The purpose of this alert is to give an overview of a revaluation program in New Jersey, and also provide the taxpayer with information that should help mitigate potentially adverse affects of a new assessment.
A revaluation is a program conducted by an outside appraisal firm that is designed to adjust and update property values throughout a municipality. However, it is essential to understand that a revaluation is not a reassessment, even though both can result in the reapportionment of the tax burden among property owners. Both are intended to adjust and update property values, however, a revaluation is performed by a pre-qualified appraisal firm, while a reassessment is conducted by the in-house municipal assessor and staff.
In New Jersey, a municipal-wide revaluation is a process that a taxpayer should not take lightly or ignore. By being proactive, a taxpayer can lay the groundwork for a successful appeal, or even avoid an appeal entirely. A revaluation can occur for a single reason or a number of reasons, but ultimately the driving force behind one is the conclusion by the State Director of Taxation that assessed values of properties in a municipality are exceedingly inaccurate. Therefore, a revaluation’s stated purpose is to reset assessments and spread the municipal tax burden fairly so that, in theory, every taxpayer is paying their fair share. By the very nature of the process, however, a property’s taxes can be significantly changed, and not necessarily for the better.