Oh, the tax assessment question is ever so popular these day! I must concur (although I have not read them all in full) with the previous responders in that the assessment is less valuable than a "current market value assesement" that can be provided, argued and/or negoatiated with a bank/township assessor by a Realtor (and not websites as they can be grossly inaccurate).
And so you might be thinking, oh, these realtors just want my business, But one must consider the followng:
(1) Companies hired by towns to do these assessments do their best to "get into homes", but are not 100% successful; therefore, a home within which an evaluator is unable to enter is then assessed based on the value of other comparable homes (usually in planned communitiies or those with common builders).
(2) I have heard of MULTIPLE horror stories about these evaluators looking at formica countertops made to look like granite and assuming they are granite or partially finished basement as being considered fully finished basements.
(3) If the last assessment is is over 5 years old, it holds little ground as the homeowner may have added oodles of upgrades to make the assessment "out-of-date", and market conditions within that time period may have increased it's vaue (minus the recent downturn and only a LOCAL EXPERT can advise you property. Remember, we here in NJ are not as affected by the market downturn as the sates of Cal, FL or Airzona.
Having said that, truly, honestly, u need the expertise of a LOCAL representative that will advocate in your best interesst. I recently negotiated a $1M property down to $850K on the basis of future value. So, therefore, If you would like an honest analysis and are not currently represented by a realtor, feel free to to email me with additional detais and I will be happy to let you know where you stand.
Love and Peace,
Francesca, Realtor, ePro