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Posted on: August 14, 2019

Understanding Your Property Tax Bill

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Calculation of Property Taxes
Property taxes are calculated based on the assessed value of the property, multiplied by the tax rate. The assessed value is determined by the Tax Assessor. The tax rate is set and certified by the Essex County Board of Taxation, a few weeks after adoption of the municipal budget.

About Reducing Bills or Waiving Interests
As a statutory officer of the State of New Jersey, the Tax Collector is obliged to follow all State Statutes regarding property tax collection, including billing, due dates, interest on delinquent tax payments, reporting and tax sale procedures. The Tax Collector does not have statutory authority to reduce a tax bill or waive interest charges.

Estimated Property Tax Bills
These type of bills are issued when by mid June the tax rate has not been certified to any of the taxing entities namely the County of Essex, the West Orange Board of Education, and the Township municipal government. Rates are certified or set by the County Board of Taxation after receiving the budgets of all municipalities and school districts, which must be certified by the State of New Jersey Division of Local Government as a first step.

By law The Township is responsible for collecting taxes on behalf of the three taxing entities referred. Payments are forwarded quarterly to both the County of Essex and the Board of Education. The issuance of estimated bills is important for the municipal government, in order to prevent cash liquidity problems, which might affect normal operations and provision of services.

As customary, the taxes paid for the first and second installments of this year were based on the prior year tax rate. The third installment represents one-half of the estimated increase in taxes for the first two quarters had the current year tax rate been in place at the beginning of the year. Whenever estimated bills are issued, early in the Fall you will receive a final or reconciled fourth quarter bill, along with the preliminary bills for the first and second quarters of the next year.

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