TRENTON – Gov. Chris Christie signed Executive Order 113 Firday, giving New Jersey residents, particularly those hard hit by Hurricane Sandy, more time to pay fourth-quarter property taxes that were due Nov. 1. The grace period is extended to Nov. 16 for taxpayers who reside in municipalities that are not holding an accelerated tax sale.
“We recognize that many property owners might be unable to access bank records and other important documents because of the storm. Also, the unprecedented damage caused by Hurricane Sandy continues to disrupt transportation and communication, which makes it difficult for people to meet normal property tax payment deadlines,” said Christie. “Property owners, many of whom are facing tremendous hardship and loss, should not have the added stress of paying a penalty for late taxes. This grace period extension helps to ease the strain.”
Under state statute, municipalities can establish a 10-day grace period for nonpayment of taxes running through Nov. 11. The Governor’s action gives people who live in towns that are not holding an accelerated tax sale an additional work week to pay their property taxes. Furthermore, it allows any municipality to extend the grace period to Dec. 31 by resolution of the governing body if they so choose.
In anticipation of such action, some municipalities have already extended grace periods for their residents. Executive Order 113 makes such extensions lawful.
Municipalities holding accelerated tax sales are exempt from the mandatory extension to Nov. 16 because an extension of the grace period would have impacts to the local government. However, those municipalities, as all others, will be able to extend the grace period at their discretion to as far as Dec. 31, depending on their circumstances. The governor’s office expects that municipalities where there was significant property damage will act reasonably and extend the grace period.