New law allows towns like Toms River to issue tax credits instead of cash for reassessment appeal refunds

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TOMS RIVER, NJ – As towns such as Toms River, in Ocean County move forward with a very unpopular tax reassessment project during the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s good news in sight for some taxpayers. Those who successfully challenge and win their appeals against the town and Mayor Maurice Hill can instead issue future tax credits in lieu of a refund.

Toms River has been criticized by residents for an ‘invisible’ reassessment done without inspectors going into many homes due to the COVID-19 pandemic and at a time when home values are at their peak in the town.

Related: Defiance is illegal, Toms River Mayor Mo Hill says in township property reevaluation message

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Under the new law, A-862/S-926, towns will be authorized to issue property tax credits to homeowners who successfully appeal their assessments rather than issuing payments that can create financial pressures on cash-strapped towns.

“Previously, municipalities were required to refund the money within 60 days of the county board of taxation’s decision,” said Pennacchio (R-26). “Due to revenue constraints, that isn’t enough time to free up the money for many towns.

“Local governments hit with a barrage of successful appeals could find themselves in a bind,” Pennacchio noted. “Allowing them to issue credits against property taxes due the following year makes it easier to manage the municipality’s financial obligations.”

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The property tax credits issued under the new law, which would include any interest accrued until the total refund is satisfied, would only be issued for up to three consecutive years, after which any outstanding balance owed to a taxpayer would be paid in full immediately.

“Taxpayers may file an appeal if they want to dispute the assessed value of their property. Appeals must be filed by April 1st of the current year with the County Board of Taxation. Appeals for added or omitted assessments must be filed by December 1st of the current year,” according to the Toms River Township website. ” Appeal forms and information is available from The Ocean County Board of Taxation, Ocean County Courthouse, located at the corner of Washington Street and Hooper Avenue in Toms River. You may call the office of the Board of Taxation at 732-929-2008.”

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Click here to learn how to appeal your recent tax assessment.