UPDATE: Montclair could extend tax payment deadline
BY JAIMIE JULIA WINTERS
Property tax payments were due this Friday, May 1, with a 10-day grace period, Montclair officials announced this week.
However, on April 28, Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 130, which allows municipalities to extend the grace period for property tax payments due on May 1 to June 1.
Montclair's mayor and council are expected to vote through an extension on Tuesday, May 5. If the resolution is approved Montclair property owners would not be charged interest on property taxes paid on or before June 1.
Under existing law, towns may only allow for a grace period of up to 10 days after the property tax deadline without interest or penalty. Currently, taxes must be paid by Monday, May 11, before interest will begin accruing.
In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, the state 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. There is currently no mechanism in the law to allow municipalities to extend the grace period as a result of a public health-related emergency. Executive Order No. 130 allows towns to extend the grace period for property tax payments to June 1, which will give homeowners another month to pay their taxes without incurring any interest costs or penalties.
Montclair would have to pass a resolution allowing for the one-time extension.
“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 1,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs.
The governor said the extension would provide much-needed relief to homeowners struggling financially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Allowing municipalities the option of extending the grace period for May property tax payments is the right thing to do as many New Jerseyans are impacted financially as a result of this crisis,” said Murphy. “Leaders of towns and cities across the state have been trying to find ways to lessen the blow on local residents, and with this action, they are empowered to provide relief to homeowners as we continue to do everything possible to fight this pandemic.”
Water bills are also due on May 1. Interest will accrue on late payments from the April 1 deadline.
The Montclair Municipal Building is currently closed to the public until further notice. In-person bill payments are no longer be accepted at the township
Montclair encourages residents to make payments online. The Finance Department has waived online transaction fees for tax, water and sewer payments. The Township will credit all bill payment transaction fees on future bills – this includes credit card and electronic check payments for property tax and utility bills paid online.
Check payments can be dropped off into the box located outside towards the front of the building, next to the US Postal Service mailbox.
All checks must be in an envelope clearly noting which department they should go to.