If your home suffered significant damage or was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, you may qualify for a reduction in your assessment for the tax year 2013 under New Jersey law.

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The damage has to have taken place between October 1, 2012 and January 1, 2013.

"First, the property owner must notify their municipal assessor in writing by January 10, 2013 to tell them the property was damaged," said Atlantic County Tax Administrator Marge Schott. "It's also a good idea to take photos of the damage and enclose those photos because the assessor will come and inspect the property, but in some cases, the property owner may have already made repairs. Keep copies of the photos along with all records and correspondence"

The assessor will come and inspect the property. "Based on how much the material depreciation on the home is, the assessor will reduce the assessment which will, in turn, reduce the taxes. Unfortunately, if you don't notify the assessor, the only option is to file a tax appeal for the year 2013. But, then you'll be paying taxes for the full year of 2013 until there is a court hearing and a judgment is issued. So, it's very important to notify the assessor," said Schott.

For additional information, contact your local tax assessor.