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Tax Assessor

Tax Assessor: Patrick Wilkins, CTA
Phone: 201-967-5044 ext. 7294             
Office hours: TUESDAY 2:30PM to 5:30PM and by appointment
Email: Tax Assessor
Assistant: Lee Gutschmidt 
Phone: 201-967-5044   ext. 7258
Hours: Monday 9-3, Tuesday 9-4, Thursday 9-2 Wednesday & Friday 9-3


Tax Assesor Schedule Change: Begining 1/4, the Assessor will be in the office on Tuesdays 2:30pm to 5:30pm and by appointment
 
2011 Equalization Ratio: 99.37%  of true market value
2010 Tax Rate: $2.296  per hundred of assessed valuation

The tax rate is not controlled by the tax assessor. The duty of the tax assessor is to ensure that assessments are fair and equitable. If you have questions with regard to the assessment of your property, please contact the assessor’s office and ask for a copy of your Property Record Card.  If there are any inaccuracies in it, you should notify this office ASAP.  If you question the assessed value, I recommend that you bring in any proof of value which you have by way of a recent appraisal, comparable market analysis, or sales of at least three (3) properties. Similar to yours, which has sold between 10/01 to 10/01 of the pretax year.

Patrick Wilkins
Certified Tax Assessor


Tax Appeals

You cannot file an appeal of your taxes. You must show that your assessment is outside the limits of Chapter 123.

A taxpayer who believes that their assessment is inaccurate as of October 1st, of the pretax year (the assessing date) has the right to file an appeal with the Bergen County Board of Taxation on or before April 1st of the tax year. Obtain a Petition of Appeal  from the Bergen County Tax Board,  Administration Building, One Bergen County Plaza, Room 370, Hackensack, NJ 07601, telephone  201-366-6300. It may also be downloaded from the Division of Taxation website however, you MUST complete it, sign the appeal form in both places, and you MUST serve a copy on the Borough Clerk and Tax Assessor when you file your original with the Bergen County Tax Board.  All attachments must be included. Information may be obtained from the Assessment office with regard to finding comparable sales and how to calculate the Chapter 123 ratio to see if you have grounds for an appeal.  When you file your appeal, please ensure a telephone number and email address is on it so that arrangements may be made for an interior inspection of the property. Properties with an assessed value in excess of $1,000,000 may file an appeal directly to the Tax Court. However, property owners are urged to speak with the Tax Assessor prior to filing an appeal. The Assessor represents the Borough in all tax appeals before the Tax Board. Usually appeals filed in the Tax Court of New Jersey require an outside expert appraiser be retained as it involves a lot of extra work and specialization.  http://www.co.bergen.nj.us/taxboard/index.html


Tax Assessment

The Tax Assessor is a quasi-judicial position, a creature of the Legislature, whose authority is statutory and based in the New Jersey Constitution. The Chester Township Tax Assessor holds a Certified Tax Assessor Certificate from the State of New Jersey, Department of the Treasury, Division of Taxation. Although the Tax Assessor is hired and paid by the Municipality, the immediate supervisor of the Tax Assessor is the County Board of Taxation.


The Assessor's Office

The municipal Tax Assessor is responsible for the following activities:

* Location and ownership of all real property in the taxing district; listing and describing property in a manner as prescribed by the Division of Taxation.

* Determining taxable value of all property in the taxing district.

* Equalization via district wide revaluation and maintenance and for purposes of State aid to schools.

* Defense of Appeals – appearances at County Tax Board and State Tax Court.

* Process and review copies of construction permits and valuation for added and omitted assessments and for COAH fees.

* Sub-Divisions – assign block and lot numbers and valuation of newly created lot(s).

* Tax Apportionment and farmland assessment – valuation, review of applications, inspections, in addition to rollback assessments.

* Continuous Review of Property Cards to ensure accuracy.

* Deductions – review for qualification pursuant to NJ State Statutes of Veteran,  widow, senior & disabled.

* Exempt Properties – Every third year reviewing all exempt properties and obtaining updated information to ensure qualification pursuant to State statute.

* Chapter 75 – Assessment notification post cards mailed annually on or before February 1st of the tax year. The notification shows the current year assessment, the taxes paid in the prior year, and appeal information.

Other functions in the assessor’s office are numerous and many including but not limited to updating the tax and sales maps; processing deed changes; updating property record cards; reviewing and updating claims for tax deductions and exemptions; maintaining exempt property, assessments, added and omitted assessment lists; sending out and reviewing Income and Expenses statements to income producing properties; and processing sales ratio data. In addition to which taxpayers, appraisers, attorneys, and others are constantly in and out of the Assessor’s office to discuss assessment issues. Public relations is an integral part of the role of the Tax Assessor. 


Saver Rebate

This property tax relief program was instituted in 1999. Residents who owned and paid taxes on a home used as their principal residence are eligible. There are no age or income requirements. This rebate is applied for via telephone by June 1th, directly with the NJ Division of Taxation. The local assessor's office has no involvement in mailing forms, calculating rebate amounts, or processing claims. Call 1-877-NJTAX72, toll free, for additional information on this program. The rebate amount is based on the effective school tax rate and varies by municipality.


Homestead Rebate

This program is administered by the NJ Division of Taxation through NJ income tax returns (Form HR-1040 and NJ-1040 if required). Homeowners and tenants who pay property taxes on their principal residence in New Jersey, either directly or through rent payments, and whose gross income does not exceed $100,000 (65 or older, or disabled) or $40,000 (all others) are eligible. The rebate range is from $30 to $500.


Property Tax Reimbursement

A program only for those 65 or older or those receiving federal disability benefits. You must have paid property taxes on your principal residence directly or, where applicable, through mobile home park fees. Applicants must be NJ residents for at least 10 years and must have lived in the residence on which the reimbursement is claimed for at least 3 years. There are income limitations. Applicants must meet all requirements for the base and reimbursement years. The reimbursement is equal to the difference between the taxes paid in the reimbursement year and the base year. The program is administered by the NJ Division of Taxation. Filing deadline is March 15th.  It has been extended most years to November 1st but do not count on any extensions – file timely.  Call 1-800-882-6597 for information or to request form PTR-1.


Property Tax Deduction/Credit

A taxable income deduction from annual income taxes is available to all homeowners and tenants for their principal residence and filed as part of the NJ income tax return or on Form HR-1040, if not required to file an income tax return. 


Useful Links

Local  Property Tax Forms

A Short & Simple Glimpse at the Property Tax in NJ

Local Property Taxes & NJ State Government                                                            
Articles courtesy of the New Jersey State League of Municipalities

New Jersey Guide to Tax Appeal Hearings                                                                     
This brochure was developed to assist taxpayers in preparing for tax appeal hearings.

A Brief History of Property Tax
Richard H. Carlson, Director of Valuation for the City of Boston

Municipal Portion of Taxes is a Bargain
Joseph Hartnett, Township Manager, Montclair, NJ
NJ Municipalities Magazine, February 2007

A Piecemeal Approach - The State’s Tendency to Take from th Municipal Tax Pie                                                                                                             
By Joel L. Shain, Esq., League Special Utility Counsel

Rebates & Reimbursement Programs
Information on the 2008 Homeowner Rebate

The Bank of America Homeownership Retention Program for Countrywide Customers                                                                                                                                   
Frequently Asked Questions about the program

Forms of Government: Everything You've Always Wanted to Know, But Were Afraid to Ask
Michael F. Cerra, Senior Legislative Analyst, New Jersey State League of Municipalities
NJ Municipalities Magazine, March 2007

Informational Brochures

The Gloucester County Assessing Pilot: A Closer Look
A Short and Simple Glance at the Property Tax in NJ
A Short History of the New Jersey Property Tax & the Long Road to Reform
Local Property Taxes and New Jersey State Government
How Property is Valued for Property Tax Purposes
NJ Property Tax Benefits
A Guide to Tax Appeal Hearing