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Tax Assessor

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Tax Assessor's Office:
Craig Brotons  Phone: (908) 454-5500, Ext. 306
Office Hours:   Monday-Friday 8am - 4:30 pm

The Tax Assessor sets the value of property for taxing purposes. This office also maintains records of property size and improvements, as well as state allowed deductions for senior citizens and war veterans.

For Information on Tax Assessments, Tax Appeals, Senior and Veterans Deductions, or Other General Information Regarding the Assessment of Property, Please Call: (908) 454-5500 ext. 306.

You and Your Assessment

As with almost everything, inflation also causes local government, county government, and school costs to rise.

The tax rate on your bill is determined by the County Board of Taxation based on budgets submitted by the municipality, county and schools, and the total assessed value of the municipality.

With changes in budgets, tax rates, and assessments all affecting the tax you pay, the key to your Real Estate Tax is the bottom line of any budget: "Amount to be raised by Taxation".

Presently, state school aid, part of which comes from the State Income Tax, is based on equalized valuation of assessments.

Deductions

If you are a qualified Veteran, Widow of a Veteran, Senior Citizen, Disabled Person, or Surviving Spouse, you may be eligible for deductions which reduce your property tax liability. Two-Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250) may be deducted in the calendar year 2004 (see note below) from taxes due on the real or personal property of qualified war veterans, or their surviving spouses (widows/widowers). Under certain conditions, combined deductions may be allowed, i.e.: Vets and Senior Citizens. Requirements are as follows:


 

 


Veterans & Widows of Veterans
VETERAN - Owner of property and citizen and resident of New Jersey as of October 1 of the pre-tax year, honorable discharge or release. Active service in time of war during one of the following periods:
Mission or Operation
Time Period Served
Joint Guard*
12/20/96 - Ongoing
Joint Endeavor*
11/20/95-12/20/96
Restore Hope*
12/5/92-3/31/94
Desert Shield/Storm Shield*
8/2/90 - Ongoing
Panama Peacekeeping Mission*
12/20/89 - 1/31/90
Lebanon Peacekeeping Mission *
9/26/82 - 12/1/87
Grenada Peacekeeping Mission*
10/23/83 - 11/21/83
Vietnam Conflict*
12/31/60 - 5/7/75
Lebanon Crisis of 1958*
7/1/58 - 11/1/58
Korean Conflict
6/23/50 - 1/31/55
World War II **
9/16/40 - 12/31/46
World War I
4/6/17 - 11/11/18
*With respect to the recent peacekeeping missions, a claimant must have actually served within a respective combat zone for a period of 14 days, continuously, or in the aggregate, unless receiving a service incurred injury within the combat zone.
**Includes Merchant Seamen

Property Tax Reimbursement for Seniors


On October 30, 2001, Acting Governor Donald T. DiFransesco signed legislation (P.L. 2001, c.251) increasing income limits for the Property Tax Reimbursement (PTR) Program. The PTR program reimburses qualified senior citizens and disabled persons for property tax increases they incur each year.

To receive the reimbursement, an applicant must satisfy all eligibility requirements for two years in a row. The legislation changes the income limits beginning with applications filed for the tax year 2001 and applies to the income limits for the tax years 2000, 2001 and thereafter.

For residents applying for a reimbursement for the tax year 2002, the total amount of income must be less than:

For 2001: $38,475 if single, or $47,177 (combined income) if married, and
For 2002: $39,475 if single, or $48,404 (combined income) if married

The legislation does not apply to applications filed for tax year 2000. Therefore, an individual who was not eligible for the 2000 PTR because their income was above the previous income limits cannot amend their 2000 application.

Property Tax Reimbursement Applications for tax year 2003 will be available in March 2004.
UPDATE: 2004 Property Tax Reimbursement Deadline Extended.
A New Jersey resident who is receiving a homestead rebate, property tax deduction/credit and/or NJ SAVER rebate is also entitled to the Property Tax Reimbursement if he or she meets all the eligibility requirements.

Eligibility:

 

If you did not receive a 2002 property tax reimbursement, you must meet all the following requirements to qualify for a 2003 reimbursement:
You must have been age 65 or older or receiving Federal Social Security disability benefits as of 12/31/02 (if disabled, you continued to receive benefits through 12/31/03); and

You must have owned and lived in your home (or have leased a site in a mobile home park on which you have placed a manufactured or mobile home that you own) since before 1/01/00;and

You must have lived in New Jersey continuously since before 01/01/93, as either a homeowner or a renter; and

For 2002 you must have had total annual income of less than $38,475 if single or, if married, have total annual income combined with spouse of less than $48,404; and

 


For 2003 you must have had total annual income of less than $40,028 if single or, if married, have total annual income combined with spouse of less than $ ;(figures not yet available) and

For both 2002 and 2003 you must have paid the full amount of property taxes due on your home.

If you received a 1999 property tax reimbursement that means you met all the income and residency requirements, paid the full amount of property taxes for the base year and for each succeeding year. (Your base year is 1998 if you received a reimbursement check for the first time for 1999. If you received reimbursement checks for both 1998 and 1999, your base year is 1997).

If your residence is in a multiple-unit building that you owned, and the building has more than four units, you are not eligible for a Property Tax Reimbursement. You are also not eligible if the building has four units or less but more than one commercial unit.

Definitions:
Property tax is the amount due and paid in any year on a homestead before subtracting any deductions or reimbursements; not including special assessments, interest and penalties for delinquent taxes. For mobile home owners it means 18% of the annual site fee paid to the owner of a mobile home park. Any amounts received as a homestead rebate, NJ SAVER rebate or property tax credit is not to be taken into account when determining property tax due & paid.

Base year is the first year the applicant meets all the eligibility requirements. For a resident who first became eligible between January 1, 1997 and December 31, 1997, the base year is 1997. For an applicant who first became eligible after December 31, 1997, the year in which he or she becomes eligible will be the base year.

Property Tax Reimbursement is the payment of the difference between the amount of property taxes due and paid in the base year (i.e., 1997 or the year the applicant first met all the eligibility requirements) and the property tax in any other subsequent year, if the latter amount is higher.

Homestead must be the claimant's principal residence (actually and continually occupied as his or her permanent residence) which constitutes the claimant's domicile and can be:

A dwelling house and the land on which it is located that is owned by the claimant;

A site in a mobile home park equipped for installation of mobile homes;

A dwelling house owned by the claimant which is on land owned by someone else;

A condo unit or a unit in a horizontal property regime or a continuing care retirement community which is owned by the claimant; or

A unit in a co-op or mutual housing corporation occupied by a claimant who is a residential shareholder or lessee therein, or by a lessee or shareholder who is not a residential shareholder.

 

How to Claim the Property Tax Reimbursement

Personalized applications (Form PTR-2) have been mailed to individuals who filed for and received a 2001 reimbursement. This form is preprinted with some of the information provided on an applicant's base year application to make filing easier. These filers will only have to provide their 2002 income and property tax information. Anyone who received a 2001 reimbursement check and who has not received their Form PTR-2 personalized application by February 1, 2003, may call the Property Tax Reimbursement Hotline (1-800-882-6597).

Eligible residents who did not receive a 2001 reimbursement can apply for a 2002 reimbursement by completing and filing Form PTR-1. A copy of their 2001 and 2002 property tax bills and proof of payment must be submitted with their application. Mobile home owners must enclose documentation of annual site fees due and paid.

Applicants who cannot locate their property tax bills or proof of the amount of property taxes (or mobile home site fees) paid may submit a verification form which has been completed and verified by their tax collector or the owner or manager of their mobile home park. Applicants filing Form PTR-1 will use the verification Form PTR-1A (homeowners) or PTR-1B (mobile homeowners). Applicants filing Form PTR-2 will use the verification Form PTR-2A or PTR-2B.

Income Standards
All income, from whatever source derived, is considered in determining eligibility for the purposes of the Property Tax Reimbursement. Jointly owned income sources will be allocated according to degree of ownership.

All income, taxable and nontaxable, is to be included.
Examples of possible sources of income (gross amounts unless otherwise noted) are as follows:

       
Salaries

Wages

Bonuses

Commissions

Fees

Dividends

Interest (taxable and nontaxable)

Capital gains (net)

Rental income (net)

Royalties
Disability benefits

Bequests

Support payments

Unemployment benefits;

Pensions (including Social Security)

Annuities (contributory and noncontributory)

Retirement benefits including distribution from

Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs)

Business income (net)

Fair market value of prizes and awards

 


 

 

Sources of income which are excluded in considering eligibility for the Property Tax Reimbursement are as follows:

Benefit amounts received under the New Jersey State Lifeline Credit Program/Tenants Lifeline Assistance Program

Benefits received as New Jersey Homestead Rebates or NJ SAVER Rebates

Proceeds from spouse's life insurance

Capital gains on the sale of a principal residence after May 6, 1997 of up to $250,000 if single, and up to $500,000 if married. Capital gains in excess of the allowable exclusion must be included in income. (Capital gains and the exclusion of all or part of the gain on the sale of a principal residence are computed in the same manner for both Federal and State income tax purposes.)
Stipends from the Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) and Foster Grandparents programs

Agent Orange payments

Reparation payments to Japanese Americans by the Federal Government pursuant to Sections 105 and 106 of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, PL 100-383 (50 U.S.C. App. 1989b-4 and 1989b-5)

Amounts paid as reparations or restitution to Nazi Holocaust victims pursuant to PL 1998, c.113.

 

Tax Appeals

In New Jersey, the specific remedy for property tax complaints is by appeal of the property's assessment to the County Tax Board and the various courts.
Appeals must be filed on or before April 1 of the tax year or within 45 days of issuance of a Notice of Change in Assessment with the County Board of Taxation. The following appeals forms are available:

Petition of Appeal: Click here to download: PDF File

 

Added/Omitted Petition of Appeal: Click here to download: PDF File

 

 

These forms can also be obtained from the county tax boards located in most county office buildings.

If the property's assessed valuation is greater than $750,000 the taxpayer or taxing district may file a petition of appeal called Form of Complaint with the Tax Court by April 1 of the tax year.

If you are dissatisfied with the judgment of the County Board of Taxation you may file an Appeal with the Tax Court within 45 days of date of final judgment.

Appeals from the Tax Court judgments may be carried to Superior Court, Appellate Division within 45 days.

Mailing Address:
Tax Court of New Jersey
P0 Box-972
Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0972
Telephone Number: (609) 292-5082

Warren County Board of Taxation
Melissa Pritchett, CTA
Cummins Building,
Belvidere NJ 07823
Telephone: 908-475-6229

Enjoy Your Property - Maintain It! On a normally maintained property, the following improvements may not bring an increase in the individual assessment: Painting, Landscaping, Minor Repairs, Decoration

The following items may affect the assessed value: Conversion of attic, basement, garage, or porch into living area; Installation of bath or powder room, Central Heating/AC, Fireplace, Porch or Patio, Additions, Garages and other structures, In Ground Swimming Pools, Siding.
Be sure to check with the Construction Code Official (Kevin Duddy) for Code and Permit Requirements (908) 454- 5500, Ext. 340

Some Things for you to Remember...
• Your Collector can answer questions about tax collection - The Assessor about assessments
• The Assessor cannot legally collect Tax Money
• Tax payments may be made to the Tax Collector by mail, following the instructions on your tax bill, or in person at the Municipal Building
• Interest is required to be charged on late payments of taxes
• When you are issued a Building Permit, you may expect visits from both the Assessor and the Construction Code Official as their duties require
• Improvements as noted under "Enjoy Your Property" may be subject to added Assessment which begins the 1st of the month following substantial completion, occupancy, or use. The Added Assessment list is submitted to the County Board on October 1st and the tax thereon is due in full November 1st of the same year. If you wish to demolish an old building, consider its tax cost and usefulness before you tear it down. Remember that any building standing as of October 1st of the pre-tax year may be taxable for the entire following year. Also, a demolition permit is required from the Construction Code Official. This also applies to swimming pools.

 

Property Tax Exempt/Appeal Forms and Related Links

New Jersey Division of Taxation
New Jersey Tax Forms
Under New Jersey Tax Forms, scroll down to "Local Property Tax Forms"

 

 

Senior Deductions Form Supplement Click here to download: PDF File

 

 

Supplemental Form for Peacekeeping Missions Click here to download: PDF File

 

 

Warren County Board of Taxation:

Click below to download the Warren County Board of Taxation Instructions for Filing Petition of Appeal. The actual Petition of Appeal can be obtained from the Tax Assessor's Office.

Warren County Board of Taxation Instructions for Filing Petition of Appeal
PDF File

 

Important State Phone Numbers

Tax Hotline (609)588-2200
Automated Tax Info (800)323-4400
(609)588-2525
Speaker Programs (609)984-4101
NJ Tax Fax (609)588-4500
Local Property Tax (609)292-5033
Public Utility Tax (609)633-2576

 

       

Additional Forms

Tax Assessor