Have you heard anyone asking lately, “Are my taxes going to increase?” or “Why is a Mountainside Revaluation happening now?”
The State of NJ has mandated certain towns to complete a revaluation and Mountainside was one of them. The last revaluation occurred more than 25 years ago. This is the reason why the assessment on your tax bill is so much lower than the actual current value of your home.
The purpose of the revaluation is not for the municipality to collect more revenue as many people may think. The reason is to apportion the tax burden fairly among property owners based on the fair market value.
Mountainside is currently working with a third party named Appraisal Systems who likely inspected the properties already. They are working with the assessor to determine the new property assessments.
Once the Mountainside revaluation occurs, the town’s ratio* will be reset at 100%. There will be no calculation necessary to determine what the town believes to be your fair market value*. The new assessment* will be it.
Size = 4.09 sq miles
Population = approximately 7,000 people
Households = 2,468
If you believe the new assessment is too high, you can appeal that value. Ordinarily there is a law called Chapter 123 where the market value would need to prove lower than 15% of the assessed value in order to qualify for an appeal. In a year of a revaluation only however, this does not apply as the ratio is at 100%. Therefore, if you think your home is worth only 7% (for example) lower than the new assessed value, you can file an appeal.
There are some important dates to note. The first is the window to file an appeal: January 1 to April 1. On a revaluation year, the deadline may be extended to May 1. For example, last year Westfield was extended to May 1, however there are fewer homes in Mountainside and the deadline may remain at April 1. The effective date of valuation for each property is October 1, 2019. It is ideal to use comparable sales that have sold close to that date and not after it to determine the fair market value.
Don’t compare your taxes to your neighbors. That’s not how the process works and you will not get any results that way. You need to prove a fair market value below the new assessed value using the best comparable sales available. To get the best results for a Mountainside tax appeal, hire an expert appraiser such as American Realty Appraisals. We have expertise at hearings in Union County and know the market well.
If you are successful in the tax appeal, the town will credit the difference between the overage you paid in quarters 1 and 2 of 2020. The quarterly tax bill will go back to being averaged out over the four quarters for 2021 with the lowered tax amount.
There are some smart realtors who have noted on their listing comments – taxes subject to change. I have seen properties that have been under assessed and show low taxes. This is likely to change and could significantly affect your monthly payment.
As a current resident in this area and someone who has lived (Scotch Plains, Westfield) and worked in this area since 2005, my track record of winning tax appeals is strong. We have saved our clients hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual residential real estate taxes. We have experience appealing against Appraisal Systems in the past in towns such as Millburn and South Orange and understand their process. Let us know if we can help to lower your real estate taxes.
Market value – The current value of your home if it were on the open market in a transaction between a willing buyer and seller not under duress.
Assessed value – The value given for a particular property from the township as of the last township valuation. This number is typically broken down with a land and improvement value and is used to determine property taxes.
Ratio –The township uses an average ratio which is a fractional relationship to the assessed value to calculate what they believe to be the property’s true market value. This number changes on an annual basis.
Evan from American Realty Appraisals came out to our home last spring to conduct a home appraisal in support of our property tax appeal. He arrived promptly at the agreed time, was very professional and conducted a thorough walk through. We were very satisfied with the results of his appraisal - they were well-researched and accurately captured the features of the home. His appraisal proved to be a crucial element in a very successful tax appeal. I would gladly recommend his services to others.
I was extremely pleased in my experience with American Realty Appraisals. Evan was very knowledgeable and was happy to answer any questions I had. His appraisal was useful in our being able to successfully appeal our taxes. It was worth every penny. He also shared some suggestions on how to shore up insulation efficiency around the house. 5 Star service. thanks!
Evan was extremely helpful in our obtaining a favorable result from our tax appeal and I highly recommend his services
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Prepared the documents to submit for a tax appeal and accompanied me to the tax appeal hearing to present my case. I have used American Realty Appraisals twice and have won my tax appeal each time.
I was appealing my real estate taxes and American Reality did an appraisal on my home. The appraisal went well and as a result the tax appeal was successful and our real estate taxes were lowered.
I was ignoring go through Tax appeal process because I thought it was so cumbersome with very little chance of winning. In this process, I used Evan for a tax appeal. Not only we won but it was very easy and simple process between him and the lawyer. I highly recommend to use Evan, he knows what he is doing!
The tax appeal through you and Lisa Walsh was successful, and you may use me as a reference any time in the future
Evan was great. He was instrumental in helping me to appropriately lower my taxes via an accurate appraisal. I highly recommend his services to anyone in need of an appraisal in NJ.
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Before I went to list my home, I hired Evan at American Realty Appraisals. I wanted an unbiased opinion of what my home was worth. He provided a thorough report that gave me piece of mind and a leg to stand on when it comes time to negotiate. I was also pleased with how fast he turned the report around after the inspection.
I am an attorney in Westfield and I refer all of my clients to American Realty Appraisals. I have worked closely with Evan Siegel for the past two years and I have been impressed with his professionalism, integrity and expertise as an appraiser. Relying on his appraisals, I have been able to negotiate property tax reductions for numerous clients in Union County. I highly recommend American Realty Appraisals for all of your residential real estate appraisal needs.
ARA did a great job of handling my tax appeal. The guidance was spot on and the staff, specifically, Evan Siegel, was professional and knowledgeable. The outcome was excellent and I'm saving a good amount of money on my real estate taxes. Thanks ARA!!
I used Evan for a tax appeal project. It was a seamless operation between him and the lawyer. Zero blips, and we won.
Mr. Siegel performed an appraisal for my home for tax appeal purposes. He was very professional and helped me lower my taxes by 17%. I am quite satisfied with his work.
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