The Tax Assessors Office is required annually to assess real property at full value as of October 1st of the pretax year. Assessing properties for taxation is a governmental function as an agent of the Legislature. Taxable properties raises the bulk of the funds necessary to finance local government.
The Tax Assessor discovers, lists the valuation of all properties within Hasbrouck Heights. Sales, income and cost data are analyzed to determine the assessed value of each parcel included on the Tax List presented to the Bergen County Board of Taxation each January. This Tax List also includes a directory for parcel identification, information concerning exempt properties, tax data and a schedule of all tax ratables within the municipality.
The Tax Assessor's duties also include maintaining property transfers, keeping current ownership updated, checking building permits that have been issued and maintaining current values. This office prepares added assessment rolls on new buildings and alterations that are completed during the tax year that contributes additional revenue to the municipality. See section below.
The Tax Assessors Office is responsible for taxation in conformity with existing statues and regulations and prepares all assessment rolls as required by law. Exemptions and partial exemption such as qualified veterans or their widowed spouses, qualifying senior citizens, houses of worship and certain schools are administered by this office. See list below.
Hasbrouck Heights property owners who believe their assessments do not reflect market value may appeal the assessments (taxes cannot be appealed) each year prior to April 1st. Appeal applications are available from the Bergen County Board of Taxation after February 1st (201-336-6300)
All appeals must be filed with the Bergen County Board of Taxation by April 1, except those properties with an assessed value in excess of $1,000,000 which may be filed directly to the Tax Court in Trenton. Petitions of appeal with instruction, may be obtained at the county office located at 1 Bergen County Plaza, Rm. 370 in Hackensack or by calling 201-336-6300 after receipt of your postcard notification in February.
The Tax Assessor represents the Borough in all tax appeals before the Bergen County Board of Taxation and State appeals before the Tax Court of New Jersey. The assessor protects the municipality and makes certain that an unfair amount of county taxes is not being paid.
Homestead Rebate: This program is administered by the NJ Division of Taxation through NJ income tax returns (Form HR-1040 and NJ-1040 if required). Homeowners and tenants who pay property taxes on their principal residence in New Jersey, either directly or through rent payments, and whose gross income does not exceed $100,000 (65 or older, or disabled) or $40,000 (all others) are eligible. The rebate range is from $30 to $500.
Property Tax Reimbursement: A program only for those 65 or older or those receiving federal disability benefits. They must have paid property taxes on their principal residence directly or through mobile home park fees. Applicants must be NJ residents for at least 10 years and must have lived in the residence on which the reimbursement is claimed for at least 3 years. There are income limitations. Applicants must meet all requirements for the base and reimbursement years. The reimbursement are equal to the difference between the taxes paid in the reimbursement year and the base year. This program is administered by the NJ Division of Taxation. Filing deadline is March 15th. Call 1-800-238-1233 for information or to request form PTR-1.
Property Tax Deduction/Credit: A taxable income deduction from annual income taxes is available to all homeowners and tenants for their principal residence and filed on the NJ income tax return, or on Form HR-1040, if not required to file an income tax return.
Senior Citizen's/Disabled Annual Property Tax Deduction: An annual $250 deduction for those 65 or older or permanently and totally disabled or qualifies as a surviving spouse of a senior citizen or disabled person with incomes less than $10,000 per year, excluding Social Security payments and other permitted exclusions. Applicants must own and reside in the home on which the deduction is claimed. The application forms are available in the Hasbrouck Heights Tax Collector and Assessor's office.
Veteran's Deduction: An annual deduction of $250 for 2015 from property taxes is available to qualified veterans or un-remarried widows of veterans. Claimant must be a New Jersey citizen prior to October 1st of pretax year. The application forms are available in the Hasbrouck Heights Tax Collectors and Assessor's office.
Veterans, who were honorably discharged and actively served during the following wars may apply for a deduction: Joint Guard Mission-Bosnia and Herzegovina, Joint Endeavor Mission-Bosnia and Herzegovina, Restore Hope Mission-Somalia, Operation "Desert Shield/Desert Storm", Panama Peacekeeping Mission, Lebanon Peacekeeping Mission, Grenada Peacekeeping Mission, Vietnam Conflict, Korean Conflict, Word War I and World War II. Dates of induction/service apply.
100 Percent Permanently Disabled Veteran. Surviving Spouses
Qualified N J resident war veterans having certain - service connected disabilities described in law or having been declared totally or l00% permanently disabled by the U S Veterans Administration are granted full tax exemption on their dwelling house and lot.
Added Assessments and Omitted Added Assessments
Home improvements increased selling price and therefore the property tax assessment will increase.
An added assessment tax bill is sent at the end of October after the improvement is substantially completed. This bill is payable on November 1, February 1 and May 1. The added assessment amount is then included in the annual tax bill in June for the new tax year.
If an Added Assessment Tax bill for work completed in the previous year, an "Omitted Added" Assessment bill is supplemented to an "Added Assessment" bill the year following the improvement.
- When I obtain a Building Permit to improve my property (examples: siding, kitchen or bathroom renovation, construction of a family room or bedroom dormer) when and how will my property assessment be increased?
- A representative from the assessor's office inspects the property (in its entirety) and assessed at the current market value (as of October 1). The added assessment is the amount of the difference between the old assessment and the value of the entire property at the end of the project.
Property is valued from scratch and is adjusted to the the last town wide revaluation. Assessments are calculated as of October 1 and then prorated. A completion date is determined by the Assessor according to "readiness for intended use" ( not by the date of the final inspection). When work was completed during the prior year, an omitted added assessment bill sent. All bills are sent out by the Tax Collector by October 25 and payable by November 1. The dates are mandated by the State of New Jersey.
- If I get a Building Permit, complete the work and do not call for a final inspection will an added assessment bill be sent?
- The final inspection does not determine the date of assessment. The assessor values the property when it is "substantially ready for its intended use". This may be eariler than the date used for the Certificate of Occupancy or the date of a final inspection.
- What if the permit doesn't include all of the work? What if I don't take out a permit?
- The assessor addresses all of the changes during the inspection and must value the entire property each time it is re-assessed.
- What if I don't take out a permit?
- Not getting a permit does not prevent an assessment. Building inspections are necessary for safety, not a method for raising revenue for Hasbrouck Heights. If you had a fire without getting the proper permits and inspections, the insurance company might not pay for damage. If the assessor's office discovers an improvement, an assessment is made regardless of whether there was a permit or not. The assessor will then assume that the work was done within the past two years and issue assessments for both the current and the past year.
- What if I disagree with the value on the bill?
- You are obligated to pay the bill in full, whether or not you agree to the assessment. You have until December 1 to appeal the added assessment. After that date, no one will be able to appeal the added assessment, even the assessor. You do not have to meet with the assessor prior to filing an appeal. Taxes must be paid in full or the case will not be heard in court.
Caution When Buying or Selling Home
In order to avoid an unexpected Added Assessment bill for work performed by the prior owner, request that your attorney order a "Municipal Tax Search" from the Hasbrouck Heights. The cost is $10 and is generally provided within 2 to 4 days. This search provides a listing of any unpaid tax payments, open building or plumbing permits, and any potential Added and/or Omitted Added tax assessments.
Before selling a home, contact the Construction Office to ensure all construction permits are completed and final inspections have been performed before a scheduled closing.
If permits and/or Certification of Occupancy have not been obtained, or an Added Assessment or Omitted Assessment is pending, your attorney should address the issue of potential fines or assessments in the closing documents.
You should be aware of any tax appeal or other litigation pending for the property. Purchasers of commercial properties should inquire if the current owner has complied with the filing requirements for Chapter 91 (Income and Expense) statements. Non-compliance may preclude the purchasers from the appeal process.