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Tax Matters: Court Provides Protection for Some Taxpayers

"...if the property is considered owner occupied, a taxpayer no longer has to respond in order to have valid appeal rights."

By John E. Garippa, Esq., as published by Globest.com Commercial Real Estate News and Property Resource, July 31, 2008

A recent decision of the Appellate Division in the State of New Jersey established a defense for some taxpayers who have failed to respond to assessor requests for income and expense information. Before this decision, if a taxpayer failed to respond to a tax assessor's request for income and expense information made during any given tax year, any tax appeal filed for that subsequent tax year was subject to dismissal, regardless of the merits of the appeal. In addition, even if a property were owner occupied, if the owner failed to respond to the assessor's request by informing him that the property was "owner occupied," that appeal could be dismissed as well.

As a result of the Appellate Division's recent decision, if the property is considered owner occupied, a taxpayer no longer has to respond in order to have valid appeal rights. However, the court warned taxpayers that if there were even small elements of rental income earned on the property, and the owner fails to report that income when requested by the assessor, the potential would still exist for dismissal of an appeal.

GarippaJohn E. Garippa is senior partner of the law firm of Garippa, Lotz & Giannuario with offices in Montclair and Philadelphia. He is also the president of the American Property Tax Counsel, the national affiliation of property tax attorneys, and can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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