As a result of Hurricane Sandy, some New Jersey properties suffered significant damage and possible material depreciation in value which likely will affect the real property taxes their owners will pay for 2013.

Under state real property tax laws, the valuation date for 2013 tax assessments is normally October 1, 2012. This would set the valuation of any real property destroyed or materially depreciated at its pre-storm condition, as the damage occurred on October 29, 2012.

However, New Jersey has an exception statute that provides if any real property contains any building or structure which has been destroyed, consumed by fire, demolished, or altered in such a way that its value has materially depreciated, either intentionally or by the action of storm, fire, cyclone, tornado, earthquake, or other casualty, which depreciation of value occurred after October 1 in any year, and before January 1 of the following year, the assessor shall, upon notice thereof being given to him by the property owner prior to January 10 of said year, and after examination and inquiry, determine the value of such parcel of real property as of said January 1, and assess the same according to such value.

As such, January 10, 2013, is the drop-dead date for this notification. Failure of property owners to properly notify assessors could result in property owners paying real property taxes for 2013 on their destroyed properties, as if those properties had not been destroyed or materially depreciated.