New Jersey Law

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Tax Court Agrees That Leases Were Comparable and Did Not Require Adjustment.

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Judge Bianco in a January 23rd unpublished opinion on a retail strip center in East Hanover reduced the assessments on the property even though the taxpayer’s appraiser did not make any adjustments to the lease comparables in his appraisal.

In the unpublished letter opinion, 416 Route 10 Associates v. East Hanover, the Court accepted the taxpayer’s appraiser’s comparable leases without adjustments. Judge Bianco found that the comparable leases were close in time, location and size to the subject property in the tax appeal, and therefore agreed that no adjustments were necessary. However, he rejected the adjustments to lease comparables by the municipality as being unsubstantiated.

The Court also held that the municipality did not adequately verify its lease comparables because their appraiser relied only upon internet resources and failed to talk to the persons actually involved in the transactions. The taxpayer’s appraiser, on the other hand, verified all of his comparables with individuals involved in the transactions. The Court rejected the municipality’s comparables as not verified.

This case is another in a line of cases that cautions appraisers appearing before the Tax Court the Court that reliance upon internet publications no matter how reputable, have been routinely rejected unless they have been independently verified.

A copy of the decision can be obtained by contacting the Chair of our Real Estate Taxation Department, Martin Allen, Esq. at mallen@newjerseylaw.net

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