How to value thee? The NJ Tax Court counts the ways . . . .

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
31 Dec 2013
Under New Jersey law all real property is required to be assessed as of October 1st of the preceding tax year at its “full and fair value,” i.e., what “it would sell for at a fair and bona fide sale by private contract on October 1 [of the pretax year].” So, how do you value... Read More

BMW’s Farmland Assessment Request Veers Off Course

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
30 Dec 2013
Between 1998 and 2006, BMW permitted a tenant farmer to tend a 20 acre apple orchard which was part of a larger assemblage of property intended to house BMW’s corporate headquarters in the future.  The orchard maintained farmland assessment status during this period, and contained over 200 trees, a body of water used as part... Read More

Rails to Trails Case on Supreme Court Docket

by: Joseph Grather
23 Dec 2013
Signing off on 2013 and looking towards 2014, an interesting case with property rights implications is scheduled for argument before the United States Supreme Court on January 14, 2014.  The case is captioned Marvin M. Brandt Revocable Trust v. United States.   The Court certified the following question for briefing and argument: “This case involves the... Read More

Another Contract Purchaser Wins Right to Pursue Tax Appeal

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
19 Dec 2013
The New Jersey Tax Court recently held that a contract purchaser had standing to prosecute its tax appeal.  The facts are plain and uncomplicated.  In February 2012, plaintiff entered into a purchase agreement with the property owner that was eventually signed by both parties on March 29, 2012, although the closing did not occur until... Read More

So what does moldy bread have to do with valuing contaminated property?

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
18 Dec 2013
When I was a boy staying at my grandparents shore house I informed my grandfather that we needed bread because there was mold on the loaf we had. He told me to cut out the mold and eat the “good” bread. Needless to say, I went without bread until later in the week when my grandmother... Read More

Tax Court: No Show, No Go!

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
12 Dec 2013
In Harshad Patel v. Township of Maple Shade, the New Jersey Tax Court granted Maple Shade’s motion to dismiss plaintiff’s 2012 tax appeal complaint for lack of prosecution because plaintiff failed to appear at the scheduled hearing before the Burlington County Board of Taxation.  The facts were not disputed by the parties.  Plaintiff’s attorney faxed... Read More

Taxpayer Fails to Overcome “Presumption of Correctness”

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
10 Dec 2013
Another New Jersey property owner learned the hard way that reducing a property tax assessment may not be as easy as it seems.  In Stransky v. Township of Howell, the owner filed an appeal from a Monmouth County Tax Board judgment which had affirmed the 2012 assessment on a 13 acre farm containing a single-family... Read More

Property Owners Score in a Chapter 91 Trifecta

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
9 Dec 2013
In a trio of Tax Court cases dealing with Chapter 91, the Tax Court reaffirmed the obligation of municipalities to adhere to the requirements of N.J.S.A. 54:4-34 if they want the court to dismiss tax appeals under the statute. As has been discussed numerous times on this blog, N.J.S.A. 54:4-34, also known as “Chapter 91,”... Read More

New Jersey Dipping Its Toes Into Underwater Mortgage Pool?

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
9 Dec 2013
This week, two separate New Jersey related stories surfaced regarding the potential use of eminent domain to seize “underwater” mortgages. First, the city of Newark has indicated that it will begin researching the viability of a plan to condemn troubled mortgages in an effort to allow struggling homeowners to stay in their homes.  Newark is... Read More

Arkansas Game Remand Equals Just Compensation for Property Owner

by: Joseph Grather
6 Dec 2013
Almost a year to the date after the Supreme Court issued its opinion in Arkansas Game and Fish Commission v. United States, the Circuit Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit found that the governmental taking caused by an Army Corps controlled flooding program was compensable. The Circuit Court “affirm[ed] the judgment of the Court... Read More