TOWNSHIP OF CRANBURY
Office of the Tax Assessor
Steven H. Benner, CTA
Phone: (609) 664-3134
Part Time Office Hours*
Monday – 2:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Wednesday – 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Thursday – 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Friday – 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
*Please Note: Both the Assessor and the Assistant Assessor / Assessing Clerk, Lorraine Jones, CTA serve the township on a part-time basis. There are times during the normal business week that we are either “in the field” doing property inspections, at the County Board of Taxation or otherwise out of the office. Therefore, we recommend that if you have questions pertaining to obtaining any type of assessing data you
e-mail your request to: firstname.lastname@example.org
General Statement of Duties
In compliance with state statutes, as well as procedures set forth by the Middlesex County Board of Taxation, the Assessor values and assess all real property in the Township for the purpose of equitable distribution of the real property tax requirements of the municipality, as well as the school system and county government.
Examples of Work Performed
On or before January 10 of each year, the Assessor is responsible for the proofreading and certification of the annual assessment list, which is then published in the Assessor’s Field Book. As of 2015 this required the review of 1,518 line items (excluding exempt property), with an overall assessed value of $1,543,320,989.
On or before February 1st of each year, the Assessor is responsible for the mailing of annual assessment notices to all property owners.
After April 1st of each year, the Assessor is responsible for the review and either acceptance, negotiated settlement or litigation for all filed assessment appeals, which are filed with either with the Middlesex County Board of Taxation, or the State Tax Court.
On or before June 1, the Assessor’s office is responsible for the mailing of all Farmland Assessment Applications to owners of property that in the prior year had qualified farmland. In 2015, Cranbury Township had 94 tracts, which qualified for farmland assessment.
After August 1, the Assessor’s office is responsible for the review of each (received) farmland assessment application and prior to November 1, I must determine which applications qualify. In addition, I must assess “Roll Back Taxes” for those tracts’ of land, which had previously qualified, but no longer do so, due to a “change in use” or the intensity of farming that is required by state law.
On or before October 1, the Assessor’s office is responsible for inspecting, assessing and notifying all owners whose property underwent some form of new construction during the last (up to) two years, of a forthcoming Added, or Omitted Added Assessment(s). Note, in order to determine the need for an inspection, we are responsible for the review of all filed building permits and certificate of occupancies, as well as the logging of applicable permits / certificates into our tracking system.
Generally from the end of November through mid December the Assessor’s office is responsible for the review of all Added or Omitted Added Assessment appeals, as well as either their acceptance, litigation, or coming to a negotiated settlement.
Between November 1 and January 1, the Assessor’s office reviews all minor and major subdivision plans, as well as road widening and any other existing or proposed changes to the township tax maps and makes the necessary adjustment to the tax assessment list. We are also responsible for the creation of new Property Record Cards and Files for those parcels created by the subdivision process.
On or before January 1, the Assessor’s office will complete the “review” of all parcels where the owner has requested either an on-site inspection or “in-office” review; or during the course of the year we have determined the need for said review due to a potential inconsistency with adjoining comparable parcels or comparable sales.
The Assessor’s office is also responsible for the processing of all recorded Deeds and SR1A Forms, which are given to us by the Middlesex County Board of Taxation. This combined process updates the ownership / tax lists, as well as establishes the basis for the computation of the annual “Common Level Ratio” of assessments to “True Value. The said ratio is utilized as the basis for the distribution of school aid, as well as the basis for establishing uniformity in tax appeals.
The office is also responsible for the review and overseeing of the processing of all types of Veterans and Senior Citizen Deduction Forms, as well as Exempt Property Applications.
Finally, the office assists municipal taxpayers, the general public and professional real estate personnel in regards to their questions and or requests for information pertaining to assessments, tax deductions, rebates and maintained property data pursuant to all State of New Jersey laws regulating the proper release of said data. (Again, for efficiency sake, we strongly suggest that whenever possible e-mail said request.) In addition, we also provide when requested, assessment data, as well as real property data and “opinions” of value (both written and verbal) to other departments of the township.