Tax Assessor General Overview
The primary responsibility of the Tax Assessor's Office is to equally distribute the property tax burden among its property owners. Equally distributing the tax burden involves maintaining a list of property owners and raising and lowering assessments. The assessments are amended due to demolitions, property improvements and appeals. The Director of the Division of Taxation also requires the Assessor's Office to assist with a sales ratio study. The ratio study is used by the State of New Jersey to determine the amount of State Aid distributed to School Districts. The ratio is also used to determine the amount of county taxes each municipality pays.
Long ago the Constitution of New Jersey established a property tax to pay for municipal services, local schools, and county services. The tax was based on a system known as "Ad Val Orem". An Ad Val Orem tax is based on value. This means the higher valued properties pay more than lower valued properties.
The assessment of a property is directly related to its market value. The general tax rate times the assessment is a property owner's yearly tax burden. The general tax rate is made up of several different components. Those components are the school rate, the municipal rate, fire district rate and county rate. Each individual rate is created by dividing the total assessments in a municipality by the individual budget.