How to Lower Your Taxes in New Jersey

As a leader in real estate in New Jersey, I am repeatedly asked specific questions about today’s market – especially in today’s economy. In an effort to provide more information to my community, I am sending you this Top 5 Real Estate Social Networking Systemsm “e-Article,” in which I provide useful real estate information to my real estate networks. If you find the enclosed information beneficial to your family and friends, I encourage you to forward it to your “social network” as well.

How to Lower Your Property Taxes in New Jersey

Thanks to recent declines in home values, it’s 60% more likely that your property taxes are too high, says the American Homeowners Association (AHA). The problem stems from the fact that property values have fallen unevenly across neighborhoods, towns and regions. As a result, you may be receiving an unfairly high assessment compared to other homes in your area.

As a Member of the Top 5 in Real Estate Network®, I am often asked if property taxes can be lowered. Fortunately, there are ways to find out if you are being overcharged and steps you can take to get your property taxes lowered. Here are some steps to follow:

1. To make sure you’re paying the right amount, get your detailed property tax assessment record online or from your assessor’s office. It’s possible your entire neighborhood has been overassessed.

2. To that end, check with a real estate agent to get a solid understanding of what homes are currently selling for in your community. I can provide you with a detailed analysis of recent and comparable sales.

3. Also check the accuracy of the details about your home used in your tax assessment. Determine if your property’s size and description are accurate. There’s a good chance that errors were made in transferring data from paper to online.

4. Make sure details like the number of bedrooms and bathrooms are correct on your assessment and that any defects that could affect the value of your home—such as a leaky roof or cracked wall—are noted.

5. If errors have made your assessment higher than it should be, try working informally with the assessor rather than going through a formal appeal process.

6. If the correction cannot be made informally, you’ll need to make a formal appeal. There may even be a process for appealing your taxes online. Keep in mind that there is usually a narrow window of opportunity in which to file an appeal. Some jurisdictions set aside a time every year to hear appeals, while others only consider appeals for a few months after your house has been reassessed, which is often not every year. Find out exactly how much time you have to prepare your case.

7. Make sure you file good documentation, such as an appraisal or letter from the original assessor. Without this, the likelihood of your appeal being considered is slim.

8. Depending on your municipality, you might also be eligible for property-tax exemptions, which range from senior citizen and active-duty military exemptions to ones for those who own livestock.

Please e-mail me for more information on appealing your property taxes. I can provide important insight into current property values in our area and help you determine if you are potentially being overcharged. If you feel this information might also be of use to your family, friends and colleagues, please forward this email to them.

If you need any help e-mail me at john@bendallgroup.com..

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