Risk In Being Underassessed?

In the minutes of a recent council meeting in Westfield I saw something that caught my eye: a suggestion by the Finance Policy committee that the tax assessor be allowed to increase a property assessment were that property found to be undervalued. Now I'm not sure if such a thing would even be legal, though it wouldn't suprise me if townships found a way to make it so, in an effort to stem the tide of appeals flooding assessor's offices every year.

I could imagine a homeowner getting slapped with a property that is severly underassessed, though I have yet to hear of a single instance where this has happened. Yet. Doesn't mean it won't.

Which is why it is vital to have your assessment valuation checked before appealing to insure you don't find yourself “outted” and running a possible (though unlikely) risk of having your property tax increased.    

From The Westfield Council Minutes:

WHEREAS, the Tax Assessor is of the opinion that said properties may, in many cases be undervalued and that the assessment for said properties should be increased and not decreased as the taxpayers seeks, and

WHEREAS, a method exists in the tax law for the municipality to counterclaim against the property owner to seek and increase in the assessment 

More…Westfield New Jersey Council Minutes

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