BLOG: Property Tax Appeal

Princeton University Wants Out of Morristown Courtroom

by: Richard De Angelis
13 Aug 2014
The Times of Trenton reported this week that Princeton University is seeking a change of venue in a challenge to the University’s local property tax exemption. In the underlying matter the plaintiffs, a group of Princeton residents, argue that because the University is earning hundreds of millions of dollars in patent royalty income and distributing some of that... Read More

Tax Court Prefers Quantitative, Not Qualitative Adjustments

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
11 Aug 2014
Another County Tax Board judgment was affirmed after the property owner and the municipality both failed to overcome the presumption of correctness of the assessment with evidence that was “definite, positive and certain in quality and quantity. . . .” MSGW Real Estate Fund, LLC v. Borough of Mountain Lakes, 18 N.J. Tax 364, 373... Read More

Rent Receiver Has Standing to Prosecute Tax Appeal

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
31 Jul 2014
The New Jersey Tax Court this week held that a court-appointed rent receiver has a sufficient interest in a commercial property to prosecute a property tax appeal.  The property, a 90,000 square foot commercial building located in Evesham Township, Burlington County, was assessed at approximately $12,000,000 for 2014.  The owners had failed to make mortgage... Read More

Site Improvements on Vacant Land Fair Game for Tax Assessment

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
11 Jul 2014
A decision this week by New Jersey Tax Court Presiding Judge Patrick DeAlmeida affirmed that the market value of site improvements on a vacant parcel of land must be included in the assessments on the undeveloped parcels.  The case involved an appeal by the owner, Hovbros Cinnaminson Urban Renewal, LLC, the designated redeveloper of a... Read More

Turnpike Liable for Roll-back Taxes on Farmland Assessed Property

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
10 Jul 2014
Under the Farmland Assessment Act, a “roll-back” tax is imposed when farmland assessed property is converted to a non-agricultural or horticultural use.  See N.J.S.A. 54:4-23.8.  The rollback provision of the Farmland Assessment Act is intended to protect municipalities from land speculators who may try to receive a reduced assessment until the time is right to... Read More

Reasonableness Hearing Requires Access to Assessor’s Files

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
7 Jul 2014
In a recent appeal, the Borough of Lincoln Park moved to dismiss a property owner’s 2012 tax appeal after the Borough claimed the owner failed to respond to a “Chapter 91” request for income and expense information. Chapter 91, N.J.S.A. 54:4-34, allows a municipal tax assessor to request income and expense information to use in... Read More

Township’s Error Saves Taxpayer from Tax Increase

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
1 Jul 2014
The owner of a mobile home park in Fairfield Township, Cumberland County, challenged the 2011 and 2012 tax assessments on the park in the Tax Court following a Township-wide revaluation. The Township filed a “cross complaint” alleging that it reserved its rights to apply added assessments for each of the tax years. The mobile home... Read More

Pay Now, Litigate Later Upheld

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
20 Jun 2014
New Jersey law requires that property taxes must be paid as a prerequisite to filing an appeal before the Tax Court. The principle that taxes must be paid first is to insure that municipal reviews are not interrupted while tax appeals are litigated by the parties. Municipalities take advantage of this requirement to seek dismissal... Read More

Secretly Recorded Phone Conversation Fails to Support New Trial Claim

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
17 Jun 2014
A very routine tax appeal trial took a very unusual turn after entry of judgment in the matter. Plaintiff filed a tax appeal on his single family home in Barnegat Township before the Ocean County Board of Taxation, which reduced his assessment from $300,000 to $283,000. Plaintiff then appealed to the Tax Court challenging the... Read More

A Tale of Two Cities . . . Wanting to Tax the Same Property

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
6 Jun 2014
In a recent appeal, the property owner – a condominium association – filed a tax appeal for its property which straddles the municipal boundaries of South Orange and Maplewood. The condominiums are located on the Maplewood side of the boundary line, and a 1.46 acre parcel containing a driveway, shrubbery, and plantings are located on... Read More