Homeowners, residents and businesses up and down the state will see some added relief with their property taxes during the pandemic, thanks to a new law giving landowners more time to appeal their property tax bills.
Assembly Bill 4157, which Gov. Phil Murphy signed the evening of May 28, extends the deadline to July 1 to appeal any property tax bills.
Meanwhile, the county boards of taxation have until Sept. 30 to hand down a decision. This new law takes effect immediately and is retroactive to any tax bills dating back to April 1.
The New Jersey League of Municipalities, in a May 15 statement, said that the new law “provides a firm date for tax appeals in 2020 and alleviates the uncertainty” around many of the orders Murphy signed over the past two months in an effort to stop, or at least slow down, the spread of COVID-19 across the state.
“Having uncertainty on when appeals will be heard just adds another layer of fiscal uncertainty for municipalities facing the loss of revenue and increased expenses as a result of COVID-19,” the League continued.
Murphy, in a statement accompanying the evening bill-signing, said that it would “eliminate the potential for a backlog that would only cause further fiscal uncertainty for taxpayers and municipal governments.”
“Our current public health crisis has substantially disrupted many of our routine processes, including the ability of New Jersey homeowners to file timely property tax appeals,” the governor said.
On April 29, Murphy signed an order allowing towns and cities to extend the property tax deadlines for second-quarter payments from May 1 to June 1.
Ultimately, both moves are intended to offer some degree of relief to residents who’ve had to close their businesses or have lost their jobs amid the pandemics’ mass layoffs, which have only just been slowly rolled back in recent weeks.
“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,” Murphy said in a statement.