April 28, 2020
New Jersey municipalities now can extend the grace period for upcoming property tax payments by 30 days, providing a bit of relief to property owners facing financial hardships amid the COVID-19 crisis.
Property owners with tax payments due Friday, May 1 would not need to pay them until June 1 thanks to an executive order signed Tuesday by Gov. Phil Murphy.
Municipal governments, which levy property taxes, usually are only permitted to offer grace periods of up to 10 days without interest or penalty. The existing law did not include any extensions due to public health emergencies.
“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 also expanded the state’s list of essential businesses to include pet grooming, daycare, boarding businesses and stores that sell items needed for religious observation and worship.
Car dealerships now can allow customers who purchased a vehicle online or by phone to test drive the car as long as the dealership adopts social distancing practices. Dealerships only may allow the customer to enter the vehicle and must properly clean the vehicle if the customer does not purchase it.
Additionally, the order prohibits personal care providers from offering services in their own homes, the homes of others, or in any other facility or business setting. Personal care providers can only offer services to household members and immediate family members.
Murphy announced the members of the Governor’s Restart and Recovery Commission, which will help determine economic strategies to minimize the risk of COVID-19 infections as businesses begin reopening.
The commission will include former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, incoming Rutgers University President Jonathan Holloway and former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson. A complete list of the commission’s members can be found here.
New Jersey reported an additional 2,887 confirmed coronavirus cases on Tuesday, bringing the state’s total to 113,856. There have been 6,442 deaths due to COVID-19. South Jersey had 9,052 cases and 341 deaths.