New Jersey law provides exemptions from property taxes for properties used for a wide variety of activities beneficial to society. A non-profit organization whose purpose is categorized as tax-exempt by New Jersey law may be eligible for a property tax exemption, provided the property is actually used for that purpose and the activity on the property is not conducted for profit.
For example, exempt activities of a religious organization may include:
There is no minimum level of exempt activity required to obtain an exemption. However, a building is generally required – exemptions are not available for vacant land alone in most cases. However, if there is a qualifying building, up to five acres of land associated with that building is entitled to exemption from property taxes.
Don't Miss the Deadline
It's important to remember that all the criteria for property tax exemption must be in place on October 1 of the year before the exemption will take effect. For example, the exempt organization must hold title to the property as of October 1, 2021 in order to be eligible for an exemption for property taxes in tax year 2022.
To apply for exemption, the organization files form I.S. (available on the New Jersey Division of Taxation’s website HERE) with the local tax assessor. This form should be filed by November 1 of the year before the organization is seeking tax exemption. The form requires the organization to identify itself and the basis of the claimed property tax exemption.
Thereafter, the organization files form F.S. (available on the New Jersey Division of Taxation’s website HERE) every three years to maintain its exemption. A tax assessor may also request documentation at any time to verify the organization’s right to continue its exemption.
It's important for an organization seeking an exemption to make a convincing case to the tax assessor on this form. It’s the quickest and easiest way to obtain an exemption, though it’s not the only way. If you miss the deadline, or if the tax assessor denies your application, you can file a tax appeal in the following year. If the county board of taxation or Tax Court decides that your organization qualifies for an exemption, it will apply for the tax year in which you appeal. You will need an attorney to represent you in the appeal, however.
The Englert Law Firm, LLC, can help you put your best foot forward to obtain a property tax exemption. For help preparing your initial statement, further statement, or to file an appeal from an adverse exemption decision, contact us today.