Legislation Assembly Democrats Bob Andrzejczak, Joseph Lagana, Gabriela Mosquera and Pamela Lampitt sponsored 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 a time of war is now law.
“Unpaid property taxes can lead to mounting interest and, at times, foreclosure for service members on active duty,” said Andrzejczak (D-Atlantic/Cape May/Cumberland). “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 law (A-2935), a resident qualified for the deferment, or a person acting on behalf of the resident, may 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.
“Service members and their families make many sacrifices in the name of freedom,” said Lagana (D-Bergen/Passaic). “As an unintended consequence of their duties, some fall behind on property tax payments. This law will give military families one less thing to be concerned about when a loved one is deployed.”
“Many families may face financial difficulties during extended deployment periods,” said Mosquera (D-Camden/Gloucester). “By deferring the property tax payments that would otherwise be due while the deployment is in effect, this law will provide some assistance to those who serve our country in the military.”
“Men and women in uniform have enough to worry about during their deployment and upon their return home. Having the option to defer property tax payments can alleviate just a bit of that stress,” said Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington). “Considering how much members of our military do to protect this country and preserve our democratic ideals, it’s only right that we act to make their lives easier.”
In order to avoid an unfunded mandate, the law 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 measure gained unanimous approval from the legislature before being signed into law on Tuesday.