The Sfarras in Teaneck disputed the tax assessment on their home last year, which helped the value fall by almost 12%. This let them save almost a grand a year in property taxes. Dorthy Monooopli also did something similar, reducing the value on her home by 30k.
These are only a few of the people who are trying to get lower tax assessments due to the falling prices of real estate over the last few years. As the filing date for tax appeals gets closer, many people are trying to file the proper documents.
William Dressel, in charge of of the League of Municipalities, says that that such efforts are lowering the amount of property taxes that a town gets, which might reduce the services citizens get because of lack of funds.
A common strategy is for towns is to do an area wide assessment of real estate, so everything is in line with current market values. This makes it more difficult for homeowners to dispute the value of their homes.
Home prices have fallen about 20% since the housing bubble. However, an appeal is not guaranteed. Towns determine the value by using a ratio that takes into account the current state of the economy.
The city of Teaneck has a current tax ratio of near 104 percent. This means that lower tax assessments are possible, because the assessment is more than the real value. If a home was valued at $100,000, it would only be worth $96,000.