2014 Property Tax News: Monmouth County Assessment Demonstration Program Makes Major Changes to Current Assessment Practice
As 2013 winds to a close, it’s time to begin thinking about your 2014 property taxes, especially if you own property in Monmouth County. On February 4, 2013, Governor Christie signed into law Chapter 15 P.L. 2013, known as the Assessment Demonstration Program (“ADP”). The ADP takes effect in the tax year 2014, and will be used to compare the current statutory system of property assessment against a new pilot program. The Monmouth County Board of Taxation has elected to be first and only Tax Board in the State to adopt the ADP.
The goal of the ADP is to improve the quality of the County’s property assessments which, in turn, should have the salutary effect of reducing the number of assessment appeals filed annually at the County Board of Taxation. The ADP looks to achieve this by allowing Assessors to perform annual assessment review and revision where warranted, mandating assessment standardization throughout the county through the use of enhanced property assessment software, and increasing the educational requirements of Tax Assessors and Tax Administrators.
A reduction in the number of successful appeals filed at the County Board would reduce the need to issue costly tax refunds thereby protecting the funding of municipal budgets. Most significantly, the ADP proposes changes in the key deadlines related to the property assessment appeal process to ensure that the process will be largely completed prior to the calculation of the local property tax rate. Calculating the tax rate after the completion of the appeal process will allow municipalities to more accurately gauge their ability to meet budgetary needs through adjustment of the tax base.
The Effect of the ADP on New Jersey Property Owners
For Monmouth County property owners, this means there are two very important changes which you must bear in mind at the risk of missing out on the opportunity to file a 2014 tax appeal:
- Notices of Assessment, traditionally mailed out to taxpayers beginning in the months of January and February, will now be sent by Monmouth County municipalities this month since the ADP requires the Monmouth County municipalities to certify their 2014 tax books by November 15, 2013.
- Revised Tax Appeal Filing Deadline is now January 15, 2014 for all appeals to the Monmouth County Board of Taxation.
As a practical matter, this means that if your Monmouth County property is assessed for $1,000,000 or less, you must file your appeal with the Monmouth County Tax Board by January 15.If your property is assessed for more than $1,000,000 you have the option, as always, to file your appeal directly with the New Jersey Tax Court or with the County Tax Board.Remember, however, that if you choose to file with the Monmouth County Board, regardless of the amount of the assessment, you must do so by January 15.
Of course, if your property is assessed for over $1,000,000, and you choose to file your property tax appeal directly with the State Tax Court, the traditional deadline of April 1st (May 1st if the town implemented a revaluation or district-wide reassessment) still applies, even for Monmouth County properties.
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