The Lawrence Township Council has extended the May 1 deadline to pay property taxes to June 1, under a resolution approved by the council at its May 5 meeting.
The Lawrence Towhship Council is taking advantage of an executive order issued April 28 by Gov. Phil Murphy to extend the due date for the quarterly property tax payments. Property taxes are due Feb. 1, Mary 1, Aug. 1 and Nov. 1 annually.
Lawrence Township allows a 10-day grace period to pay property taxes without incurring interest charges. If the property tax bill is paid by the 10th day, there is no interest charge. But if it is paid after the 10th day, interest is charged back to the due date.
In this case, interest on the property tax bill would be charged back to May 1 if it is not paid by June 1. The average property tax bill in Lawrence Township in 2019 was $8,044.
State law allows towns to allow for a 10-day grace period to pay property taxes without paying a penalty. After Superstorm Sandy, the law was changed to allow towns to extend the due date by up to one month if they had experienced a flood or other natural disaster – but not for a public health-related emergency.
For that reason, Murphy issued an executive order to allow towns to extend the May 1 due date to June 1. The town must adopt a resolution to extend the due date, which is what the Lawrence Township Council did at its May 5 meeting.
Murphy said that allowing towns the option to extend the due date without incurring penalties or interest charges for the May 1 payment is “the right thing to do as many New Jerseyans are impacted financially as a result of this (COVID-19) crisis.”
At the governor’s daily press conference April 28, Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver said that “we understand that many property owners are coping with financial challenges they have not had to face before as a result of this pandemic.
“Allowing towns 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 make their quarterly property tax payments by June 1,” Oliver said.