Borough of Somerville Tax Appeals Must Be Filed By May 1, 2011
The Somerset County Board of Taxation reminds residents of the upcoming deadlines for tax-assessment appeals.
In the following towns that have had recent revaluations or reassessments, the appeal must be filed by May 1: Bedminster Township, Bernards Township, Bernardsville Borough, Branchburg Township, Bridgewater Township, Far Hills Borough, Franklin Township, Hillsborough Township, Millstone Borough, Peapack/Gladstone Borough, Rocky Hill Borough, Somerville Borough, Warren Township and Watchung Borough.
The appeal must not only be filed with the Somerset County Board of Taxation, but also with the local municipal tax assessor by the filing deadline.
The Borough of Somerville Tax Assessor is Frank J. Betts and can be reached at (908) 725-2300 ext. 1970 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Tax Assessor’s office is open Wednesday from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM.
At the appeal hearing before the County Tax Board, the municipality will be represented by an attorney and the person appealing the assessment can either do so “pro se” – on his or her own – or be represented by an attorney.
The assessment of the tax assessor is legally presumed to be correct and that presumption of correctness must be overcome by any taxpayer appealing an assessment.
“At any hearing before the County Tax Board, the burden of proof is on the taxpayer,” said Somerset County Tax Board President John M. Lore, a Green Brook attorney. “Therefore, at the hearing the taxpayer will have to proceed first to present credible evidence to contradict the assessment placed on the property by the tax assessor.”
In such a presentation, he said, the taxpayer may only use sales of other comparable properties which have occurred between October 1, 2009 and October 1, 2010.
“Taxpayers must understand that they are appealing their real estate assessment and not their real estate taxes,” Lore noted. “Obviously, the amount of the assessment may also have an impact on the taxes but it must be understood that the taxes are the result of the local budgetary process.”
Taxpayers who are dissatisfied with the assessment of their property should file an appeal with the County Tax Board and then attempt to talk to the municipal assessor about a possible amicable resolution of the appeal.
For more detailed information about the tax appeal process, visit the Board of Taxation’s website at http://www.co.somerset.nj.us/division/taxboard.html