Yesterday, the Governor announced that an additional 2,633 confirmed positive test results for COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 118, 652. He also announced another 460 deaths, bringing the statewide total to 7,228 and 6,137 patients that were hospitalized. The Governor noted that we continue to see this number decreasing – a very good sign. Since last week, the number of hospitalized patients has dropped by 15%.
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Governor Murphy has issued Executive Order 130, which permits a governing body to adopt a resolution extending the grace period for the May 1 property tax payment. The grace period cannot go later than June 1, 2020. A copy of the resolution must be filed with the Division of Local Government Services. Please note if you are a State Fiscal Year municipality that extends the grace period you will not be able to hold an accelerated tax sale with respect to the installation of the 4th quarter property taxes.
In addition, the Executive Order prohibits a municipality or county from enacting or enforcing a resolution, ordinance, or order that conflicts with Executive Order 130. This includes any resolution adopted that provided an additional extension of the May 1 property tax payment, a grace period, or attempted to otherwise temporarily fix, reduce or retroactively modify the interest rate.
Finally, the Executive Order has suspended the provisions of N.J.S.A. 54:4-67(a), 54:4-66(a) and 54:4-66.1 for the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency.
Today, the Division of Local Government Services (DLGS) issued guidance on Executive Order 130 permitting extension of the second property tax payment installment grace period through June 1, 2020. The guidance noted that the resolution extending the grace period must be done on or before May 11, 2020. In addition, public notice must be provided but individual taxpayer notice is not required.
The Executive Order did not extend the statutory deadlines to remit the levy to the school district(s) and county. If your municipality is considering adopting a resolution extending the grace period we strongly recommend you review the short-term and long-term implications with your professional staff.
On Wednesday, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order 132, allowing electronic petition submission and signature collection for initiatives and referenda. The Order requires county and municipal clerks to accept, in addition to hand delivery, electronic submission of initiative and referendum petitions. Clerks must also accept petitions with signatures collected via an online form.
For more information please see the League’s recent blog post.
Also on Wednesday, the Governor signed Executive Order 133 that will reopen golf courses and State parks for passive recreational activities effective Saturday, May 2 beginning at 6:00 a.m. The Executive Order details the activities that are permissive and prohibited at the State parks as well as parameters for visitors and employees. These same parameters apply to all county and municipal parks and counties and municipalities may impose additional restrictions.
In addition, the order establishes requirements on how golf courses can operate. Miniature golf courses, driving ranges, and other places of amusement remain closed pursuant to Executive Order 107.
The order also opens up county parks, except those county parks closed prior to the effective date of Executive Order 118, which was April 7. Those closed prior to the Executive Order 118 can reopen by order of the County.
See the League COVID-19 page for all our resources and communications.
In light of the current pandemic, we remind you of NJ Mental Health Cares; the state’s behavioral health information and referral service offers assistance to people dealing with anxiety and stress-related to the COVID-19 outbreak. Residents can call 1-866-202-HELP (4357) for free, confidential support. NJ Mental Health Cares will be answered from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week by live trained specialists.
According to the New Jersey Department of Labor, that have been over 930,000 new unemployment claims filed since the start of the state of emergency. There are now almost 622,000 collecting unemployment.
• Michael F. Cerra, Assistant Executive Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, 609-695-3481 x120.
• Lori Buckelew, Senior Legislative Analyst, email@example.com, 609-695-3481 x112.