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Contaminated property is worthless (almost)

by: Richard De Angelis
2 Feb 2015
In an opinion that has been approved for publication, the New Jersey Tax Court has ruled that for purposes of real property taxation, a heavily contaminated property warranted only a nominal assessment. In Methode Electronics, Inc. v. Township of Willingboro, the subject property is a small parcel improved with a 6,800 square foot concrete slab... Read More

Griepenburg v Township of Ocean: Inverse Claim Denied For Failure to Exhaust Administrative Remedies

by: Joseph Grather
26 Jan 2015
Last week, the New Jersey Supreme Court decided a case brought by property owners to challenge a municipal ordinance that “down-zoned” their property. (A full copy of the decision is here).  The property owners lost before the trial court, won before the Appellate Division, but lost in the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court held:  “We... Read More

Presumptions Foil Municipality

by: Richard De Angelis
19 Jan 2015
In another case where a municipality took an appeal to trial and rested on the assessment, the strategy backfired as the tax court ruled in favor of the taxpayer. We have written before (Township Punts, Loses at Trial and on Appeal) about municipalities forcing an appeal to trial only to rest on the presumption of correctness. ... Read More

Ramsey v. Commissioner of Highways: Is there a Santa Claus in Virginia?

by: Joseph Grather
12 Jan 2015
Coming to you from Virginia – care of our Owner’s Counsel colleague Robert Thomas – is the case of Ramsey v. Commissioner of Highways, which involves Virginia DOT’s attempt to change its valuation position at trial. Thomas’ Blog entry here.  In a nutshell, DOT offered the owner $246,292 before trial (based on an appraisal prepared by... Read More

Tax Court stops Grinch who tried to steal tax exemption from local charity

by: Richard De Angelis
29 Dec 2014
In these consolidated tax appeals, the Tax Court recently dismissed the City of Hackensack’s challenge to the decision by the Bergen County Board of Taxation awarding an exemption from local property taxes for three properties owned by affiliates of Community Housing in Partnership, commonly referred to as CHIP. CHIP and its affiliates provide housing and... Read More

Municipality Swings and Misses on Chapter 91 Motion

by: Richard De Angelis
18 Dec 2014
Like a baseball player trying to knock one out of the part, local tax assessors try to knock tax appeals out of court with their mighty “Chapter 91” bats.  You remember Chapter 91 it is the statute (N.J.S.A. 54:4-34) that allows tax assessors to request income and expense information from owners of commercial properties.  Failure... Read More

Federal Judge Restrains Government Action On Dune Project in Margate

by: Joseph Grather
8 Dec 2014
Yesterday, a United States District Court judge restrained the U.S. Army Corps and NJDEP from any further action towards their joint Little Egg Inlet to Barnegat Inlet Storm Damage Reduction Project pending further hearings to be held in two weeks time.  The City of Margate, which owns the beach west of the State’s public trust... Read More

Expert’s Opinion Off Track in Appeal Near Train Station

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
26 Nov 2014
A New Jersey Tax Court judge recently concluded that a plaintiff’s expert failed to make several adjustments which impacted the expert’s credibility with the court. The appeal involved a residential property located less than a mile from the train station in Summit, New Jersey. At trial, plaintiff’s expert presented five comparable sales, while the town’s... Read More

De Niro’s Tax Battle Ends With a Whimper

by: Richard De Angelis
25 Nov 2014
A few weeks ago we told you about Robert De Niro’s tax appeal on his estate overlooking the Hudson River in the tiny town of Gardiner, New York. (See Now playing: The Property Tax Appeal, starring Robert De Niro).  Despite this writer’s belief that Mr. De Niro has every right to the appeal the actor not... Read More

Subpoenaed Appraisals Quashed by Attorney-Client Privilege

by: Richard De Angelis
24 Nov 2014
During discovery in these tax appeals, the defendant municipality became aware of appraisals prepared by a licensed real estate appraiser on the subject properties close in time to the valuation dates for the then pending appeals for tax years 2012 through 2014.  Plaintiff’s refused to produce the appraisals.  The defendant served a subpoena to produce... Read More