Although funded by the municipality, the assessor is under the jurisdiction of the County and State Division of Taxation; not the Township of West Orange.
The Tax Assessor is a quasi-judicial position, a creature of the Legislature, whose authority is statutory and based in the New Jersey Constitution. The West Orange Township Tax Assessor holds a Certified Tax Assessor Certificate from the State of New Jersey, Department of the Treasury, Division of Taxation. Although the Tax Assessor is hired and paid by the Municipality, the immediate supervisor of the Tax Assessor is the Essex County Board of Taxation.
New Jersey’s real property tax is ad valorem or a tax “according to value.” The New Jersey Constitution requires real property to be assessed at the “same standard of value.” New Jersey Statutes at N.J.S.A. 45:4-23 establish the standard to be the “full and fair value” or “true value.” True value represents the fair market value of the property or the price for which it would sell in an arms-length transaction between a willing buyer and willing seller. More information on how property is valued for property tax purposes can be found here: https://www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/pdf/lpt/ptassessment.pdf
The Assessor’s Office
The municipal Tax Assessor is responsible for the following activities:
- Location and ownership of all real property in the taxing district; listing and describing property in a manner as prescribed by the Division of Taxation.
- Determining taxable value of all property in the taxing district.
- Equalization via district wide revaluation and maintenance and for purposes of State aid to schools.
- Defense of Appeals – appearances at County Tax Board and State Tax Court.
- Process and review copies of construction permits and valuation for added and omitted assessments and for COAH fees.
- Sub-Divisions – assign block and lot numbers and valuation of newly created lot(s).
- Farmland assessment – valuation, review of applications, inspections, in addition to rollback assessments.
- Continual Review of Property Cards to ensure accuracy.
- Deductions – review for qualification pursuant to NJ State Statutes of Veteran, widow, senior & disabled.
- Exempt Properties – Every third year reviewing all exempt properties and obtaining updated information to ensure qualification.
- Chapter 75 – Assessment notification post cards mailed annually on or before February 1st of the tax year. The notification shows the current year assessment, the taxes paid in the prior year, and appeal information. If taxpayers have any questions with regard to the assessment, they should contact the Tax Assessor’s office.