Schneck Law Group LLC

Over $150,000,000.00 of property taxes have been refunded by the property tax attorneys associated with Schneck Law Group LLC.

Schneck Law Group LLC exclusively represents property owners in property tax appeals and focuses on reducing real estate taxes on commercial, industrial and multi-tenant real estate. Schneck Law Group LLC has 3 property tax attorneys and a staff of trained paralegals. The firm's founder and managing member, Michael Schneck, may be reached via email at

For a free consultation about a potential property tax appeal, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Direct Dial: (973) 533-9300, ext. 1

Friday, January 9, 2009

Property Taxes & Contaminated Properties

Reversing the Tax Court of New Jersey, the Appellate Division on Wednesday adopted the New Jersey Industrial Site Recovery Act (“ISRA”) as the cornerstone in determining whether a tax assessor should value a property by taking into account environmental cleanup costs. As stated by the Appellate Division in Pan Chemical Corp. v. Hawthorne Borough: “The degree to which a property is ‘in use’ or ‘closed down’ cannot be left to subjective standards resulting in inconsistent determinations. ISRA provides a rational, objective standard by which one can determine whether property is in use for tax purposes, as well as for determining whether the obligation to remediate has been triggered.”

The Appellate Division stated that the reason that the ISRA standard should be adopted is due to the fear that a taxpayer, such as the plaintiff here, will keep a bare minimum of continued operations and employees working at a property in order to avoid a “closed operations” status and, thus, avoid triggering the cleanup mandates of ISRA. According to the Appellate Division: “It therefore appears that [the plaintiff] would have it both ways. It wanted the property to be deemed ‘in use’ during the years on appeal for the sole purpose of avoiding the costly cleanup mandated by ISRA. Now, [the plaintiff] wants the property to be deemed ‘not in use’ over the same period of time in order to claim a reduced tax liability.”

However, isn’t the whole point of allowing a reserve deduction to allow a consistent annual deduction for large expenses that a property will have to undergo at some unknown point in the future?

To read the full opinion please click the words New Jersey Property Tax Appeals.


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