Personal items such as furniture or décor do not influence the value of the house; they will not be noted.

The interior components will be estimated in accordance with the standards of your neighborhood.

If no one is home, the data collector will complete an exterior inspection– including exterior measurements, estimate interior data.

Exterior photographs will be taken sometime during the process.

After the data is collected, the Assessor will analyze local building costs, property sales, and valuations factors to establish preliminary market values. These initial values are then reviewed to check for errors. Any necessary corrections are then made.

If there is a change a notification of new tentative values will be mailed to the owner. The notice will also have instructions on how to contact the Assessor’s office to ask questions or schedule a meeting for an informal hearing.

Informal value review meetings will be conducted by the Assessor’s office after data collection is completed and the new values are mailed out. If a property owner is not satisfied with the results of an informal review, a formal appeal may be filed with the Atlantic County Board of Taxation by April 1 of each year.

You may have a larger lot; a finished area that the other does not have; another bathroom; a special feature such as a Jacuzzi tub that the other doesn’t; OR there may be an error. If you suspect an error, contact the tax assessor’s office.

The assessed value is normally given to the County as of January 10th of a tax year. A notification card (usually green) will be sent to you before the end of February each year. On this card you have your new assessed value, and last year’s taxes billed prior to any added taxes from improvements. A property owner can file an appeal directly with the County until April 1st.

No. Your local property taxes — the revenues needed to pay for county and municipal services, open space and public schools — are not directly correlated to your assessment. The tax rate is determined after the county, township and schools finalize their budgets and know how much money they need to collect. Thus, if assessments rise by 20% but the budget rises by 5%, the tax rate is adjusted downward. Your taxes are still likely to rise, but not by the same percentage as the increase in your assessment. In fact, it is possible that your assessment can decrease and your taxes increase, or vice versa.

Once all the budgets are finalized, the county, township and schools determine how much money must be raised through property taxation. The County Board of Taxation takes the assessed value for the whole town and divides the total tax money needed by the total assessment to come up with a tax rate. That tax rate is then applied to each individual assessment to determine each property owner’s taxes.

Property owners have the right to file an appeal before the County Board of Taxation on or before April 1st of each tax year. All forms and instructions can be obtained at the County Board office.

You must bring at least three sales of comparable properties in your neighbor that demonstrate that it would be highly unlikely that you could sell your property at its assessed value. Alternatively, you can also bring an appraisal from a certified appraiser or a comparative market analysis (CMA) from a realtor. A CMA can only be used in the informal hearing stage with the township tax assessor. At the County Board Appeal level, you can bring in your own comparable sales or you can use an professional appraisal, however the appraiser must appear at the hearing in order to answer any questions to the validity.

The deadlines are April 1st of the current year for regular appeals and December 1st for added assessment appeals on improvements.

Filing fees are:

A. An appeal on assessed valuation:

1. Less than $150,000 ………………………………. $5.00

2. $150,000 to $500,000……………………………$25.00

3. $500,000 to $1,000,000 …………………….. $100.00

4. $1,000,000 or more ……………………………..$150.00

B. An appeal on classification …………………………….$25.00

C. Appeal on Valuation and Classification ……………..Sum of A and B

D. Appeal not covered by a, b or c ………………………$25.00

It is up to the property owner. Most property owners hire an attorney to help them navigate the trail of paperwork, but many have completed the process without an attorney. The cost of the attorney is borne by the property owners.