Your Tax Assessor bears the tremendous responsibility of determining each taxpayer’s share. Upon his/her shoulders falls the burden of equitable treatment. Their primary duty is to determine the value of each and every property in his/her municipality every year.
In the past, the Assessor’s job was relatively simple. There was less property and property was less complex in nature and more stable in value. Fewer new structures were built each year. Taxes were much lower, more uniform from year to year and of less consequence to the taxpayer. Properly done, the job of the Tax Assessor is difficult, voluminous and complex. It requires much skill in appraising property, a thorough knowledge of property tax laws, the ability to administer office personnel and routines, knowledge of municipal finances and the ability to deal effectively with the public. In the past few years, new duties have been imposed upon the Assessor. A job that once required only a few weeks or months out of the year in most municipalities has now become a year-round job in all taxing districts.
Who is you Tax Assessor? He or she possesses a certified Tax Assessor’s Certificate (CTA) issued by the State of New Jersey after successfully passing a comprehensive examination. They are appointed to the office of tax assessor by the local municipal government. Some of our assessors have also acquired a real estate appraiser’s license. But the assessor could be a current or former contractor, an accountant or an engineer. Some have years of experience in the corporate world focusing on management, communications or chemistry.
There are five (5) male and four (4) female assessors serving the fifteen (15) municipalities of Salem County. Most are married and reside within, or in a neighboring county. More than fifty percent (50%) have obtained a college degree. Seventy percent (70%) have made assessing their career or “retirement” vocation with an overall average of assessing experience of 25 years. Recent legislation requires the recertification of all tax assessors. This is accomplished through attendance at approved educational courses designed to improve their assessment administration skills and update their knowledge in a rapidly changing technical field.
You are encouraged to meet with your municipal Tax Assessor during his/her office hours and review your property record card to confirm the accuracy of your property’s information for a fair and equitable assessment.