I want to appeal my Little Egg Harbor taxes. What's my first step?
Let's be clear, you cannot appeal your taxes. Property taxes in Little Egg Harbor and all over New Jersey are the result of the local budget process and cannot be appealed. But the property assessment set by municipality, in this case, Little Egg Harbor can be appealed.
Little Egg Harbor property tax assessment appeals must be filed with the Ocean County Board of Taxation within 45 days of the Township's property tax card bulk mailing or by April 1.
The first step in determining whether an appeal of your Little Egg Harbor property tax assessment is worth your time and money is to examine comparable sales in Little Egg Harbor.
A preliminary comparison of similar homes sold prior to October, 2010 is what you'll need to appeal your Little Egg Harbor property tax assessment this year. Gather comparable sales. That doesn't include your neighbor's home that was a short sale or one that was sold off after the bank took title. It's got to be an apples to apples comparison. Comparable sales for the purposes of a property tax assessment appeals in Little Egg Harbor are what we call 'arm's length transactions'.
That's a sale where the buyers and sellers act independently and have no relationship to each other. The concept of an arm's length transaction is to ensure that both parties in the deal are acting in their own self interest and are not subject to any pressure or duress from another party.
The burden of proof in a New Jersey property tax assessment appeal is on you. The municipal assessment is assumed correct, until you prove otherwise.
You must to prove to the 7 members of the Ocean County Board of Taxation that your Little Egg Harbor property tax assessment is erroneous, unreasonable, excessive or discriminatory. You must provide a more appropriate value by showing the Tax Board similar Little Egg Harbor properties, sold prior during 2010 (prior to October) that are like your property. And, to file an appeal of your Little Egg Harbor property assessment, you must have paid all Little Egg Harbor taxes and municipal charges up to and including the first quarter of this tax year.
The Tax Board wants to see credible evidence. That's evidence supported by fact not assumptions or beliefs. Photographs of both the subject property (your property under appeal) and sales of comparable properties are useful in illustrating your argument. Factual evidence concerning special circumstances, if any exist, is necessary.
The most credible evidence is recent comparable sales in Little Egg Harbor. The Ocean County Board of Taxation will want to see detailed information on 3 to 5 sales supporting your contention that your Little Egg Harbor property tax assessment is too high.
The cost to file an appeal of your Little Egg Harbor property tax assessment is not excessive. If your current assessed valuation is under $150,000 the fee is $5.00...and from $150,000 to $500,000 it's $25.00. (No fee or a reduced fee for the disabled, veterans, seniors or their surviving domestic partners/spouses.)
The Ocean County Board of Taxation will hear your Little Egg Harbor property tax appeal within three months, assuming the state issues no extensions. Your appeal hearing will probably be scheduled during the day, and you will have to be there.
To get a sense of the accuracy of your Little Egg Harbor property tax assessment, I can send you 3 to 5 comparable sales that occurred prior to October, 2010. After review, you can better determine if a Little Egg Harbor property tax assessment appeal is likely to be successful and worth the time and money involved.
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