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NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY APPELLATE DIVISION

DOCKET NO. A-1314-09T2 CLARENCE PAUL ROBERTS, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. CITY OF NEWARK, Defendant-Respondent. ___________________________________ Submitted September 6, 2011 - Decided September 19, 2011 Before Judges Alvarez and Nugent. On appeal from the Tax Court of New Jersey, Docket No. 6386-2005. Clarence Paul Roberts, appellant pro se. Nowell Amoroso Klein Bierman, P.A., attorneys for respondent (Romal D. Bullock, on the brief). PER CURIAM Plaintiff Clarence Paul Roberts appeals from the August 7, 2009 order of the Tax Court that affirmed the Essex County Board of Taxation judgment regarding the 2005 assessment on his

residence in the City of Newark. In 2002, defendant City

We affirm. of Newark mistakenly assessed

plaintiff's single family residence as a three-family dwelling valued at $101,200. Although defendant subsequently corrected

its

error

and

lowered

the

assessment

to

$99,800,

plaintiff

remained dissatisfied and appealed to the Essex County Board of Taxation, which reduced the assessment to $89,800. assessment remained in place for the 2005 tax year. appealed Taxation. the On 2005 June assessment 15, 2005, to the Essex County a The reduced Plaintiff Board of

the

Board

entered

judgment

affirming the assessment.

Plaintiff appealed to the Tax Court,

where his pro se complaint was dismissed with prejudice for failing to comply with a management order that required him to provide an appraisal report or a list of comparable sales.

Plaintiff appealed, and we vacated the dismissal and reinstated the Tax Court appeal. Roberts v. City of Newark, No. A-0215-06

(App. Div. December 18, 2007). Defendant moved for reconsideration, which we denied.

Roberts v. City of Newark, No. A-0215-06 (App. Div. February 20, 2009). file We remanded to the Tax Court and directed plaintiff to the Tax Court, the defendant's attorney, and the We of

with

defendant, a list of comparable sales. also explained what was to be

Id., slip op. at 4. in the list

included

comparables. The remand Tax

Ibid. Court In affirmed its the $89,800 assessment after a

hearing.

comprehensive

written

decision,

the

court provided a detailed analysis of plaintiff's evidence of

A-1314-09T2

comparable account

sales, the

emphasizing differences

the

absence the

of

adjustments comparables

to and

for

between

plaintiff's property, or for the remoteness of their sale dates. Roberts v. City of Newark, No. 6386-2005 (Tax July 24, 2009) (slip op. at 6-12). The court also explained:

[With] no knowledge of the pertinent characteristics of the homes that were the subject of the comparable sales, details of the sales transaction, or knowledge of the condition of the properties at the time of the comparable sales, plaintiff could offer no reasoned analysis comparing those homes to his residence. [Id., slip op. at 12-13.] Although Assistant Tax defendant Assessor court produced to the testimony plaintiff's even if of its Chief of not

refute

evidence it did

comparables,

the

concluded

that

consider defendant's evidence, "the record still would contain no evidence upon which to determine the value of plaintiff's home and the court's decision would remain unchanged." slip op. at 15. Plaintiff contends that his single family residence should be assessed at one-third of the assessment that was based on the mistaken premise that the home was a three-family residence. Plaintiff also argues that the matter must be remanded because defendant did not provide him in advance with the documents defendant relied upon to refute his comparables. Id.,

A-1314-09T2

Our review of the Tax Court's factual findings is limited. We will only disturb those findings if they are arbitrary or lack the support of substantial evidence in the record.

Glenpointe Assocs. v. Twp. of Teaneck, 241 N.J. Super. 37, 46 (App. Div.), certif. denied, 122 N.J. 391 (1990). A property tax assessment is presumed to be valid, and the taxpayer has the burden of proving that it is not. Pantasote "[T]he serving It is,

Co. v. City of Passaic, 100 N.J. 408, 412-13 (1985). presumption is not simply an evidentiary presumption

only as a mechanism to allocate the burden of proof.

rather, a construct that expresses the view that in tax matters it is to be presumed that governmental authority has been

exercised correctly and in accordance with law."

Id. at 413.

We affirm substantially for the reasons explained by the Tax Court in its letter opinion of July 24, 2009. Plaintiff's

arguments on appeal do not merit further discussion in a written opinion. R. 2:11-3(e)(1)(E).

Affirmed.

A-1314-09T2