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New Jersey taxpayers need to know about two critical issues as they consider possibilities for property tax relief.

The first issue is the filing deadline. All property tax appeals in New Jersey must be filed no later than April 1, 2008. This date requires that the appeal be received by the Tax Court on that date. Merely mailing the appeal with a postmark of April 1st will result in a dismissal. As a precaution, taxpayers would be well advised to file their appeal anytime after January 1, 2008. When the appeal is filed, all property taxes due and owing must be paid in order for the appeal to be considered by the court.

The second issue revolves around the need to timely respond to Chapter 91 requests that have been made by the assessor. Many assessors routinely send Chapter 91 requests to taxpayers seeking information about income producing property. These requests, which must be answered within 45 days of receipt, are sometimes ignored by taxpayers. That is a fatal error. If the assessor sends out such a request, it must be answered in order for the taxpayer to have the right to file a tax appeal the following year. Many valid tax appeals have been dismissed for this failure.

John 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 [email protected].

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