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Phone: (973) 470-5838
Fax: (973) 470-5923
Hours: Mon. through Fri. 8:15 am - 4:15 pm
Municipal Tax Assessor: Matthew S. Rinaldi, CTA, SCGREA
Senior Assistant Assessor: William Schmidig, CTA
The New Jersey Constitutional mandate to assess all real property according To the same standard of value has been statutorily translated into Assessor's Duty to “determine the full and fair value of each parcel of real property situated in the taxing district at such price as, in his judgement, it will sell for at a fair and bona fide sale by contract” (N.J.S.A. 45:4-23). The Objective is simply to fairly distribute the necessary tax burden among all property owners, based upon the true value of their property.The actual procedure would be for your property to be inspected, measured, and photographed. The sales of properties in your neighborhood are also analyzed so that the current value trends within Clifton may be estimated. Another method to value property is based on how much money it would take, at current material and labor costs, to replace your property with one similar. The standards outlined in the appraisal manual for assessors, prepared by the State of New Jersey, are followed in estimating values.
The appraiser (assessor) has nothing to do with the total amount of tax collected. His primary responsibility is to find the fair market value of your property, so that you may pay only your fair share of the tax burden. The sum of the budget requirements needed each year, by all taxing agencies (the Municipal Government, the County Government and the local Board of Education) determines what is called the tax rate. This tax rate is applied to your property’s assessed value.
There are a few New Jersey property tax benefits. There is a $250.00 property tax deduction for veterans or their surviving spouses. To qualify, you must be an honorably discharged U.S. Armed Forces war veteran, or the unmarried surviving spouse of such a war veteran or the surviving spouse of a serviceperson who served in time of war and died while on active duty. There are specific wartime service periods of active duty required for eligibility. Please call for specific requirements. Claim Form V.S.S. must be obtained from and filed with the Clifton’s Assessing Department.
There is a $250.00 deduction for senior citizens, disabled persons, or surviving spouses. To qualify, you have to be 65 or over and live in the house that you own as October 1 of the year before the year for which the deduction is requested, excluding, with restrictions, monies received from social security, and some Federal and State pensions. Please call for additional requirements. Claim Form PTD must be obtained from and filed with the Clifton’s Assessing Department.