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Borough of Oradell v. State Board of Tax Appeals

Decided: February 27, 1941.

THE BOROUGH OF ORADELL, A MUNICIPAL CORPORATION OF THE COUNTY OF BERGEN AND STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PROSECUTOR,
v.
THE STATE BOARD OF TAX APPEALS AND HACKENSACK WATER COMPANY, A CORPORATION OF THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY, RESPONDENTS



On certiorari.

For the prosecutor, George W. Babcock (Robert Carey and Harry Lane, of counsel).

For the respondents, Milton, McNulty & Augelli.

Before Justices Bodine and Porter.

Porter

The opinion of the court was delivered by

PORTER, J. This writ of certiorari brings up for review a judgment of the State Board of Tax Appeals entered June 18th, 1940, reducing the tax assessment on property of the Hackensack Water Company, respondent, for the year 1937, by the borough of Oradell, prosecutor, from a total of $2,654,335 to the sum of $2,179,335.

The proceedings were pursuant to N.J.S.A. 52:2-41 which provides as follows:

"Correction of Errors by Consent. The Board may at any time on application by a property owner, with the consent of the mayor or assessor of the municipality affected, correct errors in tax assessments."

The petition of the respondent was that the assessment be corrected fixing it at $2,179,335 to which petition was affixed a consent signed by the assessor of prosecutor, in these words:

"The Assessor of the Borough of Oradell, after a review of the records, hereby states that in his opinion the aforesaid correction and reduction is justified and approved, and is made pursuant to Revised Statutes 54:2-41, for the purpose of correcting an error and mistake in the said assessment. Fred Moeller Assessor."

The petition was also consented to in writing by the Bergen County Board of Taxation. In the opinion of President Quinn of the State Board of Tax Appeals the above facts were recited and then he said:

"R.S. 54:4-41 allows this board to make correction of errors in tax assessments at any time, with the consent of the mayor or assessor of the municipality affected. This may be done without hearing or notice to the taxing district. North Bergen v. State Board, 2 N.J. Mis. R. 258; affirmed, 101 N.J.L. 235. The statutory prerequisite being duly complied with in this case, we are of the opinion that the correction prayed for should be made. It is therefore ordered that the assessment be fixed at land, $300,000; improvements, $1,728,489; and personalty, $150,846; or total $2,179,335. Judgment accordingly."

We are in full accord with those views. The appellant argues that North Bergen v. State Board, supra, is not in point because in that case there was an appeal pending before the State Board which is not the situation with the case at bar. We think that the point is without merit. The statute, supra, clearly vests power in the State Board to correct errors at any time. The only conditions imposed are that the application of the property owner be ...


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