Why pay more than “your fair share”?
Based on our extensive analysis of property tax records, which are public documents, you may be over paying your property taxes. Property Taxes are the least understood of any tax a homeowner has to pay. Not challenging your assessment may be costing you thousands of dollars each year. In a changing housing market an attorney review is essential.
It would be our privilege to help homeowners like you reduce property taxes by appealing the “assessed value” given to your home by your local tax assessor. As attorneys, We will prepare and file the required application along with the necessary analysis to support a reduction and also represent you at any necessary hearings until the conclusion of your appeal.
In New Jersey, two factors determine your tax bill: the taxable value of your home, and the tax rate (that is, the percentage of the taxable value that the local tax authorities use to compute your property tax). Here’s an overview of these factors.
The process starts when the municipal tax assessor determines your home’s taxable value. In New Jersey, the taxable value of a home is generally 100% of its “true value” – basically, what the home would sell for on the open market. Your county tax board can adjust this percentage figure, which is also known as the assessment ratio.
The taxing authorities multiply the taxable value of your home by the tax rate to arrive at the tax you’ll owe. Let’s say the taxable value of your home is $300,000 and the tax rate is $10 for every $1,000 of taxable value. Your property tax for the year will be $3,000 (300 x $10 = $3,000).
Local officials set the tax rate, so the rate varies depending on where you live. You can’t do much about the tax rate except to vote wisely for the elected officials who determine the tax rate, and carefully consider revenue issues that appear on the ballot. But the story is different for the taxable-value factor. Here, you have more leverage. If the taxable value assigned to your home is too high, you may be able to get it reduced – and save a bundle in property tax. A $500 reduction in your annual tax bill would add up to $5,000 in savings over a ten-year period. Not bad!
Example: Larry and Joan own a home in New Jersey. The tax assessor has placed a taxable value of $400,000 on their home. The local tax rate is $10 for every $1,000 of taxable value. This means that their annual property tax is $4,000. Larry and Joan do some research and conclude that, based on recent sales of comparable homes, the taxable value of their home should be $350,000. They successfully appeal their assessment. Now, their tax bill is $3,500 a year instead of $4,000.
Our fees are competitive within the industry. You have the right to either have a contingency fee or an hourly fee agreement with this firm. Please contact this office to discuss the difference and the rates. If you choose an hourly fee, then these fees are paid no matter if we are successful on your appeal or not. If you choose a contingency fee, it applies only if we are successful, and the fee is 50% of the amount you save for the first year of the reduction plus a $125 market analysis charge.
Whichever fee arrangement you choose and whether we are successful or not you will be responsible for the filing fee, which goes directly to your county. The filing fees are set statutorily, and are based upon the current assessed value of your home. A list of the filing fees is attached on our fee agreement.
You also may be responsible for a fee for an appraiser we may retain to review your case. We will notify you if we deem the appraisal necessary and you can refuse to incur that fee. None of the appraiser’s fee is paid to this firm.