(TRENTON) – An Assembly panel approved legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Robert Andrzejcak and Joseph Lagana to allow New Jersey residents enlisted in any branch of the United States Armed Forces to qualify for the deferment of any property tax amount that becomes due during the period of deployment for active duty in time of war.
“Unpaid property taxes can lead to mounting interest and, at times, foreclosure for servicemembers on active duty,” said Andrzejczak. “Many become delinquent in paying property taxes, mortgages and bills through no fault of their own. Military personnel who are deployed should not have to worry about losing their homes while overseas risking their lives to defend our country.”
Under the bill (A-2935), a resident qualified for the deferment or a person acting on behalf of the resident, would file an application for deferment with the tax collector of the municipality in which the property is located, and submit the documentation required to ascertain that the applicant qualifies for the deferment. The deferment would commence on the tax due date, and end 90 days after the end of deployment. No interest would be charged when the amount owed is paid on or before the first day following the 90-day grace period, but interest would accrue as of the date of the original due date on any unpaid amount after the first day following the grace period.
“Servicemembers and their families make many sacrifices in the name of freedom,” said Lagana. “As an unintended consequence of their duties, some fall behind on property tax payments. This legislation will give military families one less thing to be concerned about when deployed.”
In order to avoid an unfunded mandate, this bill requires that the state annually pay each municipality the total amount deferred, in the same manner as is currently done for the veteran’s property tax deduction. The tax collector is required to reimburse the state upon receipt of the payment deferred from each qualified taxpayer.
The Assembly Military and Veterans Affairs Committee released the measure during a morning meeting.