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Assembly Panel Advances Houghtaling, Downey & Mosquera Legislation Establishing “Property Taxpayer Bill of Rights”

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Eric Houghtaling, Joann Downey and Gabriela Mosquera establishing the Property Taxpayer Bill of Rights was approved by the Assembly Budget Committee on Monday.

The bill (A-4007) would require the Director of the Division of Taxation to develop and publish a Property Taxpayer Bill of Rights that sets forth in simple and non-technical terms the right of every property taxpayer to understand their property assessment and to appeal an assessment that a taxpayer believes is too high.

“New Jersey has the unfortunate distinction of having the highest property taxes in the nation,” said Houghtaling (D-Monmouth). “A bill of rights will help explain tax bills to homeowners in no uncertain terms and equip them with information on how to appeal their assessment if they are overpaying for any reason.”

“This bill of rights will serve as a simple, yet informative guide for property taxpayers to understand how their home is assessed, how it rates against other comparable properties and how they can appeal this assessment if they believe they’re overpaying,” said Downey (D-Monmouth).

“The intent of the bill is to ensure that taxpayers are provided with clear and accurate information regarding their property tax assessment and understand that they have the ability to appeal that assessment,” said Mosquera (D-Camden/Gloucester).

The bill would require the Property Taxpayer Bill of Rights to be posted on the webpage of each county board of taxation and each municipality in the state with an Internet webpage.

The Property Taxpayer Bill of Rights shall specify that a property taxpayer has the following rights under state law:
– The right to understand the real property assessment process and the requirements of the New Jersey Constitution concerning the assessment of real property;
– The right to understand the calculation of the assessment on their real property;
– The right to detailed information about how to appeal an assessment of real property; and
– The right to view the real property assessment of any other parcel of real property in the municipality in which the taxpayer’s property is located.

The bill, which has already been approved by the Senate, now awaits final legislative approval from the full Assembly. It would take effect immediately upon enactment.