Maplewood Tea Party and I only mean this in a Boston Tea Party way!

By mark-slade February 1, 2012

It’s that time of year where we receive our Property Tax bills.

You have 2 choices, accept it as is, or file an appeal. You can file an appeal on your own or you can consider using a real estate attorney that has a good track record with appeals.

Filing on your own will require you to do some research and/or enlist the help of a local Realtor.

Here is what the Essex County Board of Taxation wants you to know:

Summary of Tax Appeal Forms and Reminders

NOTE: This is NOT a complete listing of all the rules.

In a non-revalued/non-reassessed municipality you must file a tax appeal with the tax board, the municipal tax assessor and the municipal clerk by April 1st. In a revalued/reassessed district you must file a tax appeal with the tax board, the municipal tax assessor and the municipal clerk by May 1st.

Your assessment is assumed to be correct. The burden of proof is on the taxpayer. The valuation date for an appeal is October 1st of the pre-tax year. Example: an appeal of a 2012 assessment has a valuation date of October 1, 2011.

You cannot appeal the amount of taxes paid or a change in your taxes.

You cannot utilize the assessment of other properties as comparables to justify a change in assessment.

You must use 3-5 comparables sales as of October 1st of the pre-tax year as evidence. Example: as of October 1, 2011 for the 2012 tax year. A comparable sale must be similar to your property in style, size and location. Comparables sales that have occurred after October 1st of the pre-tax year may be used as corrobative evidence not direct evidence of value.

The sale of the subject property may not be conclusive proof of value. You should also have other evidence, such as comparable sales.

Comparable sales must be arms length transactions. No sales that occurred under duress such as foreclosure or short sales will be considered as evidence of market value.

In order for your appeal to be heard, all taxes & municipal charges (water & sewer) must be paid through the 1st quarter of the current year under appeal.

If an appraisal is to be used as evidence the appraiser must be present to testify. No appraisal(s) that were performed for refinance or mortgage purposes will be considered.

Any evidence of value must be submitted at least 7 days prior to your hearng date to both the assessor (1 copy) and the county tax board (1 copy). If your case is adjourned (for any reason) any evidence of value must be submitted 7 days prior to your original hearing date.

Filing Fees run from $5.00 to $25.00 to $100.00 in most cases.

Here is the form:

Tax Appeal Form

If you want to hire an attorney, i recommend you watch this video from local attorney Jim Foerst: Video

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call me, Mark Slade @ 917.797.5059 or email me at

Mark Slade
Keller Williams