On May 28, 2020, Governor Phillip Murphy signed P.L. 2020, c. 35 into law. This law extends the filing deadline for property tax appeals at the county boards of taxation in counties operating under the “traditional” assessment calendar from April 1, 2020 (May 1, 2020 for municipalities undergoing a revaluation or reassessment) to July 1, 2020. County boards of taxation operating under that calendar will have until September 30, 2020 to render decisions on the appeals before them.
Previously, New Jersey Supreme Court Chief Justice Rabner issued an order on March 19, 2020 extending property tax appeals to the later of May 1, 2020 or 30 days following the Governor’s determination that the state of emergency under Executive Order 103 has ended. This applied to both the County Tax Board and the State Tax Court.
Generally speaking, property tax appeals originate at the County Board of Taxation for an initial determination. Should a taxpayer be dissatisfied with the result at the County level, they may appeal to the State Tax Court for a determination by a Tax Court Judge.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many matters docketed at the State Tax Court did indeed stall. The pandemic has placed great strains on the courts across the State. At this time, all courts are closed for personal appearances. However, in many instances, various proceedings have been conducted through virtual mediums. Although this is not perfect, it is allowing matters to proceed that are able to do so. Various Courts across the State are moving towards virtual proceedings to conduct hearings for tax appeals. However, each court follows its own procedures, which vary significantly.
The extension of the Tax Appeal deadline is important for both taxpayers and the governing body of municipalities to know because it affects the rights and obligations of each party in either prosecuting an appeal or defending one.
Jonathan E. McMeen, Esq., an associate with the firm,handles tax matters. Should you have any questions concerning property tax appeals, contact him at your earliest convenience at firstname.lastname@example.org.