Deadline to file post-reval tax appeals is May 1
New assessments could be a shock…but read the fine print
by Dean DeChiaro
Reporter staff writer
Apr 06, 2014 | 2374 views | 0 0 comments | 55 55 recommendations | email to a friend | print
WILL TAXES GO UP? – Last winter’s property revaluation could cause some tax assessments in Hoboken to drastically increase this year, but that doesn’t necessarily mean appealing your new tax bill is a good idea.
WILL TAXES GO UP? – Last winter’s property revaluation could cause some tax assessments in Hoboken to drastically increase this year, but that doesn’t necessarily mean appealing your new tax bill is a good idea.
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A team contracted by the city has spent the winter updating the assessed market value of properties all around Hoboken, meaning some landowners will now pay higher taxes based on how their home would sell on the current market, and some will have their taxes lowered if their home wouldn’t sell for as much today as when they bought it.

The deadline for Hoboken residents to file tax appeals with the Hudson County Board of Taxation is May 1. And though many property owners in town could be scratching their heads over a larger-than-expected assessment from the revaluation, the bottom line may not be as bad as it looks.

Hoboken recently concluded its first property revaluation in almost 25 years. People who purchased an expensive property during the real estate boom of the early 1990s, shortly after the last reval, may see a slight drop if the market value is lower now. Those who have owned homes longer may see an increase.
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‘A tax appeal isn’t something you just want to go ahead and do as a reaction... after a reval.’ – David Wolfe
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But an increased tax assessment is not a direct indicator that filing an appeal with the county is a good idea, said David Wolfe, a Livingston-based tax lawyer who specializes in post-reval appeals. For starters, he said, it’s easy to mistake an increased assessment for an increased tax bill. In fact, appealing a new assessment could alert the county to the fact that you should be paying even more than your new bill demands.

“A tax appeal isn’t something you just want to go ahead and do as a reaction to your new assessment after a reval,” said Wolfe last week. “Seeing a dramatic increase in tax assessments tends to result in widespread fear that taxes are going up, but that may not necessarily be the case.”

In the end, Wolfe said, the reval is actually a positive thing for homeowners.

“It’s in the interest of the property owner to have an accurate assessment, and a reval assists them in determining that,” he said. “Prior to the reval, there were fewer resources to help a taxpayer determine whether a tax bill is correct.”

Due to the complicated nature of tax codes and revaluations, Wolfe said that any homeowner considering a tax appeal should speak with a lawyer first. Appeals of assessments under $1 million can be filed with the county by the May 1 deadline, but those in excess of $1 million must be filed with the state.

Online information

The company that performed the city’s revaluation, Appraisal Systems Inc., posted a significant amount of the information it gathered during the process on its website following the reval’s conclusion. There is a list of every Hoboken property’s new value. Should a homeowner decide to file a tax appeal, the values of neighboring properties could prove to be valuable information.

Rick Del Guercio, Appraisal System’s president, said that the data provided on the website is designed to give taxpayers as much information as possible about the reval’s results.

“I imagine thousands of people are using it, because we haven’t seen as many in-person meetings [about new assessments] this time as we have in the past,” said Del Guercio. “Overall the process went extremely smoothly.”

He also agreed with Wolfe that the reval is a positive step for Hoboken overall.

“The overall trend that we saw in Hoboken is that its market is very healthy,” he said. “It might be the healthiest of all the markets where we’ve done revals recently.”

For information on the Hoboken reval, go to Appraisal Systems website at http://www.asinj.com/revaluation.asp?p=current&id=283.

Dean DeChiaro may be reached at deand@hudsonreporter.com

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