TRENTON – Governor Murphy today signed Executive Order No. 130, which allows municipalities to extend the grace period for property tax payments due on May 1st to June 1st. Such an 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 Governor 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.”
“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.”
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. In the aftermath of 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. 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 due on May 1st to June 1st, which will enable homeowners to pay their taxes a month after they are due without incurring any interest costs or penalties.
Under Executive Order 130, municipalities are not required to extend the property tax grace period. The Order provides municipalities with flexibility to determine how to proceed given the unprecedented circumstances caused by COVID-19.
The order will take effect immediately.