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5 Ways to lower your Property Taxes in New Jersey

Joseph Franks
5 Ways to lower your Property Taxes in New Jersey

When it comes to property taxes, most landlords will complain about being charged too much for something that already cost them a fortune with mortgage and interest rates. Property tax refers to money you pay for owning real estate; the amount is determined by designated government agencies after they assess the market value of a property. Property tax revenue is typically used to fund municipal projects and services, including public recreation, education, healthcare, and security. Property taxes tend to be burdensome for homeowners, regardless of the fact that they ultimately benefit their community.

For starters, property taxes are raised noticeably over time and they don’t stop even after a mortgage has been paid off. The universal truth is that there’s no escape from property taxes as long as you have real estate in your name. However, Property Tax Lawyer in Fairfield, NJ, reveals that there are a number of basic strategies that can be applied to reduce your property tax bill.

1. Request and Review your Property Tax Card

The town hall is where you'll find your property tax card and you can obtain a copy from the local tax assessor's office. The property tax card contains information that the town’s administration has gathered on your real estate from time to time. General data on the property tax card includes lot size, room proportions, and any additional changes to the original construction over time. Once you receive a copy, carefully examine the details on the card. If you notice any mistakes or inconsistencies, immediately bring them to the attention of the tax assessor. They may result in quick adjustments of the imposed tax or arrangement for a re-evaluation of property.

2. Accompany the Assessor during Property Evaluation

It is wise to accompany the tax assessor while they tour your real estate and scrutinize its aspects. It is not uncommon of property evaluators to miss out on major shortcomings and only focus on some flashy details. When you walk with them, you can point out strengths and weaknesses to provide them with the full picture. Remember that you are not obligated to let the tax assessor enter your house, but refusing access has its consequences. The assessor would assume that you have renovated or remodeled the property, and shall thereby levy a heavy tax bill.

3. Equip your Property with a Low Profile

First impressions matter, though a very good one might not be ideal in relation to property taxes. During the appraisal, tax assessors adhere to a set of rules to establish the value of a home. Real estate that lacks in physical appeal is given a lower score as opposed to well-maintained and groomed houses; a lower score translates to lesser tax. It is recommended to resist the urge to spruce up your curb/home exterior right before the inspection.

4. Refrain from Structural modifications and add-ons

Alteration to the overall construction and/or interior designing of a house always results in a tax raise. Big and permanent changes to a property, such as installation of a deck or pool, can raise its value substantially. Moreover, any interior upgrades, such as new countertops, flooring, or sanitary fittings will also be deemed as physical improvement. If you are planning a renovation or remodel of the house, you should estimate increase in taxes before initiating the project; local builders and tax agencies can help you out with that.

5. Seek local Tax Exemptions

A local property tax attorney can guide you regarding available tax exemptions and determine your eligibility. You may avail certain tax benefits offered by your state or municipality, especially if you fall under any of the following categories:

  • Senior (aged 65 and above)
  • Veteran (served in military)
  • Disabled/Incapacitated
  • Agricultural land
Joseph Franks
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