TRENTON, NJ – An executive order signed by Gov. Chris Christie Wednesday requires local governments to accept payment of 2018 property taxes from homeowners before the end of 2017 to help blunt the impact of the federal tax reform that will cap property tax deductions nationwide at $10,000.

Homeowners in states with higher real estate values and higher property taxes like New Jersey, New York and California will be prevented from writing off the total tax levy on their 2018 income tax as they have in previous years.

“The action I took today will ensure that local governments are flexible and accommodating of their local property taxpayers as we transition to the new federal tax code for 2018," Christie said. "This executive order requires local officials to dedicate the resources and staffing to serve New Jerseyans who are planning in this way for their families and their futures."

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The governor ordered the Director of the Division of Local Government to notify municipalities to accept payments for 2018 property taxes in calendar year 2017 and require them to credit those payments as received in 2017 if the payment is postmarked on or before Dec. 31, 2017.

Borough residents have already taken advantage of the opportunity, according to Somerville Mayor Brian Gallagher.

Here is the text of Executive Order 237:

“WHEREAS, on December 22, 2017, the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“Act”) was signed into law, thereby amending the federal Internal Revenue Code; and WHEREAS, among other various changes to the Internal Revenue Code, the Act changes the allowable deduction for State and local income, sales, and property taxes; and WHEREAS, one practical effect of the Act is, in the future, to disallow a significant portion of the property taxes that many New Jersey homeowners had been otherwise allowed to deduct on their federal income taxes;

and WHEREAS, New Jersey law, specifically NJSA 54:4-66(e) and NJSA 54:4-66.1(f), permits taxes to be received and credited from property owners, their agents, or lienholders, even prior to the dates otherwise fixed for payment; and WHEREAS, while some municipalities in this State are in the process of ensuring that prepayments received in 2017 are properly credited in accordance with New Jersey law, not all municipalities have committed to assisting their resident taxpayers who might desire to prepay their 2018 property taxes in 2017;

 and WHEREAS, it is appropriate to coordinate these activities on the local level to ensure that New Jersey residents are receiving equal treatment throughout the State; and WHEREAS, it is the responsibility of the Director of the Division of Local Government Services to, among other things, provide technical assistance to New Jersey’s municipalities;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, CHRIS CHRISTIE, Governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and by the Statutes of this State, do hereby ORDER and DIRECT:

1.       The Director of the Division of Local Government Services shall immediately issue a notice to municipalities requiring them to accept payments for 2018 property taxes in calendar year 2017

2.        The notice shall require municipalities to credit those payments as received in calendar year 2017 if the payment is postmarked on or before December 31, 2017, or as required by law. 3. This order shall take effect immediately.

Payments can be made at Somerville Borough Hall, 25 West End Ave., from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday.

Further information is available by calling (908) 725-2300 or online at www.somervillenj.org