The City of Elizabeth to Perform its First Property Revaluation Since 1977

by: Matthew Erickson
28 Apr 2023

The City of Elizabeth, New Jersey announced on April 16, 2023, that it will be performing its first property tax revaluation since 1977, so long ago that “Gremlins”, “Pintos” and “Chevettes” were new styles of cars.  This revaluation is scheduled to be completed for the 2024 tax year, but logistical considerations may push this a year or two further into the future.

In a revaluation, all of the line-item properties in a municipality are inspected and reviewed by a qualified appraisal company and their assessment values are set as of the October 1 date of the year preceding the assessment year.  The goal of a revaluation is to ensure that all properties in a municipality are fairly and accurately assessed so that the property tax burden is correctly shared by all the non-exempt properties.  As a result of a revaluation, typically 1/3 of properties receive a decrease in their tax bill, 1/3 stay roughly the same, and the final 1/3 will receive an increase.

Currently, Elizabeth has the State’s worst Chapter 123 ratio, which calculates the difference between the assessed value of the properties in the municipality and the expected market values.  The City’s ratio of roughly 7% means that the assessments represent only 7% of the actual perceived value of the properties.  As an example, using this ratio, a property with an assessment of $100,000 would translate to an indicated current market value of more than $1,400,000! This is an unprecedented number that has caused Elizabeth to have one of the highest general property tax rates in the State and often leads to ambiguities and errors in the tax assessment process.

The City of Elizabeth had previously been part of a collection of cases where the New Jersey Division of Taxation had, in 2016, attempted to force the municipalities of Jersey City, Dunellen, and Elizabeth to perform revaluations.  While Jersey City and Dunellen eventually performed their revaluations, Elizabeth was able to escape a revaluation at that time.

For property owners in Elizabeth, you may wish to monitor this situation and understand that inspections of your property will be occurring in the near future.  If you, as an owner, are concerned about your projected property tax assessment under the revaluation, competent property tax counsel can help.  Please do not hesitate to reach out to us for your free property tax appeal consultation.  Contact McKirdy, Riskin, Olson & DellaPelle, P.C. to speak with an experienced property tax attorney.