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Owners of Storm-Damaged Homes Can Request Review of Tax Assessments

A letter from Ocean City's tax assessor explains how owners of homes with "substantial structural damage" could see temporary tax reductions.

To All Property Owners,

As per N.J.S.A. 54: 4-35.1, if your building received substantial structural damage (received material depreciation) due to flooding from Hurricane Sandy that impacts the market value of the property, and the damage cannot be repaired in the next six months (as of April 1, 2013), you can do the following to receive a review of the year 2013 assessed improvement value:

  • Send a certified letter to the assessor's office that requests a review of the assessment. The letter must list the owner's name, the block number, lot number, and qualifier (for condominium form of ownership of the subject property, the property address, and the owner's contact information (i.e. telephone number and home address).
  • Enclose a detailed list of the damages that occurred to the property and enclose multiple photographs that clearly show the damage to the subject property.
  • Enclose a copy of one to three proposals from a contractor(s), on the contractor's letterhead or forms showing the estimated cost to repair the damage.

The certified letter and all documentation must be received prior to Jan. 10, 2013 for any potential assessment change for 2013. After that deadline, any potential change in assessed value for year 2013 must be done through the filing of a tax appeal with the Cape May County Tax Board of Taxation (609-465-1030).

After receipt of your certified letter and all required documentation, the assessor's office will review your claim for a potential assessment charge for year 2013. Please be advised that the level of damage must be substantial in order for there to be any impact on assessed value. Ruined carpeting and flooring, ruined crawl space insulation and appliances, and the need for cleanup of dirt and debris will not have a substantial, long-term impact on the value of the structure and typically will not be sufficient cause to receive a lower building assessment in year 2013. Also, if any reduction is made to a 2013 assessed value due to damage from the storm, once repairs and renovations are complete, the property may be subject to an added assessment in year 2013 to increase the assessed value considering the repairs and/or renovations.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

Joseph Elliott, CTA, Tax Assessor

Nancy December 14, 2012 at 12:57 PM
Just wondering, if the taxes go down on these buildings will the taxes go up on those that were not ruined to make up for the short fall?
Patrick Piriano December 14, 2012 at 01:43 PM
Yes Nancy it will, and it will all go up eventually. I have damage that fits in to this small group, but why bother? I will not.

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