Location & Description of Properties
All parcels within the municipality are identified by Block and Lot numbers. Blocks are larger geographical descriptions in numerical sequence using streets, highways, prominent streams, etc. as boundaries. Lot numbers are smaller descriptions of individual parcels numbered in sequence within each Block. The Little Egg Harbor Township Tax Map is available in the Assessor’s Office to assist in both locating and describing all parcels in the district. In addition, the Little Egg Harbor Township Tax List annually lists all properties in the municipality numerically in Block and Lot order starting from Block #1, block numbers first. You may wish to link to or access http://www.ocnjtax.com/ to obtain this information more easily.
Most residential properties are taxable for real estate tax purposes under N.J. State Statutes unless a specific provision exists that provide for full or partial tax exemption. An example of tax exemption would be ownership and principal use by a totally (100%) percent disabled veteran with a service-connected disability.
This function is typically more applicable in providing tax exempt status to the many municipal, state and county properties within Little Egg Harbor Township as well as to those qualifying organizations. ex.: churches, hospitals, veteran’s organizations
To a lesser extent the determination of taxability is important in providing the distinction between real and personal property. Assessed valuations are based upon real property. Items considered to be personal property are not included in Little Egg Harbor assessed valuations.
Next, a review of existing Property Tax Benefits should be made to determine if you qualify for any of the various tax deductions available. The property tax deductions available through the Assessor’s Office include: (1) Veteran or Surviving Spouse Deduction, and (2) Senior Citizen/Disabled Person/Surviving Spouse Deduction.
The qualifications for these property tax deductions are highlighted here for general information purposes but actual approval will be based upon a timely completed application with all appropriate supporting documentation.
Veteran/Surviving Spouse Deduction requirements (forms are available in the Tax Assessor's Office):
1. Ownership and New Jersey residency as of October 1 of previous year
2. Honorably discharged U.S. Armed Forces veteran or unmarried surviving spouse of veteran or active service person – original record of service or DD214.
3. Military service during certain war, conflict or “peacekeeping mission” time periods
4. Completed application
Annual benefit - $250.00 for 2003 and thereafter
Senior Citizen/Surviving Spouse/Disabled Person requirements (forms are available in the Tax Assessor's Office):
1. Ownership October 1 of previous year
2. Permanent resident of dwelling or New Jersey at least 1 year prior to October 1 of previous year
3. Income, including spouse’s income, no more than $10,000.00 per year – excluding, with restrictions, social security, Federal and State pensions, disability income
4. Proof of disability – Social Security Administration letter or physician’s certificate
5. Completed application
6. Completed PD5 Form the following year
Annual benefit – $250.00
1. A veteran or surviving spouse may also apply for and receive a senior citizen/disability/surviving spouse deduction if qualifications are met.
2. No more than one (1) senior citizen/disability/surviving spouse deduction of $250.00 may be applied to a property annually.
3. Husband and wife veteran combinations or surviving spouse and simultaneous veteran combinations may receive dual tax deductions.
4. There is no authority to approve a tax deduction for a prior calendar year – please file applications during the year of eligibility. Filed means received in the Assessor’s Office.
Establishing & Maintaining Assessed Values at the Common Level
Annually, in late September, a report is published by the State of New Jersey, Division of Taxation known as the “Table of Equalized Valuations”. This report lists the certified Average Ratios in each municipality in New Jersey. It is calculated by comparing assessed values in given years with the actual arms-length sales of properties in the municipality on a property class basis. Property classes include vacant land, residential, and commercial properties. The end result or Weighted Ratio is one of several measures that can be used to determine the accuracy and uniformity of assessing practices within the taxing district.
The Ratio for 2006 for Little Egg Harbor Township is: 100.00%
This number will be referred to as the “common level” or average ratio of assessed to true values. It may assist the taxpayer in determining if the assessed value placed upon his/her property by the Assessor and Ocean County Tax Board is fair. As a general guide, you will first have to determine the market value of your property. A review of similar properties that have sold in arms-length transactions, a recent appraisal by a competent professional or a recent sale of the subject property could be utilized to this end. Multiplying the appraised value times the “common level” ratio will produce a number that can be compared to your actual assessed value totals.
Example: Property Value x Ratio (100.00%)
$300,000. 1.00 = $300,000.
Assessed Value - $295,000. (Fair)
Assessed Value - $320,000. (High)
You will be notified annually on or before February 1st of the tax year of the assessed value of your property. The annual notice is in the form of a post card mailed to the address of record. The notices includes a land, building and total assessment for administrative purposes as well as prior year’s annual taxes exclusive of interest, penalties and/or added assessments. You should not use this notice for federal and state income tax purposes.
Lastly, there are periodic assessed value changes that are made annually on a neighborhood-wide basis. Recent legislation requires submission of a plan and subsequent approvals from the County Board of Taxation and the State Division of Taxation as well as notice to the municipality prior to implementing these changes. These changes are necessary in order to maintain acceptable levels of assessments within the municipality. Since the Assessor’s Office is clearly responsible with maintaining assessments as close as possible to full and fair market value, annual changes in assessments must be made to adjust for value changes experienced in area neighborhoods.
Defense of Assessments
After you have received your annual tax assessment notice and have had the opportunity to compare your assessment to the market value of your property, you will have an educated idea of the fairness of your assessment. If you have specific questions in this regard, please feel free to contact this office weekdays between 8:30 A.M. and 4:30 P.M. to schedule an appointment for further review. If after review you are not satisfied that the assessed value of your property reflects a lawful relationship to market value, you may wish to file a formal tax appeal. You must contact the Ocean County Tax Board at the address and phone number on the reverse of your Tax Assessment Notice. A review of some common misconceptions in this regard will assist you in your decision to proceed:
1. Land and building assessments cannot be appealed separately
2. Property taxes are not an issue during an appeal since the Assessor’s Office and County Tax Board has no control over the budgets submitted by the Municipality, County and/or school systems.
3. The municipality cannot accept for filing a petition intended for the County Tax Board.
4. The filing deadline is April 1st of the tax year at issue. Filed means received at the offices of the Ocean County Tax Board, Washington Street, Courthouse, Toms River, New Jersey.
5. Comparable assessments of other properties are not acceptable as evidence of the value of your property.
6. Assessments cannot be avoided by the failure or refusal to obtain a certificate of occupancy from the Construction Department.
7. Payment of the first quarter real estate taxes and municipal charges (water, sewer, etc.) are a pre-condition to the satisfactory completion of the appeal process.
While this office neither encourages nor discourages the filing of tax appeals generally, we will attempt to resolve discrepancies by stipulation if at all ethically possible. If the assessment is defensible, we will provide the taxpayer with supporting evidence to defend the assessed values placed upon the Tax list. A settlement stipulation completed sufficiently in advance of a scheduled appeal hearing will serve to avoid an unnecessary appearance before the Ocean County Tax Board at the designated hearing location.
We trust that the information provided here, although not all-inclusive, will help you in understanding the functions of our office and assist you in your quest for public information and service.