Municipalities in Hopewell Valley extend grace period for second quarter taxes

HOPEWELL BORO: Homeowners given five extra days to settle their property taxes

Hopewell Valley municipalities are extending their grace period for the payment of second quarter property taxes to June 1.

The extended grace period provides relief to homeowners facing financial struggles during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Prior to the extension, Hopewell Township, Hopewell Borough and Pennington second quarter taxes were due on May 1 with a 10-day grace period.

Hopewell Township recently joined Hopewell Borough and Pennington, when the township committee voted unanimously at a special meeting on May 8 to extend their grace period.

“This body while very sympathetic to the plight of many of our residents wanted to make sure that we had the ability to meet our obligations, while there was flexibility given to the residents by the governor’s executive order, there was not flexibility given to the municipalities on whether we were able to shift our obligations,” Mayor Kristin McLaughlin said during the meeting. “We took this extra time to make certain we had money in hand to meet our obligations.”

In a statement released by the Hopewell Township Committee, members urged their township residents who can afford to pay their property taxes before the new grace period deadline to do so, citing tax collection deadlines by the township for the school district and Mercer County, which were unchanged in Gov. Phil Murphy’s executive order allowing the new grace period.

The decisions by the municipalities followed the April 28 executive order issued by Murphy, which allowed municipalities to extend the grace period for property tax payments due on May 1 to June 1.

“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.”

Murphy’s executive order did not require municipalities to extend the grace period.