In the State of New Jersey, the amount of real estate taxes you pay is based upon the municipality’s assessment of your property. Due to the decline in real estate values, which occurred between 2007 and 2012, several properties have assessments that exceed their fair market values. Alternatively, in towns that have not been re-assessed for several years, an equalization ratio is applied uniformly to the entire municipality, inevitably leaving some properties with assessments that are substantially more than they should be. Regardless of whether the property is over-assessed in a traditional sense, or whether the equalized assessment of the property is more than it should be, property owners are forced to pay more than their fair share of taxes, unless a Tax Appeal is filed.
The Law Office of Michael D. Mirne takes great pride in its high rate of success in reducing Real Estate Tax Assessments. Our office has handled several hundred tax appeals, very often on a contingency fee basis, reducing the assessments for over 80% of our tax appeal clients throughout the State of New Jersey. We have appeared for commercial and residential tax appeals before the State Tax Court, as well as the County Boards of Taxation in eight different counties. Since 2004, our firm has successfully reduced our clients’ tax assessments by more than $45 Million.
Our representative results include $1,500,000 in assessment reductions in Lavallette and over $8,000,000 in assessment reductions in Lakewood. Recently, we were successful in reducing the assessment of a shopping center in Somerset County by more than $2.4 Million. In 2015, we reduced assessments for our clients by more than $5.1 Million.
In 2008, Mr. Mirne became one of a select few attorneys to become certified by the State of New Jersey as a Tax Assessor. His training in appraising and tax assessments makes him a skilled negotiator and zealous advocate in trying tax appeal matters. Mr. Mirne also makes regular appearances before Real Estate and Investment groups, to provide seminars on tax assessments and procedures for appeals.
Most of our clients take advantage of our contingent fee arrangements, in which our fee is based upon a percentage of how much tax we are able to save for the client. Following a successful tax appeal, your assessment generally cannot be raised for a minimum of three years (the year of the appeal plus two additional years). This rule, known as the Freeze Act, is applicable unless the property is improved after the date of valuation or municipality undergoes a revaluation1 or re-assessment prior to the expiration of the 3-year period. Because the amount of real estate tax that you pay is a function of your property value, it is essential that you file a tax appeal if you think the municipality has over-assessed your property.
The appeal process starts with an application to either the County Tax Board or the State Tax Court. For the past several years, most appeals were due on April 1. However, due to recent change in law, most Monmouth County Tax Appeals are now due on January 15. Our firm will handle all filings and appearances before the County Tax Board or State Tax Court. Please contact us at least 3 weeks prior to the filing deadline in order to start the process.
Finally, we are pleased to announce that our firm works with a team of highly qualified appraisers, throughout New Jersey, who will not only prepare your report, but will also testify at your hearing if necessary to ensure that your property receives the proper assessment. Much of our success in winning our tax appeals is attributable to the knowledge and experience of our appraisers. Very often, the reports prepared by our appraisers are so persuasive that we receive settlement offers at the same value as the estimates prepared by our appraisers. Please see our appraiser Bio page (coming soon).
1For Monmouth County residents, please note that an Assessment Demonstration Program is now in effect, and all Monmouth County municipalities are on an annual revaluation procedure. Accordingly, the Freeze Act is generally not applicable to Monmouth County, and similarly, the equalization ratio of a municipality is not a factor in determining the True-Value Assessment for purposes of a Tax Appeal.