New Law Authorizes NJ Counties to Change Tax Assessment Calendar

In August, Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation into law that authorizes New Jersey counties to alter the real property assessment calendar, provided the relevant county board of taxation approves. The new law (formerly A-538/S2257) specifically allows any county to operate under the alternative real property assessment dates established in the “Real Property Assessment Demonstration Program.” New Law Authorizes NJ Counties to Change Tax Assessment Calendar

Adoption of the revised calendar does not require participation in or adoption of the Real Property Assessment Demonstration Program. Monmouth and Gloucester counties are currently using the revised calendar.

How Does It Work?

When a county board of taxation adopts an alternative real property assessment calendar per the “Real Property Assessment Demonstration Program,” the county tax administrator must forward a copy of that resolution to the county governing body no later than seven business days thereafter.  The county governing body must then consider the board of taxation’s resolution no later than 60 days after receipt.

The county governing body is required to consider the resolution and either adopt the alternative real property assessment calendar by resolution or ordinance, as appropriate, or disapprove it by vote of a majority of its members. The county board of taxation, however, must consult with the county’s association of municipal assessors prior to approving the adoption of that calendar. If approved, implementation begins on the following October 1.

No later than the first day of the second month next following the adoption of the alternative real property assessment calendar, the county must inform the county’s residents, by publication in the official newspaper of the county, of the adoption of the alternative real property assessment calendar, and the effect of the adoption of that calendar on county property taxpayers including, but not limited to, the change in the date for filing an assessment appeal with the county tax board. No later than the next business day following the adoption of the resolution, the county clerk must inform the Director of the Division of Taxation in the Department of Treasury of the governing body’s decision.

Notably, the adoption of that alternative real property assessment calendar is permanent, and the county is not permitted to adopt any other real property assessment calendar.

Key Dates Under the Real Property Assessment Demonstration Program

The chart below sets forth the current statutory dates relative to the individual functions that comprise the real property assessment process, and the dates for those functions under the “Real Property Assessment Demonstration Program.”

Dates Relative to Certification of the Tax List, Assessment Appeals, and the Calculation of Local Tax Rates in Municipalities that adopt the Real Property Assessment Calendar under the “Real Property Assessment Demonstration Program”
Description of Function Current Date Real Property Assessment Demonstration Program
Assessing Date October 1 of pre-tax year October 1 of pre-tax year
Certification of Preliminary Assessment N/A November 1 of pre-tax year
Notification of Assessment Postcards February 1 November 15 of pre-tax year
Assessment Appeal Filing Deadline April 1; May 1 in municipalities wherein revaluation of real property has occurred January 15
Assessment Appeals Heard May, June, and July February, March and April
Tax List Filed January 10 May 5
County Preliminary Equalization March 10 May 15
County Final Equalization March 10 May 25
Municipal Budget to Tax Board March 31 May 15
County Budget to Tax Board April 1 May 15
School Budget to Tax Board May 19 May 15
Certified Tax Rates May 20 May 31
Tax Duplicates June 3 June 3
Tax Bills June 14 June 14

 

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