Thursday 10 AM – 12 PM by Appointment
The Borough of Chester, for tax year 2022, completed a Borough wide reassessment which was approved by the Director of the Division of Taxation. This is a continuation of the process of reassessment that was started many years ago. This process will continue for the coming tax years. The assessor, with the assistance of an appraisal firm, complete the reassessment.
What is a Reassessment?
A reassessment is a less evasive method of updating the values of all the properties in the Borough to reflect current market trends. The goal of a reassessment is to make sure that all properties are valued on the same standard of value. A reassessment when completed reflects 100% market value for all properties within the Borough.
Will this increase my Taxes?
Not necessarily. The effect of the reassessment on your tax bill may vary and there are several reasons why it is impossible to predict the impact on any individual property owner’s tax bill.
The reassessment will not increase the total amount of revenue to be raised by taxation. The amount of property taxes is based upon the operating budgets of the Municipal Government, School Districts, County Government and State Aid.
The reassessment will change the aggregate value of the properties in the Borough, however because the same amount of overall tax is to be collected, the tax rate will change.
Until the reassessment is completed and the tax rate is computed, it will be difficult to determine your property taxes.
New Jersey’s real property tax is an ad valorem tax or a tax “according to value”. The state Constitution requires real property to be assess at the “same standard of value”. New Jersey statutes at N.J.S.A. 45:4-23 establish the standard to be the “full and fair value” or “true value”. True value represents the fair market value of the property or the price for which it would sell in an arms-length transaction between a willing buyer and willing seller.
As per the requirements of the Director of the Division of Taxation, 20-25% of the Borough will be inspected every year. Letters will be sent to the affected areas of the Borough which will include recent sales and different neighborhoods in the Borough. All building permits are also reviewed each year. A diligent attempt will be made to inspect the exterior and interior of each property. If you are not home a card will be left on the door with information to call for an appointment. This means that each property will be inspected every 4-5 years.
The real estate market trends are analyzed by conducting a sales study. This includes an examination of all sales that have taken place over the past three years to develop trends throughout the Borough. The Borough has been delineated into neighborhoods which are reviewed based upon sales. Additionally, the styles of homes are analyzed to determine the trends for types of properties. Commercial properties are examined in terms of their income-producing potential as well as any sales that have occurred. As a result of the analyses, a value is determined for every property in the Borough. By completing annual reassessments within the Borough, the changes in the real estate market can be made as they occur. This includes increases as well as decreases to the market.
After the values are determined, each property owner will receive the Chapter 75 Postcard on or before February 1st as per Statute 54:4-38.1. The postcard will indicate the prior assessment and the new assessment. Do not apply the current tax rate to the new assessment.
Since the Township is continuing with reassessments the deadline for filing an appeal of the assessment is May 1st of the tax year. Properties with assessed values under $1,000,000 must file with the Morris County Board of Taxation. All assessments in excess of $1,000,000 can file directly to the Tax Court of New Jersey. The appeal process only deals with the assessed value of the property. The amount of property taxes that are paid are not part of the tax appeal process.
The Assessor is available Thursday from 10:00 AM to Noon to answer questions. Or you may email or leave a phone message.
The Assessor is responsible for valuing all real and personal property in the Borough for purposes of assessment and taxation, preparing the tax list, and for the maintenance of the ownership of property within the Borough.
Morris County Board of Taxation:
Assessment data, sales data, tax maps and GIS data can be searched through the Morris County Board of Taxation at Tax Board website.
All forms for deductions, exemptions, farmland and appeals are prescribed by the Director of the Division of Taxation and can be viewed on the New Jersey Association of County Tax Boards website at njactb.org.
Property Tax Freeze Program:
For information on the Property Tax Freeze Program can be reviewed at on the State of New Jersey Department of the Treasury Property Tax Reimbursement (Senior Freeze) Forms.
The tax list for the Borough is submitted to the Morris County Board of Taxation each year on or before January 10th. Once submitted, changes can only occur through the tax appeal process.