FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT STATE REBATE PROGRAMS ARE AVAILABLE?
There are two separate and distinct property tax relief programs available to New Jersey homeowners:
A. Property Tax Reimbursement Program
This program is commonly known as the TAX FREEZE. It is designed to freeze the burden of increasing real estate taxes for qualified applicants by establishing a base year of eligibility, comparing that base year with any subsequent years, and refunding the difference to the eligible homeowner. Eligibility must be continuous, otherwise a new base year would be established. Qualifications are as follows:
Must make application to the State annually.
Homeowners must be age 65 or older, or receiving Federal Social Security Disability Benefits who paid property taxes on the PRINCIPAL RESIDENCE in New Jersey.
Age requirements apply to the base year as well as the application year.
Must meet income limits as set by the State annually. Income limits apply to the base year as well as the application year.
Property taxes must be paid in full by December 31st each year. Failure to pay property taxes within the year due disqualifies the applicant. A new application would have to be filed the following year that would establish a new base year.
Application booklets are mailed out by the State in late January each year. For further information or to request an application, please contact the State of New Jersey at 1-800-882-6597 or visit https://www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation.
B. Homestead Rebate
Homestead-type rebates are sent by the State of New Jersey for qualified homeowners on their primary residence. The qualifications, income limitations, and amounts of the rebates vary and are determined by the State each year. In a few cases, your income tax return establishes eligibility; however, in most cases an application is required. Applications, when required, are sent by the State, usually in the spring.
For further information on Homestead-type of rebates or to determine eligibility, call the State of New Jersey at 1-888-238-1233, or visit https://www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation.
WHAT DO I DO IF MY MORTGAGE HAS BEEN PAID OFF?
If there has been any change in your mortgage company, it is necessary to notify the Tax Collector of the change in writing. If your mortgage has been paid off, you must also notify the Tax Collector in writing to remove the bank from our records. The request must contain the block and lot number of the property, your mailing address, the bank name and address, and the signature of the owner. You may fax your mortgage company change of removal request to 732-251-1359, or email the Tax Collector at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHAT DO I DO IF MY MORTGAGE COMPANY PAYS MY TAXES AND I RECEIVE THE ORIGINAL BILL?
If your mortgage company is responsible to pay your taxes and you receive an original tax bill, kindly notify our office. We will verify the information and correct as needed. You may also want to forward the tax bill directly to your mortgage company for payment. Please be aware that it is the responsibility of every mortgage company that services an escrow account for the payment of taxes to send a written tax authorization notice informing the Borough of their responsibility of paying your taxes. If this form is not received we cannot notify your mortgage company of any payments or delinquencies and it also determines who gets what kind of bill. If you should have any questions pertaining to this topic, please feel free to call or email the Tax Collector.
HOW DO I CHANGE MY MAILING ADDRESS?
Requests for changes of address must be in writing. The request must contain the block and lot number of the property, the new mailing address, the reason for the change, and the signature of the owner. You may fax your address change request to 732-251-1359, or email the Tax Collector at email@example.com.
Please note that all changes of address must be reported to the Tax Collector to insure that you receive your tax bills and Borough correspondence.
WHAT IF I HAVE A TAX LIEN ON MY PROPERTY AND I WANT TO PAY IT OFF?
To redeem an outstanding lien you must first contact our office to determine the next available council date for redemption. A letter then must be sent to our office requesting a redemption statement. Verbal requests ARE NOT ACCEPTED. The request must include the block and lot number, lien certificate number, the date of redemption, the date payment will be received by the Tax Collector (at least ten (10) days to prior to redemption), along with your contact information including your daytime phone number. You must be a party with an interest in the property in order to redeem a lien; i.e. the owner, attorney for the owner, or the mortgage holder. You may fax your request to the Tax Collector at 732-251-1359 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upon receipt of your request for a redemption amount, the Tax Collector will provide the redemption statement as quickly as possible. The preparation of a redemption statement takes time and will not be available immediately. Please allow enough time when requesting redemptions for the preparation and delivery of the redemption statement.
WHAT IF I DIDN'T RECEIVE OR MISPLACED MY BILL?
If you fail to receive or misplaced your tax bill, the Tax Collector will provide everything you need to pay your tax bill. You can call or email the Tax Collector.
Please note that, in accordance with NJ statue, the failure to receive a tax bill does not affect the date that the tax payment is due, or the date that interest begins to accrue. It is the responsibility of each taxpayer to obtain the amount due on their properties and present timely payment to the Tax Collector.
If you require a copy for your records, there is a duplicate bill fee of $5.00. We will send the duplicate bill upon receipt of the fee. A bill is not necessary for payment provided. Please provide us with your block, lot, and property address so we may apply payment properly.
WHAT IF I USE AN ONLINE OR TELEPHONE PAYMENT SERVICE TO PAY MY TAXES?
If you utilize a payment service from your bank to send out your payments, whether it be done by computer or telephone, you must include your block and lot number with the payment. You can enter block and lot number where the bank requests an account number. The payee is:
Borough of Spotswood
77 Summerhill Road
Spotswood NJ 08884-1233
Please note that it may take several days for your bank to issue payments utilizing the online/telephone services, so you must allow extra time for your payment to reach us within the ten (10) day grace period.
HOW CAN I PAY MY TAXES?
Tax payments for the current quarter may be mailed to the Borough of Spotswood, 77 Summerhill Road, Spotswood NJ 08884-1233, or brought to our office on the 2nd floor of the Municipal Building between the hours of 8:30 am and 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday. If you are unable to make it here during these hours, you are always welcome to put your payment in the payment box located outside the right hand set of doors (court room) in front of the baracade. Payment box has bright yellow lettering on it and is secure. We will post your payment to your account when we arrive the next morning.
You may now also avail yourselves of our online payment service. This web-based service allows residents of the Borough to inquire about their property taxes and water/sewer utility accounts and to pay their bills safely online.
CAN I PAY MY TAXES OR WATER BILL AT BOROUGH HALL BY CREDIT CARD?
NO, The Finance office can only accept cash, certified funds, or money order at the Finance Window. If you’d like to pay by credit card you may do so online.
WHEN ARE TAXES DUE?
Tax payments are due quarterly.
The first quarter is due February 1 and covers the months of January, February, and March. The second quarter is due May 1 and covers the months of April, May, and June. The third quarter is due August 1 and covers the months of July, August, and September. The fourth quarter is due November 1 and covers the months of October, November. and December.
There is a ten (10) day grace period. If the 10th falls on a weekend or a legal holiday, you have until the next business day to make your payment.
WHEN ARE THE TAX BILLS MAILED?
Tax bills are mailed out annually in early July. New bills are not issued when we receive the updated deed from the Tax Assessor's Office. Tax bills should. however, be turned over to the new owners at closing. If this is not done, it is the responsibility of the new owner to contact the Tax Collector to request a copy of the bill, as it can take several weeks until we receive the updated deed from the Tax Assessor.
WHAT ARE MY RESPONSIBILITIES IF I REFINANCE?
It is in the best interest to you and your mortgage holder that you have your current tax bill on hand at any closing. If you are in need of a duplicate bill, it can be furnished to you for a fee of $5.00. This fee must be paid prior to obtaining the bill. Please also have your new mortgage company notify us of their responsibility as to the maintenance of an escrow account. This will allow them to obtain payment information from the Borough.
WHAT IS THE 'NOTICE OF ASSESSMENT' (GREEN POST CARD) USED FOR?
This is an official notice of your property's assessment value for the current year. This notice is mailed by the Middlesex County Tax Board prior to February 1. Please contact the Tax Board if you did not receive your copy by calling 732-745-3350. The Borough Tax Office does not have these forms.
WHY DOES THE TAX BILL SHOW A SEPARATE LINE FOR THE PUBLIC LIBRARY IN THE RATE SECTION OF MY BILL?
The property tax bill shows a separate line item showing the minimum required appropriations for the Spotswood Public Library as a separate tax levy pursuant to a recently enacted State law (P.L. 2011, c.38). The municipal tax levy was reduced by the same amount as the new library tax levy. This change does not result in a property tax increase and is to help you better understand the cost of library services reflected in your tax bill.
DOES THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY HAVE A TAXPAYER BILL OF RIGHTS?
HOW ARE TAXES COMPUTED?
The total tax levy to be collected is the sum of the local budget and the budgets of the Local School Board, County, Library, and Open space programs. This figure is divided by the total assessments in the Borough to produce the tax rate. That tax rate is then applied to individual assessments. The first half of your tax bill is estimated, and equal to one half of the total prior year taxes. It is estimated because the rate cannot be computed until all budgets have been approved; that occurs in June. The second half tax bill is computed by applying the new tax rate to the current year assessment, then deducting the amount billed in the first half.
I DON'T HAVE A TAX BILL-WHY AM I CHARGED INTEREST?
NJSA 54:4-64 states that failure to receive a bill does not invalidate the tax due; it is the property owner’s responsibility to ascertain from the proper official (Tax Collector) the amount due. If you have recently purchased the property, or lost your bill, you should call the Tax Office to obtain the amount due, and request a copy of the bill.
MY TAXES ARE TOO HIGH- WHAT CAN I DO?
Taxes are determined by applying the Township tax rate to the assessed value of your property. Every property in the Borough pays the same tax rate. Property values, however, are unique to each property. To lower your tax exposure, you need to lower the assessed value. In order to appeal, you must file by April 1, and taxes must be current through the first quarter of the year. The Office of the Tax Assessor can help you file your appeal. Contact Mr. David Jasko, Tax Assessor on Wednesday evenings between the hours of 5:30 pm and 7:30 pm, via email @email@example.com or by telephone at 732-251-0700 ext. 835 during his office hour.
WILL I RECEIVE A QUARTERLY TAX BILL?
No. You will receive one bill a year during the month of July which will have four quarterly stubs on it.
WILL I RECEIVE REMINDERS THAT TAXES ARE DUE?
No. However, you will receive a delinquent notice if your taxes are not paid. You may also check the Borough of Spotswood Calendar on the main page of our website for billing/due dates.
MY BANK OR MORTGAGE COMPANY PAYS MY TAXES SO WHY AM I RECEIVING A DELINQUENT NOTICE?
Even though your bank pays your taxes you are still liable for the taxes. This way you know that your bank or mortgage company isn't paying your taxes and you should call them. Your bank or mortgage company also receives delinquent notices.
WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY INTEREST IF MY BANK OR MORTGAGE COMPANY DID PAY THE TAXES?
Everyone has to pay interest if the taxes are not paid on time. This is a State law, however, if your bank or mortgage company doesn't pay your taxes on time, they are responsible for the interest due. Always check your statement from the bank.
I DIDN'T RECEIVE MY END OF YEAR STATEMENT FOR THE TAXES I PAID?
We do not send out year end statements.
DO YOU ACCEPT MEMO BILLS AND IS THERE A CHARGE?
Yes, we accept them and there is no charge.
IS THERE A DIFFERENT TAX RATE FOR RESIDENTIAL AND COMMERCIAL?
No. Everyone's tax bill has the same tax rate on it.
DO YOU ACCEPT POSTMARK?
No. The payment must be in the Tax Collector’s office by the 10th of the month that the taxes are due. If it is after the 10th interest will be charged and applied before principal.
WHEN DO ADDED ASSESSMENT/ADDED OMITTED BILLS GO OUT?
Added Assessment bills go out in October and the 1st payment is due November 1st. The next two payments on the bill are due the 1st of February & May of the following year.
WHEN I RECEIVE AN ADDED ASSESSMENT/ADDED OMITTED BILL DO I ONLY PAY THAT BILL?
No. You will have the original bill, you received 3 to 4 months prior to the added bill, and the added assessment bill to pay. This means you will have two or more bills to pay on November 1st and two bills to pay on the 1st of February & May.
WILL I ALWAYS HAVE TO PAY TWO BILLS?
No. When the next new billing goes out after the added assessment bill it will all be combined on one bill. However, if you do an improvement to your home i.e. deck or pool you will receive an added assessment bill for the new improvement.
I RECEIVED A TAX BILL AND MY BANK OR MORTGAGE COMPANY PAYS MY TAXES.
Forward your tax bill to the entity responsible for paying your taxes and contact the Tax Collector with the appropriate information.
I DID NOT RECEIVE A TAX BILL, I ONLY RECEIVED AN ADVICE COPY AND I PAY MY OWN TAXES.
Do not wait for a tax bill. Call the Tax Collector for a bill. This means the previous entity that paid your taxes did not notify us of the change.
I JUST PURCHASED MY HOUSE DURING THE YEAR AND I NEED TO KNOW HOW MUCH TAXES I PAID AND HOW MUCH THE PREVIOUS OWNER PAID.
You should have been given the tax bill at the time of closing. However, if you weren’t, do not wait for one and call the Tax Collector. We have no way of knowing you do not have one.