November 1 is an important date for non-profit corporations and associations seeking exemption from real property taxation for their owned real estate. An application for exemption in the first instance with respect to a particular property is made by filing an Initial Statement (on the State prescribed form) with the municipal Tax Assessor on or before November 1 of the pretax year. Under New Jersey law, tax exemption is based on the actual use and ownership of the property on October 1 of the pretax year. In order to be eligible for tax exemption in 2017, property must be owned and actually used by an organization entitled to exemption for an exempt purpose on October 1, 2016. The deadline is a real one; the Assessor has no obligation to honor an Initial Statement filed after November 1.
Once exemption is granted pursuant to the filing of an Initial Statement, the owner must update the filing on or before November 1 of the third year after filing the Initial Statement, and every three (3) years thereafter, by filing a Further Statement (also on a State prescribed form). Again, the November 1 deadline is important and an owner can lose its exemption by failing to meet the filing deadline.
Once an Initial Statement is filed and approved, most Tax Assessors routinely send owners of exempt property a request for a Further Statement every three (3) years. However, failure to receive notice from the Assessor does not excuse the owner from filing. Accordingly, owners of exempt property should take care to diary and keep track of this important filing deadline.