TRENTON, NJ - Governor Phil Murphy announced at his Tuesday press conference that he signed an Executive Order allowing municipalities to extend the grace period for property tax payments that are due on May 1. The Order, which takes effect immediately, extends the due date to June 1 without incurring any interest costs or penalties.
Murphy acknowledged that most property owners pay their taxes through their mortgage escrow. For those who pay quarterly, "this is an additional measure of relief," he said.
According to Christopher Eilert, Wood-Ridge Borough Administrator, the Mayor and Council will decide on the extension at the next meeting scheduled for Wednesday, May 6.
Individual municipalities must decide whether they'd permit the extension.
Under the present law, towns may only allow for a grace period of up to 10 days after the property tax deadline without interest or penalty. After Superstorm Sandy, the law was amended to allow towns that have experienced a flood, hurricane, superstorm, tornado or other natural disaster to extend the grace period for up to a month in certain circumstances. The executive order allows municipalities to extend the grace period as a result of a public health-related emergency since current law does not.
"We understand that many property owners are coping with financial challenges they've never had to face before as a result of this pandemic and we are considering every option available to answer their calls for help," said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs. "Allowing municipalities to institute this grace period will afford New Jersey property owners who need it some extra time to get their finances in order so they can submit their quarterly property tax payments by June 1st."
(Editor's Note: TAPinto reached out to Hasbrouck Heights officials for their comment late on Tuesday afternoon on how the borough will proceed and will update the story accordingly.)
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