Assemblyman BENJIE E. WIMBERLY
District 35 (Bergen and Passaic)
Assemblyman CRAIG J. COUGHLIN
District 19 (Middlesex)
Assemblyman JOHN ARMATO
District 2 (Atlantic)
Assemblyman GERARD SCHARFENBERGER, PHD
District 13 (Monmouth)
Permits extension of certain deadlines applicable to local government units under emergency circumstances.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act concerning the extension of certain deadlines affecting the finances of local government units and supplementing Title 40A of the New Jersey Statutes.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. Notwithstanding the provisions of any law, rule, or regulation to the contrary, whenever a public health emergency, pursuant to the “Emergency Health Powers Act,” P.L.2005, c.222 (C.26:13-1 et seq.), or a state of emergency, pursuant to P.L.1942, c.251 (C.App.A.9-33 et seq.), or both, has been declared by the Governor and is in effect, the Director of the Division of Local Government Services in the Department of Community Affairs shall have the power to extend any deadline under the “Local Budget Law,” N.J.S.40A:4-1 et seq., the “Local Fiscal Affairs Law,” N.J.S.40A:5-1 et seq., the “Local Authorities Fiscal Control Law,” P.L.1983, c.313 (C.40A:5A-1 et seq.), the “Municipal Land Use Law,” P.L.1975, c.291 (C.40:55D-1 et seq.), under chapter 4 of Title 54 of the Revised Statutes with respect to the issuance of any tax bill, and under chapter 5 of Title 54 of the Revised Statutes with respect to a municipal tax sale. The Director of the Division of Local Government Services shall have the power to permit municipalities to institute an extended grace period pursuant to R.S.54:4-67 not to exceed a date specified by the director and under conditions the director may specify, as well as to extend the dates for the payment of taxes by a municipality due to a county, a school district, or any other taxing district under chapter 4 of Title 54 of the Revised Statutes or any other law. The Director of the Division of Local Government Services, in consultation with the Director of the Division of Taxation in the Department of the Treasury, shall have the power to extend any other deadline established in chapter 1, chapter 3, chapter 4, or chapter 5 of Title 54 of the Revised Statutes if the Director of the Division of Local Government Services determines that the extension is necessary to minimize and mitigate additional hardships, loss, or suffering to the State and its political subdivisions. No municipality, county, or any other agency or political subdivision of this State shall enact or enforce any order, rule, regulation, ordinance, or resolution that, in any way, conflicts with any of the provisions of this section.
2. This act shall take effect immediately and shall be retroactive to March 9, 2020.
This bill provides expansive authority to the Director of the Division of Local Government Services in the Department of Community Affairs to extend certain deadlines applicable to local government units of the State during periods of emergency declared by the Governor. The deadlines that the director may extend include, but are not limited to, deadlines for: a county’s notification to the director of a county board of taxation’s failure to receive a copy of a school or municipal budget; a county board of taxation’s substitution of an adopted municipal budget for an amount certified by the director; a county board of taxation to complete a table of aggregates; the director to act as necessary in order to consolidate ballot questions and procedures when a governing body elects to hold certain referendums; the director to review and approve municipal budgets that are not subject to local review; a municipality to certify a preliminary tax levy; and a municipality to cause an annual audit of their books, accounts, and financial transactions.
In addition, the bill provides the Director of the Division of Local Government Services the authority to permit municipalities to institute an extended grace period for quarterly property tax payments and other municipal charges notwithstanding the maximum number of days set forth in R.S.54:4-67. The bill also empowers the director to extend deadlines under the “Municipal Land Use Law,” P.L.1975, c.291 (C.40:55D-1 et seq.).