Tax and Property Assessment Q&A

Q: When are my taxes due?

A: Municipal tax payments are due February 1, May 1, August 1, November 1 each year. There is a 10-day grace period for receiving payments.

Q: Will I have to pay interest if my tax payment is late?

A: Yes. The late payment on the interest rate is 8% for the first $1500 and 18% for any amount over $1500, retroactive to the first of the month.

Q: How do I appeal the assessed value of my property?

A. To appeal the assessed value on your property, you must file a formal appeal with the Essex County Board of Taxation which must be received prior to May 1 of a given year. Your appeal will be heard by a Commissioner of the Board of Taxation; and, you will be given an opportunity to state the reasons you believe your assessment is inaccurate. After reviewing the facts presented, the Board will render a decision as to whether an adjustment is in order.

If you are not satisfied with the decision of the Board of Taxation, you have the right to file an appeal with the Tax Court of the State of New Jersey. This must be done within 45 days of your notification. This step in the process is formal, taking place in a courtroom setting before a Tax Court Judge.

More information is available at the County Board of Taxation website and the Tax Court of New Jersey website.

Q: Can I appeal my taxes?

A: Under State law, the actual tax on a property cannot be appealed. However, an aggrieved property owner can file an appeal with regard to the assessment of value (see previous question). The tax rate and a tax assessment are two distinctly different things, which sometimes are confused. The tax rate is determined by the dollar amount needed to operate Montclair Township, the School District, and Essex County, while the tax assessment provides the value upon which to apportion the taxes. Taxpayers can appeal a tax assessment, but not a tax rate.

Q: What is a tax lien sale?

A. A Tax Lien Sale, or Tax Certificate Sale is a public sale, usually at auction, of the right to collect on a delinquent taxpayer's debt. At the tax sale - held by the Township, generally once each year - title to the delinquent property itself is not sold. What is sold is a tax sale certificate, a lien on the property. What is purchased by the winning bidder is not the deed to a property. The purchaser's money pays the delinquent taxes, water and sewer to the Township on behalf of the delinquent property owner. In exchange, the purchaser is given first lien position on title, ahead of mortgages, deeds of trust, and judgments, subordinate only to State tax liens.

For more information, visit: http://www.state.nj.us/dca/lgs/taxes/collection/elements_of_tax_sales_nj.shtml