2012-12-13 / Front Page

Tax relief possible for property owners affected by Sandy

County property owners whose property suffered “material damage” as a direct result of superstorm Sandy may qualify for a reduction of their property assessment for 2013, according to a press release from Monmouth County.

Residents whose properties have suffered damage are encouraged to apply for a tax assessment adjustment and contact their assessor or submit an inspection request on the county website’s Disaster Recovery Portal as soon as possible, and no later than Jan. 10.

Normally, all properties are valued in the condition in which they existed on Oct. 1 of the pre-tax year, or as of Oct. 1, 2012, for the upcoming 2013 tax year. An exception to this law applies when a property suffers “material damage” such as a major fire or other significant damage after Oct. 1 and before Jan. 1. In such circumstances, the property owner would be required to notify the tax assessor of their town in writing, prior to Jan. 10, 2013, in order to receive an assessment adjustment, the release states.

However, in the case of superstorm Sandy, the state has instructed assessors to actively seek out property owners who may have difficulty providing this notice due to hardship associated with the storm.

While written notice is still required, the local assessor, with the aid of a temporary inspection staff authorized by the Board of Chosen Freeholders and the commissioners of the Monmouth County Board of Taxation, will identify eligible properties and, after examination, apply an adjustment for those properties which have been extensively damaged, left uninhabitable or totally destroyed.

This is being done in recognition of the extreme hardship placed upon some property owners who have lost their homes or temporarily are unable to occupy their homes.

It is important for the owner of a property that has suffered significant damage to write or email the municipal assessor with specific information that includes property owner’s name, address, block and lot numbers, and the existence of damages suffered due to this storm.

To aid taxpayers in this process, Monmouth County has established a Disaster Recovery Portal where taxpayers may submit their request for inspection. The website is found on the county’s Open Public Records website at http://oprs.co.monmouth. nj.us/oprs/index.aspx.

If repairs will be completed by Jan. 1, property owners do not need to contact the assessor, as no adjustment would be made under this circumstance. However, if the property will continue to be a significantly damaged property beyond Jan. 1, owners should submit a notice to the assessor. Residents should bear in mind that any property receiving a damage adjustment will be subject to an added assessment once the repairs are completed.

For questions on this issue, property owners are advised to contact the local tax assessor at their municipal office or the office of the Monmouth County Tax Board at 732-431-7401.

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