New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed an executive order Tuesday that allows municipalities to extend the grace period for property tax payments due on May 1 to June 1 in order to provide relief to homeowners struggling financially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The order will take effect immediately.
“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. “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.”
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 disasters 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. The new executive order allows towns to extend the grace period for property tax payments due on May 1 to June 1, which will enable homeowners to pay their taxes a month after they are due without incurring any interest costs or penalties.
“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 is also the commissioner of the New Jersey 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.”