CSG Law Alert: Real Estate Property Tax Law – Commercial Property Tax Appeals in 2024: Post-COVID Real Market Warrants Status Review of Your Property Tax Burden

The Impact of the Persistently High Interest Rate Environment and Prevailing Inflation Pressures on Real Estate Values

The 2024 Real Estate Property Tax Appeal filing season is upon us and the residual impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on real estate valuations along with the stubborn persistence of the higher interest rate environment and remaining inflationary trends, make it especially appropriate for you to review your 2024 commercial property tax assessments.

What You Need to Know This Tax Appeal Filing Season

On or before February 1, 2024, the tax assessor for each taxing district issues a postcard “Notice of Assessment” which lists, among other information, the property assessment for 2024. It is important to understand that, unless there has been a district-wide revaluation, “assessed” value is not necessarily the “market value” claimed by the municipality through the assessment. Rather, the municipality must defend the “imputed” or “equalized” value of the property, which reflects the assessments in the district that are a percentage of true market value as judged by the average of all usable sales in the district. This “equalized” value is often higher than the assessment and is the actual value to be analyzed in determining whether the property is fairly assessed.

An appeal of a 2024 assessment must be filed on or before April 1, 2024. All appeals may be made initially to the County Board of Taxation, but if the assessment (not the equalized value) exceeds $1 million, then the appeal must be made directly to the New Jersey Tax Court. Direct appeals to the Tax Court must also be made by April 1, 2024. The only exception to the April deadline is if the municipality has performed a district-wide revaluation or reassessment in which case the deadline is May 1, 2024.

CSG Law’s Real Property Taxation & Incentives Group is poised to address each of these issues, and we welcome the opportunity to evaluate properties for appeal potential at no charge. Our Real Property Taxation & Incentives Group has successfully handled appeals involving regional shopping malls, hotels, casinos, corporate headquarters, office buildings, multi-family apartment buildings and complexes, industrial properties from warehouses to special purpose properties such as chemical plants, power generation plants, oil refineries, breweries, regional reservoirs, and recreational properties such as golf courses and amusement parks. CSG Law’s Real Property Taxation & Incentives Group also vigorously defends “reverse tax appeals.” Tax appeals generally are handled by the firm on a contingency fee arrangement, although other fee arrangements, including application of standard hourly rates, can be utilized.

For more information concerning property tax appeals in the current environment, please contact your CSG Law attorney or one of the authors.