From the NYT the local Blog:
Property taxes in New Jersey are the highest in the nation by percent of a homeowner’s income and by just about any other measure.
In my 23 years of living in two different houses in South Orange, I have lodged a total of five tax appeals. I succeeded in the first four and believe I will succeed in the fifth, which I just argued on
July 14 in East Orange at the Essex County Board of Taxation [.pdf].
In essence, if I prove that my house is grossly overvalued compared to comparable sales before October 1, 2008, then I will save a hefty amount on the taxes I pay for tax year 2009.
The very fact that I have had meritorious grounds to file five appeals tells me that the tax system is not really “fair “ and “equalized,” even though government officials and appraisal company representatives might intend it to be.
I have seen entire blocks that were under-assessed. I have also seen houses that were over-assessed, where year after year the government collected substantially more revenue than it would have received had the homeowner challenged the assessment.
As a self-taught participant in the tax appeal system I have learned that the bigger question underlying this system is: Is this the fairest and best way to raise money for our state and local governments? This political hot potato has been tossed back and forth in New Jersey without resolution.