Residents being overassessed

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If you own farmland in New Jersey, especially in Sussex County, you are undoubtedly over assessed and overtaxed based on the Farmland Assessment Act.

To quote from State Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio's letter dated June 8, 2018, "Based on the statutory interpretation of the Division of Taxation and the OLS, the existing law does not require amendment to allow for more recent data to be used in determining values for the Farmland Assessment program".

And: "The Department of of Agriculture is makign efforts to provide the soil group (A through E) information available to landowners in the very near future. If a county soil conservation district is unable to supply a landowner with a soil map for his or her property, the Department of Agriculture will assist the landowner in acquiring a soil map for Farmland Assessment purposes."

But, the Farmland Assessment Application, Form FA-1, for tax year 2019 had to be filed by Aug. 1, 2018. Therefore, every owner of farmland should immediately contact the N.J. Dept. of Agriculture (Richard Belcher at 609-633-2549) and request a soil map for his or her property; and demand the right to submit this soil map as an amendment to their already filed FA-1 form for tax year 2019. The farmland owners should not be penalized for the fact that the state, county and municipal employees have obviously failed to properly perform their jobs under the Farmland Assessment Act.

William H. Gettler

Wantage Township

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