Tax Appeal Attorney New Jersey NJ
Douglas M. Standriff, Esq., NJ Tax Appeal Attorney
New Jersey Supreme Court
Certified Civil Trial Attorney
Doug Standriff, Esq., NJ Tax Appeal Attorney
60 West Ridgewood Ave
Ridgewood, NJ 07450
   phone 201-445-4555
Doug Standriff, Esq., New Jersey Supreme Court Certified Attorney
Welcome to New Jersey Property Tax Appeals - Please Select a Tax Appeal Area of Interest from Our Menu Below
BEWARE D.I.Y. Tax Appeals

Other Tax Appeals

I can also answer your questions regarding:
  • FARMLAND ASSESSMENTS AND APPEALS
  • SENIOR FREEZE ACT
  • VETERAN’S PROPERTY TAX DEDUCTIONS
  • TAX EXEMPT PROPERTY
  • HOMESTEAD REBATE

Quick Links

Assessment Lookup (go to the "Record Search" page)
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Ratios of Assessed to True Value by County and Town:
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New Jersey Property Tax Rates by County and Town:
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Calculate Your Taxes
Tax Appeal Calculator from Douglas Standriff Use our New Jersey Property Tax Appeal Calculator to see if you need to appeal your assessment.

Need Civil Attorney Help?
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Do you need the help of a NJ Civil Attorney? Find out how we can help on a Civil Matter, visit us at www.NJCivilAttorney.com.
Do you have a case that requires the skill of an experienced trial attorney?
Please call me at (201) 445-4555 or send an email for a free consultation.

Easy to Get To My Office
Directions to Douglas M. Standriff Law Offices, Ridgewood, Bergen County, NJ
My law office, in Ridgewood, Bergen County, NJ, is located close to all major NJ highways.

New Jersey Property Tax Appeals Using Douglas M. Standriff

From my Bergen County, NJ office, I handle NJ Real Estate Property Tax Appeals on behalf of Real Estate owners of both residential and commercial properties.
NJ Real Estate Appeals:What is NextTo help you make a decision about pursuing your NJ Real Estate Tax Appeal, please review our FAQ's by clicking on any of the topics below. We suggest you start with #1.
Answers will appear below the list of Questions.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS - NJ REAL ESTATE PROPERTY TAX ASSESMENTS AND APPEALS

ANSWER

1.  SHOULD I APPEAL MY NJ REAL ESTATE TAX ASSESSMENT?

In order to determine whether or not you should appeal your current NJ Real Estate property tax assessment, please enter the requested information in the fields below so that we may assist you in making that decision.
The evaluation is a two step process:
  • First, fill in the value for your current NJ Real Estate Tax Assessment in the field below, then select your County and City, and press the "Calculate" button. The calculator will then show you what the TAX ASSESSOR thinks your house is valued at in the Result of Assessment field below the Calculate button.
  • Second, enter what YOU believe to be the "Fair Market Value" of your house in the field below the Result of Assessment and press the Evaluate button. Based upon our calculations (which we believe to be fairly accurate), we will display a message which indicates whether or not WE think your house is over assessed or not.
    Still not sure, Please Contact Me for more details.
Step 1: Enter the amount of your assessment:
(NOTE: When entering into the field below, please do NOT use any commas, decimal points nor "$" signs)
$

Enter the name of your Town:

County: Town:

Result of Assessment:

(This is what YOUR ASSESSOR believes the property was worth on 10-1-16).

 

Step 2: Enter the Amount you believe your home/property was worth:
(That is to say, its "fair" market value as of October 1, 2016. This should be a fair sales price to both buyer and seller)
(NOTE: When entering into the field below, please do NOT use any commas, decimal points nor "$" signs)
$

 

 

 

ANSWER

2.  WHAT IF MY NEIGHBOR’S ASSESSMENT IS MUCH LOWER THAN MINE?

Even if your next door neighbor’s assessment is “low” or lower than your assessment, this is not a valid basis for an appeal.  An appeal is recommended when the property is assessed in excess of its true value, as stated above.  To paraphrase a Tax Court Judge: a homeowner is entitled to a fair assessment, not necessarily an assessment that is more fair than that of his neighbor.

Still not sure, Please Contact Me for more details.

ANSWER

3.  HOW MUCH CAN I SAVE, AND WHY IS “TEN YEARS OUT” IMPORTANT?

TEN YEARS OUT - why we must look at property taxes using a long term lens.  As towns and counties increase their budgets, our taxes increase at a geometric rate.  Therefore, a homeowner should consider potential savings as a result of a successful appeal over TEN years or longer, and factor in the likely budget (tax) increases.  Using the example below, an assessment which is only 5% above true value can create huge overpayments in property taxes over the long term.
                        EXAMPLE -
                                    New Assessment                  $830,000.00 (for tax year 2007)
                                    (minus) True value               $789,000.00 (as of 10/1/06)
Equals the amount the home is “over assessed”           $ 41,000.00  (approx. 5%)

                        Assume new tax rate is .0120.
                        Yearly taxes for 2007 will be $9,960.00 (.012 x $830,000.00 = $9,960.00)

                        Assume, like most of New Jersey, county and Municipal budgets are rising 6% each year.

IF THIS HYPOTHETICAL HOMEOWNER DOES NOT FILE AN APPEAL, THE HOMEOWNERS WILL PAY AN EXTRA $6,484.95  OVER 10 YEARS, UNTIL THE TOWN UNDERGOES ANOTHER REASSESSMENT.
            First year overpayment (5% of yearly taxes) - 5% x $9,960.00             = $492.00

            Second year overpayment (town raises taxes by 6%)                          = $521.52
                                                Yearly taxes are now $10,557.60                       
                                                Total of 1st and second year overpayment      = $1,013.52

            Third year (town raises taxes by 6%)                                                    = $552.81
                                                Yearly taxes are now $11,191.06                                                                                                Total 1st, 2nd, and 3rd year overpayment                                           = $1,566.33

            And so on, until
After the tenth year - the total amount the homeowner has OVERPAYED is $6,484.95

As this example shows, the effect of a small over-assessment can create much larger losses over time.

In a second example with a more expensive home ($1,425,000.00), where the owner is paying $18,000.00 per year in property taxes, the effect of a 5% over-assessment creates a total overpayment over ten years of $11,862.72!

Still not sure, Please Contact Me for more details.

 

ANSWER

4.  WHAT IS THE LAST DAY TO FILE AN APPEAL?

The general deadline for filing appeals is APRIL 1, 2017**.  This deadline applies to appeals with the County Tax Board and direct appeals with the Tax Court.  The appeal must be RECEIVED (not mailed) on or before this date. 

An appeal can also be filed within 45 days from the date the township MAILS the assessment.  Generally towns mail the assessment on or before February 15th, so the April 1 deadline remains the applicable date.  However, if the assessor is late in mailing the assessment, you may have additional time. In a revaluation year, property owners have until May 1st to file an appeal. Again, please contact my office or another attorney immediately if you have questions regarding a filing deadline.

** Note - these are generally applicable deadlines, however exceptions may apply to your case. Please contact my office or another attorney immediately if you have questions regarding a filing deadline.  Also note, there are special deadlines for added or omitted assessments.

 

ANSWER

5.  WILL MY TAXES INCREASE BECAUSE OF THE REVALUATION?

That depends upon whether the increase from your old assessment to your new assessment is more than the average increase in assessments in town.  This is one of the rare instances where your old assessment is relevant. 

Example: If the average home in your town was assessed at $400,000.00, and after the revaluation, the average home is now assessed at $800,000.00, then the average assessment increased by a factor of 2.  If in this typical town, your home was assessed at $405,000.00 before the revaluation, and it is now assessed at $845,000.00, then your taxes will INCREASE, because your home’s assessment has increased by a factor of more than 2x. (Higher than the average increase).  On the other hand, if your old assessment was $405,000.00 and the new assessment is $795,000.00 then your taxes will likely decrease.  A tax neutral revaluation for a home that used to be assessed at $405,000.00 would be $810,000.00 (old assessment multiplied by 2 = new assessment).  In this instance the homeowner will pay exactly the same taxes after the revaluation, as long as the town does not increase its budget. (chances of this are slim to none in the Garden State)

As stated above, an increase or decrease in the municipal budget will also affect your yearly taxes.  Any increase (or a rare decrease) in the municipal budget will of course affect the total amount you pay, but this is UNRELATED to the revaluation.  For example, if your assessment increases at the same rate as the average home in town, but if the municipal budget increases by 6% your taxes will rise by 6% due to the increased municipal budget, just as they would have grown in the absence of the revaluation.

DO NOT confuse “should I appeal?” with “will my taxes increase?” - In the second example above, even though the home’s assessment increased less than the average, if the home is worth only $750,000.00, not $795,000.00 (thus the home is “over-assessed”) then the owner should consider an appeal, and if the appeal is successful, that homeowner would pay even lower taxes.

Still not sure, Please Contact Me for more details.

 

ANSWER

6.  IS THERE A FEE FOR AN INITIAL CONSULTATION?

I do not charge clients for an initial consultation.  Usually I can offer an opinion as to whether an appeal is advisable.  Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions.

Please understand, I only want to accept clients whose property is unfairly assessed.  Frankly, if I were to recommend a client file an appeal in every case, even in cases where a home is fairly assessed, I would create a trail of unhappy clients.  By accepting only those clients who should appeal, I build a long term relationship with the community, and create happy clients who recommend my services to others.

Still not sure, Please Contact Me for more details.

 

ANSWER

7.  WHERE DO I FILE MY APPEAL?

There are two possible venues for an appeal.

  1. The County Board of Tax Appeals.  In this venue a Tax Board Commissioner hears the evidence and decides the case.  This venue is a bit less formal than the Tax Court.  If you are successful, the commissioner will decide the new assessment.  If you are unsuccessful, you have the right to a further appeal with the Tax Court of New Jersey.
  2. The Tax Court of New Jersey.  In order to file an appeal in the Tax Court, and have a Tax Court Judge decide your appeal, your home must be assessed at $750,000.00 or more (this is called a “direct appeal”) - OR - if you previously appealed to the County Board, and are unhappy with the Commissioner’s decision, you can file a further appeal in the Tax Court.
    Commercial appeals are generally heard in tax court.

Still not sure, Please Contact Me for more details.

 

ANSWER

8.  DO I HAVE TO PROVE MY HOUSE IS OVER ASSESSED BY 15%?

After a revaluation, the town’s legal advantage, which requires a homeowner to prove an over-assessment by a particular percentage (as much as 15%) does not apply. There are other exceptions - please contact me with any questions.

The above information is not intended as a substitute for legal advice. 
Most attorneys who are knowledgeable in this area are happy to spend a few minutes answering questions.

Still not sure, Please Contact Me for more details.

 

New Jersey Property Tax in the News

Jersey City Tax Assessment Revaluation - January 24, 2017 ... Click to read more ...
The City of Jersey City has not had its assessments updated since 1988, which means that the last time the City conducted a thorough evaluation of all properties was almost 30 years ago. The City entered into a contract to complete a revaluation with Realty Appraisal, and began a revaluation, but the revaluation was halted by Mayor Fulop. The Tax Board has ordered the revaluation to be completed. This means that each property is to be inspected and valued. All properties whether commercial, residential or industrial will receive new assessments for tax year 2018. Right now, for 2017 the average assessment is 23.66% of true value. The 2018 assessments will be “true value” or in other words “fair market value” of the property with all issues considered, such as location, lot size, use, square footage, etc. Presumably, the average assessment will be 4x the old assessment. Some will be more than 4x, others will be less depending upon how that particular property relates to the change in market value versus other properties.. The overall tax rate will FALL – it will be approximately ¼ of the current rate of $7.701 per $100 of assessed value. Below is a schedule published by NJ.com:
jersey city revaluation
Rolling re-Assessment for Hackensack and other Towns ... Click to read more ...
What is a rolling re-assessment?
Well, let’s start with a re-assessment as opposed to a re-valuation.
  • A “revaluation” is where the town hires an outside company to inspect all properties and completely update its assessments – normally completed every 8 to 10 years and possibly with longer periods in between.
  • A “re-assessment” is a less complicated update that does not include inspecting every property.
So a “rolling re-assessment” is where the town updates the assessments for the majority of properties every year. At first glance, that would seem a good thing, however a homeowner who is over-assessed is forced to file an appeal EACH year. This violates one basic foundations of tax appeal law – the “Freeze Act.” (N.S.A The Freeze Act statute normally protects a successful tax appeal from being changed by the assessor for two additional years, thus a successful appeal provides 3 years of savings as a result of the Freeze Act). Doing rolling assessments potentially acts to cut off the additional two years after the appeal where the assessment is frozen at the lower figure.
I believe the County Tax Board or Tax Court will eventually have to rule upon the propriety of a rolling assessment, but that has not yet occurred. The towns who expect to complete rolling re-assessments are: Hackensack, Little Ferry, Moonachie, North Arlington, Oradell, Saddle Brook, South Hackensack, Westwood, Woodcliff Lake, and Paterson in Passaic County.
City of Paterson Over Assessed ... Click to read more ...
For many years, properties in Paterson have been over-assessed. Patterson has undergone a revaluation, effective for tax year 2015. Most property owners will see a reduction in their assessment, but that does not mean that their taxes will go down. Whether or not a property owner's taxes go down depends upon how much the total ratables decrease. If the total ratables for the entire town decreased by 10%, then a particular property owner who sees a 10% reduction in their assessment will basically see no change in their taxes. On the other hand, an owner who’s assessment stays basically the same (or rises) will likely see an increase in their taxes. Assessments for 2015 are supposed to be true fair market value. If an owner believes that their property is not worth the amount of the new assessment, they should consider filing a tax appeal. In order to win the tax appeal, the owner must prove that the property is worth less than the new assessment. If the owner approves the property is worth less than the assessment in a proceeding either in the County tax board or the Tax Court, then the taxes will decrease as a result of the reduction in property assessment. Appeals must be filed by May 1, 2015, unless extended.
Wyckoff Over Assessed ... Click to read more ...
Many property owners in Wyckoff were over-assessed in the past. Ever since Wyckoff completed a revaluation almost at the height of the real estate market, the assessments in Wyckoff have been somewhat inaccurate. For 2015, all Wyckoff property owners should have received their notice of assessment giving them the value that the town places on each property. The assessor mailed the notices with the help of the revaluation company, Realty Appraisal. This value or assessment is supposed to be true fair market value for tax year 2015. Some owners may see their assessment rise, however the majority of property owners should see a a reduction in their assessment compared to 2014. Property owners whose assessment rises, will likely pay more in taxes for 2015. Anyone receiving an increase in their assessment should consider filing a tax appeal. In order to win the tax appeal, the property owner must prove that the property is worth less than the new assessment. Appeals must be filed by May 1, 2015 either in the County Tax Board, or Tax Court if the assessment is $1 million or more.
Farmland Assessments & Appeals ... Click to read more ...
Allows farmland and woodland utilized for horticultural and agricultural purposes, to be assessed at its productivity value. Determined annually, an application is due August 1st of the year preceding the one for which the valuation, assessment and taxation are sought.
Applicant must own the land. The minimum area needed to qualify is 5 contiguous (connecting) acres devoted to agricultural or horticultural use and/or under a woodlot management plan. A farmhouse, or land under a farmhouse, does not count towards the 5 acre minimum. The land must have been devoted to horticultural or agricultural uses for at least 2 years prior to the tax year. Gross sales of products from the land must average at least $500 per year for the first 4 acres, plus an average of $5 per acre for each additional acre, except in the case of woodland or wetland where the income requirement is $0.50 per acre for any addition acre over 5. The owner much show that the land will be used in an agricultural or horticultural manner for the entire year applied for.
Devoted land is defined as land devoted to the production of crops, livestock or their products, and/or forest products under a woodlot management plan.

Senior Freeze Act ... Click to read more ...
“You may be eligible for a reimbursement of the difference between the amount of property taxes you paid for the base year (the year you first became eligible) and the amount paid for the year for which you are applying for a reimbursement if you met all the following requirements for the base year and for each succeeding year, up to and including the year for which you are claiming the reimbursement.”
You may be eligible if:
  1. You are 65 or older or receiving Social Security disability benefits; and
  2. You have lived in N. J. continuously for the last 10 years as a homeowner or renter; and
  3. You have owned and lived in your home for the last 3 years; and
  4. You have paid the full amount of property taxes; and
  5. You meet the income requirements.

Veteran’s Property Tax Deduction and Exemption ... Click to read more ...
  1. Veterans who were honorably discharged from active service with the U.S. Armed Services in a war-time period may be eligible for a property tax reduction of $250.
  2. Certain totally or permanently disabled war veterans or the surviving spouse of a disabled war veteran or the surviving spouse of a serviceperson who died in wartime active duty may be exempt (they do not pay any property tax) from real estate taxes. You must be honorably discharged from active wartime service and be VA certified as having service-connected total or 100% permanent disability. You must also be the full owner of and a permanent resident in the dwelling for which exemption is claimed.

Tax Exempt Property ... Click to read more ...
Your property may be exempt from taxes if it used solely for one of the following purposes:
Religious, charitable, educational, scientific, literary, veterans organizations, youth organizations, fraternal organizations, disaster relief organizations, historic sites, conservation/recreation land, burial grounds & cemeteries, firefighter organizations & rescue squads, and PTA/PTO organizations.
Interested property owners may also visit the following website:

Have A Question?

Please contact me if you have any questions. You may also visit the “FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS” sections under the NJ Real Estate Tax Appeals or Civil Litigation.

Licensed to Practice

From my office in Ridgewood, Bergen County, NJ, I am licensed to practice in the following states:
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Texas
Some Recent
Successful Tax Appeals
East Brunswick, vacant land zoned commercially, 2016 taxes reduced from $59,587 to $28,150. (Multi-year savings of over $100,000.00)
Strip Mall on main road in Emerson, taxes reduced by 19% per year.
Industrial Property in Wayne, taxes reduced from $120,976 to $104,142 for 2016 - 14% savings. (Appeal was filed and completed in one year).
Taxes on Commercial property in Leonia (law offices) reduced by 10.8%, resulting in substantial yearly savings.
Large residential estate in Bergen County: 2010 taxes reduced from $42,770.99 to $31,860.00, a savings of $10,910.99.
Successful appeal of 3 condominium units in Union City, Hudson County, resulted in yearly savings for each unit owner in excess of $4,600.
Ridgewood property’s assessment reduced from $3,600,000 to $3,000,000. Savings over three years was in excess of $19,900.
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NJ Civil Attorney / New Jersey Civil Trial Lawyer Douglas M. Standriff is helping New Jersey home owners in Bergen and Essex counties lower their NJ property taxes and assessment through residential tax appeals. This NJ Civil Attorney also represents clients in personal injury cases such as auto accidents and dog bite cases. Douglas M. Standriff Esq. is a leading New Jersey Civil Trial attorney and is certified by the Supreme Court of NJ, as well as the an Appeal in the New Jersey Tax Court . This New Jersey (NJ) Civil attorney (lawyer) represents Bergen County homeowners in their residential tax appeals, as well victims injured in auto accidents, accidents, and other situations involving serious personal injury and wrongful death. Are you looking to find a NJ attorney? Looking to a hire a new jersey lawyer in Bergen County NJ? Do you need a lawyer to handle your lawsuit dealing with injuries or have a serious injury case in Bergen County? Whether you are injured in an auto accident, had an automobile accident in NJ, or a car accident, dog bite claim insurance,or truck or construction injury. Doug Standriff, NJ Civil Attorney can help. Feel free to contact this New Jersey (NJ) civil attorney or lawyer with Bergen County NJ offices. Located in Ridgewood, NJ (New Jersey), this NJ lawyer handles tax appeal cases in NJ courts, as well as residence or residential appeals in front of the NJ county tax board. So if you want to know how to lower your NJ property taxes or you are a New Jersey homeowner in Bergen County NJ or in the town of Franklin Lakes NJ, Oradell New Jersey, Hillsdale NJ, Montclair New Jersey, feel free to contact this NJ Civil Attorney to save money on your property taxes this year.