A bill will be considered by a New Jersey Assembly committee this afternoon that would prohibit residents from challenging the tax valuations and tax exemptions of properties other than their own.
Residents would no longer be able to challenge property assessments they think are too low, like Princeton residents did after the town-wide property revaluation in 2010.
They would also be unable to challenge the tax-exempt status of properties in court, meaning a lawsuit like the current one in which residents are challenging the tax-exempt status of Princeton University properties could never be filed.
The bill will be reviewed at 2 p.m. today, Sept. 19, in committee room 13 on the fourth floor of the State House in Trenton.
Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Mercer/Hunterdon) is sponsoring the bill. The companion bill in the State Senate, S2212, is being sponsored by Senator Robert Singer (R-Monmouth/Ocean). Singer is the same senator who sponsored legislation in 2012 that would have exempted private colleges and universities from having to receive local planning and zoning approvals for construction projects.
Gusciora could not be reached for comment on the bill this morning.
Currently, a taxpayer who questions the assessed valuation or exempt status of the taxpayer’s property can file an appeal with the county board of taxation or file a complaint with the state tax court if the assessed valuation of the property subject to the appeal exceeds $1 million.
“Property tax appeals, however, can be costly and create uncertainty in local government finances. This bill would reduce property tax appeals by limiting property taxpayers to filing property tax appeals concerning their own property,” reads the bill statement.
“As the representatives of all local taxpayers, local governments are the best and most properly suited parties to challenge the assessment or exempt status of a property whenever the owner is not involved,” reads the statement. “Accordingly, the bill would not disturb the ability of local governments to appeal the assessment or exempt status of any property in the county.”