New Jersey Property Taxes
Overview of New Jersey Property Taxes
Property taxes in New Jersey, as is the case with most states, are entirely used to fund local government operations. The state and its local governments collect an annual total revenue of $99.9 billion. Of that, $29 billion is from property taxes or 29.4% of total revenue. The fact that New Jersey property taxes make up a significant percentage of the total revenue collected is indicative of high property tax rates. Subsequently, the New Jersey property tax rates are the highest in the country. In some cities/municipalities, the rate is twice as high as the national average of 1.06%.
On average, homes in the Garden State are worth $370,778. The average homeowner in the state pays 2.10% of their home value every year in property taxes or $21.04 for every $1,000 in home value. The amount of New Jersey property taxes every homeowner pays is determined by their home's value and the tax rates set by the local taxing authorities. Homeowners across the 565 municipalities in the Garden State are assessed every year to determine their home's value. The assessment techniques vary across the state, which can lead to undervaluing or overvaluation of property. To offset this potential imbalance, The New Jersey Division of Taxation applies an equalizing ratio to ensure every homeowner pays their fair share of New Jersey property taxes.
The New Jersey property tax rates are determined by local governments, including municipalities, counties, and school districts. The rates vary across the state depending on the budgetary needs of specific districts. To calculate the tax rate, the local taxing authorities will determine the amount they need to raise through property taxes and then divide the amount with the total assessed value of the properties within their jurisdiction. Homeowners who feel their homes have been overvalued can appeal their property taxes. However, the appeal applies to the assessed value, not the tax rates.
If you are planning to buy a home in New Jersey and want to understand how much your property tax bill could potentially cost, check out our New Jersey Property Tax Tool to see what your bill would be.
New Jersey Property Tax Due Dates
Homeowners in New Jersey are assessed annually on October 1st, which is when their property's value is determined. Your New Jersey property tax bill is mailed once a year in July. But when are property taxes due in New Jersey? The state allows residents to pay property tax in four installments due by February 1st, May 1st, August 1st, and November 1st. Note that failure to receive a tax bill doesn't exempt you from the obligation of paying your property taxes in time.
The state of New Jersey grants homeowners a 10-day grace period in which they should pay their property taxes. Failure to comply with the New Jersey property tax due dates and the subsequent grace period results in interest at a rate of 8% per year on the first $1,500 and 18% per year for any other amount exceeding $1,500, backdated to the first day of the month. Delinquent taxes above $10,000 that remain unpaid at the end of the fiscal year attract a penalty of 6%. Additionally, New Jersey property taxes that remain unpaid by the 11th month of the current financial year are subjected to a Tax Sale where the homeowner can potentially lose their home.
You can pay your New Jersey property taxes via mail, online, or in person at any of your local tax collector's offices during business hours. Additionally, you can pay using bill pay from your bank. The payments must include proper identification like block, lot, and qualifier. Payments without the required identification can be returned, increasing your chances of late payment. You can use TaxProper's search tool to determine if you are overpaying your New Jersey property taxes.
New Jersey Property Tax Exemptions
Apart from offering taxpayers an option to appeal property taxes if wrongly assessed, the state of New Jersey also provides several exemptions to eligible homeowners. The most common are senior and homestead exemptions. Those who qualify can reduce their New Jersey property tax burden. However, homeowners eligible for these exemptions are still subject to the New Jersey property tax due dates.
New Jersey Homestead Exemption
In New Jersey, the homestead exemption is known as the Homestead Benefit Program. This benefit comes in the form of a credit distributed to your local taxing authority, reducing your New Jersey property taxes. To qualify for this tax relief, you must be using the home as your primary residence, be a New Jersey resident, and meet the state's income requirements. If you are not a homeowner by October 1st, then you do not qualify for this benefit.
New Jersey Senior Citizens Exemption
The senior exemption or the Senior Freeze (Property Tax Reimbursement) reimburses qualifying homeowners for increases in New Jersey property taxes for their primary residence. Eligible homeowners must be 65 years old or older, have lived in New Jersey continuously since December 31st, 2008, and have a total annual income not exceeding $91,505. Note that you are not eligible for this exemption for your vacation or second home.
Other New Jersey property tax exemptions include the 100% Disabled Veteran Property Tax Exemption for war veterans disabled during active duty service. Eligible homeowners must have been honorably discharged, have active-duty military service in the United States Armed Forces, be a New Jersey resident, and use their home as their primary residence. More information regarding these and more exemptions can be obtained from the New Jersey Division of Taxation's website.
How to Appeal Your Property Taxes in New Jersey
The state of New Jersey allows homeowners who feel that they have been wrongly assessed to appeal and potentially lower their New Jersey property taxes. If you wish to contest your home's assessment, you are required to raise the issue with your local Assessor. If no agreement is reached with the Assessor's Office, you can file an official appeal with your County Board of Taxation. The appeal must be filed on or before April 1st or within 45 days of receiving your Assessment Notice.
The process of filing an assessment appeal varies across New Jersey, though it generally follows the same steps from county to county:
- Obtain your assessment
- Determine if you are overassessed
- Complete forms needed to appeal
- File property tax appeal
- Prepare for hearing
- Attend hearing
- Appeal the decision
How to Appeal Your Property Taxes in Bergen County
To demonstrate how to appeal your property taxes in New Jersey, here is a breakdown of the process in Bergen County, the most populous county in New Jersey.
Obtain your assessment
Bergen County residents can obtain their assessment details from their Assessment Notice or the Municipal Tax Assessors/Collectors office.
Determine if you are over-assessed
To successfully appeal, you are required to prove that your home's valuation is below the Assessor's. TaxProper has a search tool that can help you check out similar properties and establish their market value. Alternatively, you can use other websites, like Zillow, for a similar purpose.
Complete forms needed to appeal
File property tax appeal
Assessment appeal applications in Bergen County can be filed with the Bergen County Board of Taxation. Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, homeowners are advised to use the online filing option.
Prepare for hearing
Preparing for a hearing includes collecting compelling evidence showing the Assessor overvalued your property for purposes of taxation. The evidence should show that if your property were to be sold, it would be bought for less than the Assessor's valuation. Evidence can include oral testimony from an expert employed as a real estate appraiser, photos of your property, and comparable sales. As the appellant, the burden of proof lies with you. The evidence must be submitted to the Assessor and Tax Board at least seven days before the hearing.
The Bergen County Board of Taxation requires you to attend the appeal hearing or be represented by an attorney. If you miss the hearing without a written notice of postponement, your case will be dismissed for lack of prosecution.
Appeal the decision
If you are not satisfied with the decision made by the Bergen County Board of Taxation, you can appeal to the Tax Court of New Jersey within 45 days of receiving the Board's judgment.
Property Tax Information for New Jersey Counties
The table below provides county-level information about how property taxes work in each New Jersey county.
Want to learn more? Click the county links to learn more about a specific New Jersey county.
|County||Average Home Value||Average Tax Bill||Bill per $1,000|
|Cape May County||$399,233||$4,438||$11.10|