FREEHOLD, NJ –County property owners whose property suffered “material damage” as a direct result of Super storm Sandy may qualify for a reduction of their property assessment for 2013.
“Unfortunately, many residents have been severely impacted by this storm and have suffered great damage to their homes and properties,” said Freeholder Gary J. Rich, Sr., liaison to the Monmouth County Tax Board. “I encourage property owners who have suffered damages to take advantage of this opportunity for a tax assessment adjustment and contact their assessor or submit an inspection request on the County website’s Disaster Recovery Portal as soon as possible, but no later than Jan. 10, 2013.”
Normally, all properties are valued in the condition in which they existed on Oct. 1 of the pre-tax year, or as of Oct. 1, 2012, for the upcoming 2013 tax year. An exception to this law applies when a property suffers “material damage” such as a major fire or other significant damage after Oct. 1 and before Jan. 1. In such circumstances, the property owner would be required to notify the tax assessor of their town in writing, prior to Jan. 10, 2013, in order to receive an assessment adjustment.
However, in the case of Super storm Sandy, the State of New Jersey has given assessors instructions to actively seek out property owners who may have difficulty providing this notice due to hardship associated with the storm.
While written notice is still required, the local assessor, with the aid of a temporary inspection staff authorized by the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Commissioners of the Monmouth County Board of Taxation, will identify eligible properties and, after examination, apply an adjustment for those properties which have been extensively damaged, left uninhabitable or totally destroyed. This is being done in recognition of the extreme hardship placed upon some property owners who have lost their homes or temporarily are unable to occupy their homes.
It is important for a property owner who has suffered significant damage to write or email the municipal assessor with specific information that includes property owners name, address, block and lot numbers and the existence of damages suffered due to this storm.
“This request should be made as soon as possible, but no later than Jan. 10, 2013. To aid taxpayers in this process Monmouth County has established a Disaster Recovery Portal where taxpayers may submit their request for inspection. The website is found on the County’s Open Public Records website: http://oprs.co.monmouth.nj.us/oprs/index.aspx
If you will complete repairs by Jan. 1, 2013, you do not need to contact the assessor, as no adjustment should be made under such a circumstance. However, if you will continue to have a significantly damaged property beyond Jan. 1, you should submit notice to your assessor. Residents should bear in mind that any property receiving a damage adjustment will be subject to an added assessment once the repairs are completed.
If you have any questions on this issue, you may contact your local tax assessor at your municipal offices. You also may contact the office of the Monmouth County Tax Board at 732-431-7401.
John E. Butow, CTA, SCRREA
City of Long Branch
Long Branch, NJ 07740