Highlands assesses real property on an annual basis using October 1 of each year as the date of valuation. For example, 2013 tax assessments are based upon the condition and value of property as of October 1, 2012.
However, if your Highlands property sustained significant damage that caused a “material depreciation” in the value during Hurricane Sandy (Oct 29th), you may be entitled to a reduction in your tax assessment.
(N.J.S.A. 54:4-35.1) provides:
When any parcel of real property contains any building or other structure which has been destroyed, consumed by fire, demolished, or altered in such a way that its value has materially depreciated, either intentionally or by the action of storm, fire, cyclone, tornado, or earthquake, or other casualty, which depreciation of value occurred after October first in any year and before January first of the following year, the assessor shall, upon notice thereof being given to him by the property owner prior to January tenth of said year, and after examination and inquiry, determine the value of such parcel of real property as of said January first, and assess the same according to such value.
To take advantage of this , you need (1) a building or structure that was damaged, (2) the damage must cause the value to be materially depreciated, and (3) you must notify the tax assessor (Charles Heck) of the damage before January 10, 2013. It is advisable to send a written notice to the tax assessor via Highlands Temporary Borough Hall,17-1 Shore Drive Highlands, NJ 07732 via certified mail, immediately and follow up with a call. 732 872 1519 (direct line) or 408 432 2811 New Borough #.