HOWELL – The members of the Township Council have authorized Howell’s tax collector to accept less than 100% of the amount due on a property owner’s May 1 tax payment, but not to accept less than the full amount of interest due.
Mayor Theresa Berger, Deputy Mayor Evelyn O’Donnell, Councilman John Bonevich, Councilwoman Pamela Richmond and Councilman Thomas Russo passed a resolution on April 7 which authorizes the tax collector to accept a partial payment of property taxes.
The governing body’s action only applies to property owners who pay their property taxes directly to Howell. The action does not apply to individuals whose property taxes are paid through a mortgage.
Township Manager Brian Geoghegan said Howell’s tax collector was working to address the issue of partial property tax payments prior to the coronavirus pandemic that has left many people out of work and in difficult financial straits.
“This (action) may lend some relief to our taxpayers … This was an issue of differing philosophies between (a previous) tax collector and the (current) tax collector, where people can make a partial property tax payment if they are able to do so. Interest would have to be paid in full and that gets paid up front,” Geoghegan said.
He elaborated on the council’s action and said, “Apparently, a previous tax collector was of the opinion that the township should only accept full payment (of property taxes).
“The new tax collector is of a different opinion, that if a person is only able to make a partial payment they should be allowed to do so.
“This issue was actually brought up prior to the COVID-19 issue, however, the timing could not be better. … The state regulates tax collection deadlines and the municipality may not deviate from those deadlines.
“As of (April 15), there has been no change to the (May 1) due date enacted. Therefore, if a taxpayer finds himself with a need to do so, this (partial payment) option is now available.
“This option would apply to people who pay their taxes directly to the township and do not pay their property taxes through their mortgage,” Geoghegan said.
For more information, call the tax collector’s office at 732-938-4090.