Friday is the deadline for New Jersey property owners to appeal their tax assessments.
The number of appeals statewide has been increasing for eight years. Falling home sale prices are prompting some homeowners to challenge their assessments in hopes of lowering their property tax bill.
Buena Vista Mayor Chuck Chiarello, the president of the New Jersey League of Municipalities, said successful appeals can end up affecting a town’s overall tax rate.
“Since property tax is where the money comes from, each town that has successful appeals, those local taxpayers have to pick up the balance,” he said. “That money is now gone from the local coffers. We still have budgets that are set for certain dollar amounts, and the way the system works you just can’t go backwards at that point.”
Chiarello said successful appeals by large commercial property owners can put a major strain on municipal budgets.