New Jersey Law

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Tax Court Agrees that Tax Board and Division of Taxation Should Join Tax Court Reassessment Case

In a published opinion dated October 20, 2020, Metz Family Ltd. Partnership v. Township of Freehold, our office argued, and the Tax Court held, that the Monmouth County Board of Taxation and the Director, Division of Taxation must be joined as parties for the purposes of determining whether the ratios of assessed to true value circulated by the Division of Taxation (Chapter 123 ratios) should apply to the value determinations made by the Tax Court.

Following a trial on value, the Tax Court raised the question as to whether the Chapter 123 ratios were applicable in a tax year in which a Monmouth County municipality performed an annual reassessment under the Real Property Assessment Demonstration program. Judge Sundar agreed with the municipality that the Director and County Board should be joined as parties. Having approved the reassessment, it is the Division of Taxation and Tax Board that are required to explain and defend their process as well as explain why the average ratio does not apply. The Court held that this is not the burden of the municipality or its assessor. The issue was one of first impression involving significant public interest since the Court’s ultimate decision as to whether the Chapter 123 average ratio is applicable in the year that a reassessment is performed can impact all of the assessments in the municipality and also implicates the Uniformity Clause of our State’s Constitution.

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

DiFrancesco, Bateman, Kunzman, Davis, Lehrer & Flaum PC (http://www.dbnjlawblog.com) is a full service law firm in New Jersey which provides a broad range of legal services.

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