The Compliance/Maintenance Plan
Your home’s assessed value is determined by actual sale prices of properties similar to yours in your neighborhood. This is the “true value” of your property as specified by New Jersey law. There are three basic approaches to maintaining accurate assessments. The first method is to periodically revalue the entire municipality, most often by hiring an outside consultant. This type of whole-town review last occurred in Princeton in 2010 (prior to consolidation, when both municipalities jointly underwent a complete revaluation). The second is a program through which municipal staff members re-inspect the entire town every five years. The third approach is to have the municipal tax assessor evaluate home sale prices and compare them to current assessments each year, on a rolling basis. This method, a yearly“Compliance Plan,” has been in effect in Princeton since the 2010 revaluation.By adjusting values each year (both down as well as up), the assessor’s office can maintain uniform and fair values and avoid the dramatic changes that can occur when assessments are made at longer intervals.
Each year, the State Division of Taxation provides a list of “usable sales” for the tax assessor to use as a benchmark to determine if new assessments are needed. The assessor compares sales to assessments in more than 100 Princeton neighborhoods (using the neighborhood map developed by the revaluation firm in 2010). The current trend of sales price to assessments of a neighborhood is “flagged” if it is more than 15 percent beyond the town’s overall current ratio of sale prices to assessed values. (The Director of the State Division of Taxation sets this ratio for each of New Jersey’s municipalities.) The Princeton assessor makes global neighborhood adjustments to home or land values in order to return the “flagged”neighborhood to uniformity.
Princeton currently has more than 8,100 assessed properties. Each year, through the Compliance Plan, the assessor changes the assessments of about 1,000 of these properties. The changes in home assessments in the Compliance Plan must be reviewed and approved yearly by the Mercer County Tax Board, which also reserves the right to adjust the assessor’s work on a case-by-case basis.
If your property assessment has increased under the Compliance Plan (indicated on the property tax “green post cards” mailed each February) or, for any reason, you believe your current assessment is above the market value of your home, you have the right to file an appeal. Click here for assessment appeal form.
Compliance Plan related information
Compliance Plan Yearly Changes – indicates average changes in each neighborhood on yearly basis following the revaluation of 2010. “B” in front of a neighborhood number indicates the neighborhood in the Borough. You can reference the neighborhoods in the maps below.
Neighborhood Maps (VCS)- Indicates boundaries of Princeton neighborhoods (VCS).
Real Estate Sales-yearly Princeton real estate sales