property tax question

Asked by William, Rockaway, NJ Fri Aug 20, 2010

I see one of property in wharton, NJ that i am interested. Currently, the house is for sale at price: 268K (total assessment = $328K, tax = $7,800 in wharton NJ). The property tax is a deal breaker.
In fact, the house can't evaluate at $328K. Is it possible to request the town to reevaluate to lower property tax when closing? If so, does buyer lawer do it or seller do it?


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Mary Grunmei…, , Morris Plains, NJ
Sat Aug 21, 2010
In NJ, there is a state law saying that property values must be assessed at current market value. But, the same legislation says it only has to be done every 10 years. It is a large, expensive undertaking, so towns tend to stretch that out a bit. Wharton seems to have re-assessed at the top of the market. So, the assessments no longer reflect current market value. If there is a 15% difference between fair market value and the assessed value, you can apply for a tax appeal. Although you can do this without a lawyer, I recommend using a lawyer. It must be filed by April 15, and then you will get a date for a hearing, where you and the attorney will present comparable sales showing the fair market value. The tax assessor will defend the assessment, and the commissioner will hear both sides. The appeal may be granted or not.

William, I would start by consulting a professional real estate agent about what comparable sales in Wharton are, and whether you meet the 15% threshold. I'm pretty familiar with Wharton and would be happy to help.
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Mary Petti, Agent, Edison, NJ
Sat Aug 21, 2010

Two questions:
1) Since the home is on the market for less than it's appraised value, is this a short sale or is it undervalued for some other reason?
2) Is the house in question the same or similar to other homes in the area, who also have assessed values in the $328K range? If so, even if you do get an appeal, it would probably be unlikely that you would get the taxes lowered. (see the brochure Laura provided in the link)

To answer your question, if you purchase the house, the appeal is your responsibility, and as others have said, there are guidelines and timeframes to do this. Good luck.
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Laura Gianno…, Agent, Manahawkin, NJ
Fri Aug 20, 2010
New Jersey has complicated tax appeal laws. If you want to challenge the assessment, you have to file an appeal. The time has passed for 2010 appeals. Check this link for more information...

Laura Giannotta
Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Shore
0 votes
Ian A. Wolf, Agent, Morristown, NJ
Fri Aug 20, 2010
It is possible to have your taxes lowered, and it is something that is best done with an attorney. I live in Rockaway, and know the area well in Wharton. I'd be happy to help you determine the feasibility of success by checking and making sure the comps exist to justify lower taxes. I can also refer you to the attorneys I know that do tax appeals often and can advise you of the process. Just email me, and I'll be happy to help you anyway I can.
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