Property taxes are necessary to fund local public schools and services.
New Jersey’s state constitution mandates county assessors to calculate property taxes using the same laws and rules for everyone. Before they can generate a tax bill, the assessors have to establish the sale price of all taxable property, except farmland, in their jurisdiction. In every county in the state, property taxes are then assessed based on 100 percent of such value. Those taxes are assessed at the same time every year.
In New Jersey, taxes on real property -- land and structures -- are assessed based on their value on the first day of October of the year that precedes the first installment of the tax bill. Your property tax bill is divided into four installments due on February 1, May 1, August 1 and November 1.
To calculate your tax bill, New Jersey county assessors have to establish
your property’s market value. This type of tax, which considers the value of real property, is known as ad valorem tax. It is based on an estimated price a buyer would likely be willing to pay for the property on October 1. However, the value of land you use for agricultural purposes is calculated according to its productivity, not sale price.
In addition to your property’s market value, assessors look at the cost of providing municipal and county services as well as public education when figuring out your tax bill. To calculate the property tax, the assessor’s office adds up the market value of all taxable real property in its county. The total cost of public programs is then divided by the total value of all properties. The result is the general tax rate used to calculate each individual’s property tax. Your bill is the result of the general tax rate multiplied by your property’s value.
Challenging an Assessment