Tax FAQ

Tax Collector Frequently Asked Questions:

How is your tax determined?

Your total real estate tax includes your county tax, open space tax, solid waste tax, district school tax, local purpose tax, and library tax.  These tax rates are added together each year to determine your total tax rate. The tax rate is based on $100 of assessed value.  For example, based on an assessment of $100,000, your 2019 tax rates would breakdown as follows:

Type of Tax Rate per $100 Amount of Tax
County Tax 1.225 $1,225
County Open Space Tax 0.011 $11
District School Tax 0.644 $644
Local Municipal Tax 0.971 $971
Municipal Library Tax 0.036 $36
2019 Total Tax 2.887 $2,887.00

If you have questions regarding your tax rates, please call the following:

  • County and Open Space Tax (856) 453-2125
  • District School Tax (856) 794-6700
  • Municipal and Library Tax (856) 794-4050

What is a Tax Sale?

A Tax Sale is the enforcement of collections against a property by placing a lien against the property for all outstanding municipal charges due at the end of the calendar year, which is December 31. Municipal Charges include, but are not limited to:

  • Real Estate Taxes
  • Water, Electric, Solid Waste Utility Charges
  • Sewer Charges
  • Special Assessment Charges
  • Added or Omitted Assessments

What is the Tax Sale process?

Prior to the day of sale; the Tax Collector has responsibilities set by the State of New Jersey Statute N.J.S.A 54:5 as follows:

  • All homeowners are notified of a pending sale and the amount due to avoid the sale via a Tax Sale Notice. New Jersey State Tax Sale Law requires the Tax Collector to create the Tax Sale list 50 days prior to the sale. All charges on that list, together with the cost of sale, must be paid in order to be removed from sale.
  • Copies of the Tax Sale Notice must be advertised one time in each of the four weeks preceding the Tax Sale. This ad does not have to run on the same day every week, just one time in four consecutive weeks. The Tax Collector can make the decision to mail notices in lieu of advertising for two out of the four weeks.
  • A copy of the published Tax Sale Notice is to be mailed to the homeowner.  Failure to mail the notice, or for the homeowner to receive notification, does not invalidate any Tax Sale proceeding.
  • Copies of the notice will be posted in five public places within the municipality.
  • The Tax Collector may hold the Tax Sale in the fifth week.

What happens at a Tax Sale?

The day of sale, anyone who is not the owner of the property in the Tax Sale shall be allowed to bid for a lien against the property.

Prior to the day of sale, the Tax Collector will require every bidder to fill out an information form.  The form contains information regarding the bidder’s address, how he/she wishes to receive their tax sale certificate, their Federal Tax ID number, and the signature of the person bidding.

When the tax sale is held (as specified in the Tax Sale Notice), the Collector sells each unpaid delinquent municipal charge against the land which has been properly advertised (if the delinquency still exists) at a public auction. The sale is in the amount advertised or less, if a partial payment has been made prior to the sale, but the charges cannot be sold for more than the amount advertised.

Bidding at the sale begins when a potential purchaser (bidder) offers an initial bid rate of return (interest rate), usually the maximum bid of 18%.  If there is competitive bidding, the rate of the bid goes downward until it reaches 0%.  After 0%, a bidder may then offer a dollar value, which is known as a premium for the privilege of purchasing the certificate, and can go as high as any one bidder is willing to pay. Therefore, the lien is sold to the lowest percentage of redemption interest bid, or to the highest premium bid.  If there are no bidders on a parcel for sale, the collector must strike it off in the name of the municipality at a redemption interest rate of 18%.

Payment is due at the time of sale. If payment is not made before the conclusion of the sale, then the Tax Collector must open the property back up to bidding.  After every lien has been sold and all payments have been collected, the Tax Sale is adjourned.

After the Tax Sale

After the sale, the Tax Collector will issue Tax Sale Certificates to the proper bidders within 10 days of the close of sale.  It is the responsibility of the bidder to record their lien with the county after they receive the certificate.

After the Tax Sale Certificate has been issued, the lien holder has the right to pay any delinquent municipal charges that have not gone to sale.  These are known as subsequent payments.

The lien holder has the right to pay any charges due to the municipality only when those charges become delinquent. The payments are then added to the Tax Sale Certificate.

Redeeming Tax Sale Certificates

Once a lien has been placed on a parcel, the only persons able to redeem that lien are the owner, his/her heirs, the holder of a prior outstanding Tax Lien Certificate, mortgage company, or legal occupant of property sold at a Tax Sale. These parties may only redeem prior to the expiration of the court order setting the date and time of redemption.

Payment to redeem a lien must be made in full by cash, cashier’s check, or money order to the Tax Collector’s office.  Once the redemption has occurred; the Tax Collector will notify the lien holder of payment. They will return the original certificate to the collector endorsed for cancellation. Upon receipt of the cancelled certificate, the redemption funds will be released to the lien holder.

When the Tax Collector receives this cancelled certificate they will send it to the party that redeemed the lien. It is their responsibility to have this lien removed from the property at the county office.

If a lien has been sold to an outside bidder and has not redeemed within two (2) years from the date of sale, that bidder has the right to begin foreclosure proceedings.

If a lien that has been struck off to the municipality and has not been paid, the municipality has the right to an In Rem Foreclosure Six (6) months after the date of sale. Upon request for redemption of lien, all outstanding municipal charges must be brought current.

Municipal and third party tax liens cannot be paid online. All redemption figures must be made through the tax office with certified funds, such as a certified check, money order, or cash. Redemption figures should be requested in advance to ensure proper funds when coming in to redeem the lien. Please note that in order to redeem the lien, you must be the owner of record, or have legal interest in the property, and will be asked to provide proof of the same.

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