2009 Mar 6th

Lower your Hoboken Property Tax Assessment

Are You Paying More Than Your Fair Share of Property Taxes?

I received a postcard in the mail today asking me this question.  Of course, it is a question on any Hoboken property owner’s mind these days.  The card also directed me to a website:  www.HudsonCountyTaxAppeals.com and had a contact phone number.   I had heard in the office that a local real estate attorney was also advertising his services for tax appeals.   I gave them a call curious to see what it was all about.

If you give them your address, they will look up your tax records and see if the assessment falls within the proper ratios.  If it looks like your property is over-valued, they will assist you (for a fee) in fighting the assessment.  The fee varies from $199 to $599 depending on how much they do for you and how much you do for yourself.  The initial call, however, is free.

Tax appeals have been successful in Hoboken.  I recently showed two almost identical units at 211 Jefferson.  One had successfully appealed and his taxes were reduced from $8,062 to $6,554.  That on a 800+ square foot unit being sold for about $435,000.

April 1 is The Deadline to Appeal Your Assessment

Without going into excruciating detail here, there is a New Jersey law that provides for an appeal of your tax assessment.  The State has some good brochures that explain the procedure.  Basically, if your property is worth less than the city thinks it’s worth, you can prove it by providing comps to similar properties.  Unfortunately, the comps have to come from sales from prior to Oct. 1 2008.  Of course, after Sept. 15th everything changed.  Sales prior to Oct. 1 may be likely to show higher prices than more recent sales.  Maybe this is something to keep in mind for next year. 

For More Information On Hoboken Tax Assessments and the Appeal Process

The local organization called the Hoboken Tax Reform Coalition also has links to many informative documents on this subject on their website, including downloadable PDF brochures put out by the State of New Jersey.  If you google “Hoboken tax appeal” you’ll find a bunch more sites.

  1. Rich

    do you need to get a new property assessment before April 1st? Or is that provided later as part of the processes? The instructions werent that clear.

  2. Ari

    Haven’t looked at these laws in forever, but my recollection is that in order for the city to even look at an appeal, you have to believe that you’re property tax assessment is at least 15% higher than it should be.

  3. Lori Turoff

    As I understand it, you have to file the appeal by April 1. Then you prove your case (and you have the burden of proof) by providing evidence of value either with an expert witness (appraiser) or comps.

    Ari – I don’t think that’s quite true. You have to show that the assessed value of your property is outside the boundries that the formula provides. There is both an upper and lower limit. It has to do with the market value of your property in relation to the assessed value. It’s explained in detail in the PDFs or you can call the postcard guys and speak with them for free. But yes, you have to show that your property is valued at more than the (pre-Oct. 1) market rate.

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