On Wednesday, April 29, David Breeden, President of Ocean City Fairness in Taxes (FIT), sent the following letter to Ocean City Mayor, Jay Gillian.
SUBJECT: Follow Up #2 on Approved Resolution Establishing Rate of Interest For Delinquent Taxes – State Executive Order #130
Dear Mayor Gillian,
Yesterday, Governor Murphy issued Executive Order number 130, allowing municipalities to extend the grace period until no later than June 1, 2020, for the tax payment that is due on May 1, 2020. The governing body needs to adopt a resolution instituting this extended grace period for only the May 1, 2020 property tax payment.
I am hopeful that at your direction, city council will adopt a resolution extending the grace period for the May 1, 2020 tax payment in a prompt fashion. This 20 day grace period extension, now permitted by the state, allows for fair and equal short term financial relief for ALL Ocean City taxpayers to meet their property tax obligation as a result of a dire economic situation not of their own making.
To illustrate that these conditions do exist, I draw your attention to a letter sent yesterday by the Ocean City School Superintendent Dr. Kathleen Taylor, in which she describes the thousands of meals being prepared by school food service staff along with thousands of dollars of food coupons being distributed in concert with OCNJ Cares.
As you know nothing screams louder of the financial despair being experienced by some in this community than seeking food donations. I have attached the letter from Dr. Taylor for your easy reference (Attachment “A”). For an extra 20 days, let those families that must, choose food, shelter and health care over a property tax bill. Do not be as cold hearted and insensitive as the New Jersey Tax Collectors Association.
Furthermore, another fact that has not been mentioned yet in this debate is that the state of New Jersey has canceled the Homestead Rebate program for this year, so the tax credit that eligible taxpayers would have received in their May 1 property tax bill will not be there so their tax bill will be higher than anticipated. Essentially, this will represent a tax increase for these property owners.
Looking forward to the city rescinding the resolution on establishing interest rates for delinquent taxes that was approved on April 23, 2020 and approving the extended grace period resolution as permitted by state Executive Order number 130, as this reflect reasonable, fair and equal treatment for ALL Ocean City taxpayers. Thank you.
David Breeden, President
Ocean City Fairness in Taxes
ATTACHMENT – Ocean City School Superintendent Letter dated April 28, 2020
cc: City Council Members
Dottie McCrosson, City Solicitor
Frank Donato, Chief Financial Officer
Terence Graff, Tax Collector
Board Members – Ocean City Fairness in Taxes