It's been six weeks since the State of New Jersey and our shore changed forever. 

David Matthau, Townsquare Media

While the cleanup and recovery continues, hundreds of phone calls continue to pour in weekly from residents who are dealing with picking up the pieces of their smashed lives.  If your home was damaged or destroyed by Superstorm Sandy, you can apply for a reduction in your property taxes.  The deadline is one month from today so you better act fast!

Property owners who suffered "material damage" may qualify for a reduction in their property assessment for the year 2013.  The state statute defines material depreciation as "when any parcel of real property contains any building or structure which has been destroyed, consumed by fire, demolished or altered in such a way that the value has materially depreciated, either intentionally or by a force of nature."

Right now, Ocean County is providing information and tools that can get the work done in a timely manner.  Your first step is to take pictures or videos of the wreckage, jot down as much as you can and then contact your local tax assessor.  Freeholder John Bartlett says they've been given a checklist to follow from the state to streamline the process.

Bartlett says "the assessors have their hands full since so many homes suffered damage ranging from minor to a total loss.  We are here to help in any way that we can.  If someone gets re-assessed and is unhappy with the outcome, there is an appeal process, first through the assessor direct and then through the county's tax board."

To access the necessary form, visit

The deadline is January 10th, 2013.