On February 4, Gov. Chris Christie signed S1213 (the "Act") into law, creating a pilot program that could substantially change the property tax assessment and appeal process in New Jersey. The Act's stated goal is to create a "more cost-effective and accurate process of real property assessment administration."
Under the provisions of the Act, no more than four counties may participate in the pilot program: no more than two in the two years following the passage of the Act, and no more than an additional two in the third and fourth years following the passage of the Act. The pilot program provides for the utilization, by the participating counties and municipalities within those counties, of the MOD-IV/CAMA property assessment software. The Act requires the county tax board of each participating county to provide the MOD-IV/CAMA software to each municipality that does not currently use the software and for the municipalities' assessors to use that software when assessing real property.
The Act also grants a participating county tax board the power to compel a municipality within its county to implement a revaluation or reassessment of all real property within the municipality. If the municipality fails to complete the compelled revaluation or reassessment in a timely manner, the county tax board may contract for the revaluation or reassessment at the municipality's cost.
Finally, for counties taking part in the pilot program, the Act revises the relevant statutory dates for the assessment and appeal of real property, in part, as follows: 1) Notification of Assessment postcards must be sent by the municipality to property owners by November 15 of the pretax year (previously February 1 of the tax year); and 2) appeals of assessments to the county tax board must be filed by January 15 of the tax year (previously April 1 of the tax year). It should be noted that the deadline for filing appeals of assessments that exceed $1 million made directly to the Tax Court remains April 1 of the tax year.
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Day Pitney Alert
Christopher John Stracco and Michael James Guerriero wrote an article, “NJ Tax Exemption Challenges Just Got Easier To Prosecute,” for Law360. The article is about Estate of Lewis v. Trustees of Princeton University, in which the Tax Court of New Jersey issued a precedent-setting decision that will have far-ranging impacts in that it clarifies which party has the burden of proof in challenging a real property tax exemption.
Chris Stracco was quoted in an article,"Will Veto Spark Litigation Over Nonprofit Hospitals' Tax Status?" in New Jersey Law Journal. In the article, Stracco discusses Governor Chris Christie's veto of S3299 in connection to the controversial New Jersey Tax Court decision of AHS Hospital v. Morristown. Stracco says the decision in the case, in which Morristown Memorial Hospital lost its tax-exempt status because it had for-profit business attributes, is unique. Given that case's uniqueness, he expects that the ruling and Christie's veto of S3299 will not likely result in a flood of nonprofit hospitals being hit with tax bills and suits to challenge them.
Christopher Stracco was quoted in an article, “Should hospitals pay property taxes?” in the Asbury Park Press. The story is about a recent tax ruling in New Jersey, in which a judge ruled that a hospital should have been assessed property taxes like any for-profit business. In the article, Stracco explains that nonprofit hospitals have received tax-exempt status, but if they lease out space to a for-profit business they are required to pay taxes.
Kirk Rossi, COO/ CFO at Day Pitney, was quoted in an article, "Tax-Savvy Clients Motivated in Year-End Collections Crunch," in New Jersey Law Journal. In the article, Rossi says there is an increased push in the fourth quarter to finalize unresolved bills. He also notes that follow up on outstanding payments from client relationship managers becomes most important year-end.
On October 30, David Silvian and Steven Fast spoke at the Connecticut Bar Association’s Federal Tax Institute of New England about the Design of the Trust. At the event Brad Gallant also presented a lifetime achievement award to Frank Berall, who was instrumental in establishing the Federal Tax Institute in Connecticut. Leigh Newman and Carolyn Martino also attended.
Stamford, Conn., August 24, 2015 - Day Pitney is pleased to announce that 68 attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the 2016 Best Lawyers in America. Best Lawyers ranks lawyers through peer-review surveys, and has been published annually since 1983.