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Monday, May 20, 2024

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Middle Expected to Pass Coronavirus Tax Relief

Middle TWP

By Press Release

To access the Herald’s local coronavirus/COVID-19 coverage, click here.
COURT HOUSE — As the ripples of COVID-19 result in financial hardship and uncertainty throughout New Jersey, Middle Township seeks to ensure stability and offer a measure of relief for taxpayers.  
Township Committee is expected to vote on two resolutions at its April 20 virtual meeting. One would allow the township to issue estimated property tax bills; another would reduce the interest rate on delinquent tax payments to zero for 30 days.  
Additionally, the township is planning for temporary budget funding in the event of a revenue shortfall. Middle Township’s bond counsel will prepare to acquire short-term bond anticipation notes – securities that are issued to ensure current cash flow and paid off with funds that will soon be available.  
Second-quarter property taxes are due May 1, and municipalities are prohibited from changing the due date. However, Middle Township’s resolution would give residents a reprieve by dropping the interest rate on late payments to zero for the 30 days following the 10-day grace period. Interest penalties on previous delinquent tax payments still apply.  
The township is pursuing the interest rate option to aid property owners facing financial challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.  
“Township Committee is committed to the uninterrupted continuity of services in a fiscally responsible way,” Mayor Tim Donohue stated. “By delivering a zero increase in the levy and passing these resolutions, we are doing our best to bring some relief to folks who need it, while ensuring the ongoing fiscal health of Township government.” 
In another break for residents, there will be no tax rate increase in the 2020 budget. As proposed, the municipal tax rate will remain 48.3 cents per $100 of assessed value, the same as it was for 2018 and 2019. There will be a final vote on the budget at Monday’s Township Committee meeting. The 6 p.m. meeting will be the second held virtually through Zoom.  
“Through the hard work of the finance department and our business administrator, we are able to come through another year without raising taxes for the taxpayers of Middle Township,” Deputy Mayor Ike Gandy stated. 
Township Committee will also take a proactive step to ensure timely mailing of third-quarter tax bills. As a provision of the COVID-19 Fiscal Mitigation Act that Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law, the state’s fiscal year will be extended from June 30 to Sept. 30. The delay will leave county boards of taxation unable to certify tax rates, so Middle Township will introduce a resolution to prepare estimated bills for the Aug. 1 tax payment.  
The various initiatives are necessary to ensure the Township can continue to provide municipal services and pay its bills. The Township also has a statutory obligation to provide full payment to the county, library, and school and fire districts.  
“Middle Township is determined to help residents during this crisis. Township Committee and administration are leaving no stone unturned in this pursuit,” Committeeman James Norris stated. “This is a great step, and we will continue looking for avenues for relief for our taxpayers.”  
Residents can view and participate in the Township Committee meeting through virtual platforms.
To watch on Zoom, log in via this link at 6 p.m. Monday:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85100124121. The meeting ID is 851 0012 4121. The password is 675224. 
Participants will be muted when they enter the meeting, but they can tap Zoom’s “raise hand” feature at the bottom of the screen to provide questions during the public-comment portion.   
Residents also can watch the Township Meeting on Facebook as it will be streamed live on the Middle Township page (Facebook.com/MiddleTownship).  
While residents cannot speak at the meeting via the Facebook Live broadcast, they can post questions in the comments; officials will try to answer questions during or after the meeting.  
To submit specific questions in advance, email Business Administrator/Clerk Kimberly Krauss at kkrauss@middletownship.com
Residents who join the meeting by landline or smartphone will be able to hear and speak during the meeting, but won’t see video.  
To join by phone, call one of the following numbers:  
Enter the meeting ID: 851 0012 4121.
1-253-215-8782 
1-929-436-2866 

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