Scam Alert:

JCP&L Utility Scam Alert
A recent scam involves a caller posing as an electric company employee threatening to shut off power unless an immediate payment is made, using a pre-paid debit card such as a Green Dot card. These pre-paid cards are available at convenience stores and drug stores, and customers can use them to pay bills or add money to online accounts. JCP&L does not endorse the use of Green Dot cards as a bill payment method. If a customer receives a call from someone demanding payment of their electric bill by using a Green Dot card, they are being scammed and should report the crime to local authorities. Although JCP&L representatives sometimes do call customers to remind them that a payment is past due, they explain how a payment can be made using one of the following established payment options: • Direct Debit • Automated Phone Payment - 1-866-569-4770 • Authorized Payment Location - www.firstenergycorp.com/forms/paymentagencies • Mail Any customer who has doubts about a call from someone claiming to be from JCP&L, especially one demanding immediate payment, should call JCP&L’s customer service number at 1-800-662-3115. For more information, visit www.firstenergycorp.com/paymentoptions.

 

PSE&G is once again urging customers to be vigilant to a telephone scam where callers threaten to shut off electric or gas service if payment is not made that day.

The scam, which has been reported across the country, involves payments using Green Dot MoneyPaks, and currently seems to be targeting customers in Mercer County.  (PSE&G alerted the public to a similar scam several times in 2013.)

 how does the scam work? 

  • Individuals pretending to be PSE&G employees call customers and demand that they make payment within hours using a Green Dot Money Pak, a type of pre-paid card.
  • Customers are told to purchase a Green Dot MoneyPak at a pharmacy or convenience store, use cash to put money on to the card, and then provide the number on the card to the person who called them.
  • Customers are advised that if they do not immediately call back and provide the MoneyPak information, their gas/electric service will be shut off that day.
  • Typically, after the customer provides that MoneyPak number, the scammer transfers the funds to a prepaid card, and cashes it in at an ATM.

 what should customers know?

  • Customers should be wary of callers who demand immediate payment and threaten service termination.
  • PSE&G does not accept Green Dot Money Pak cards.  PSE&G offers a variety of payments options, and would never require a customer to use one specific type of payment.
  • When PSE&G makes an outbound phone call to customers, customer-specific information is shared with the customer.  That information includes the account name, address, number and current balance.  If customers do not receive this correct information, they likely are not speaking with a PSE&G representative.
  • Any customer who has doubts about the legitimacy of a call from PSE&G — especially one in which payment is requested — should call PSE&G directly at 1-800-436-PSEG (7734).
  • PSE&G customers scheduled for disconnection due to nonpayment receive written notice on their bill at least 10 days in advance.  Customers who are struggling to pay their bill are encouraged to call PSE&G at 1-800-357-2262 to discuss payment options and visit pseg.com/help to learn about programs that can help.


 Please continue check this advisory banner for further updates.    Refresh/reload the page periodically to ensure you are seeing the latest information.

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Office of the Tax Collector

Mary Kennedy-Nadzak, CTC
Tax and Utility Collector

Mission Statement

Working under the statutes of the State of New Jersey, and the ordinances of the Township of Hopewell, it is the duty of this office to bill, collect, enforce and provide reports on the taxes levied by the Township, School Board, County and Fire Districts.  It is our mission to fulfill the duties of this office to the best of our abilities, to educate the residents on the tax collection process, and to assist the Seniors of our Township in the application and completion of state-mandated forms for tax reduction programs.  As part of this mission, the Collector’s intent is that every payment received will be posted to the respective property on the day it is received.

 

CONTACT THE COLLECTOR AT:  609-737-0605 extension 645 mkennedy@hopewelltwp.org
Hours of operation:  Monday through Friday
8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Tax Office is closed daily 12:30pm to 1:30pm
The Collector will be out of the office
August 25-29, 2014 and November 14-21, 2014
Checks should be made payable to:   Hopewell Township
Payments should be mailed to: Office of the Tax Collector
201 Washington Crossing-Pennington Road
Titusville, NJ 08560
To pay taxes on-line: Pay property taxes and sewer bills online

Property taxes and sewer payments may be made on-line.  Water customers cannot utilize this feature.

Payments may also be placed in the drop box, located by the door near the flag pole.  ANY PAYMENT PLACED IN THE DROP BOX WILL BE CONSIDERED AS RECEIVED THE NEXT BUSINESS DAY.

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE:  NJSA 40A:5-15 requires that all funds received by the Tax Office be deposited within 48 hours.  Post dated checks will be returned to the maker

UTILITIES:  The Office of the Collector is also responsible for the billing and collection of utility charges.  These charges are billed quarterly, as directed by the Township Ordinances.  If prior year’s utility charges remain unpaid by December 31st, they are subject to the same tax sale law as for taxes.

TO VIEW TAX RATE HISTORY, CLICK HERE

TO VIEW BREAKDOWN OF TAXES FOR THE CURRENT YEAR, CLICK HERE

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

WHEN ARE TAXES DUE?
IS THERE A GRACE PERIOD?
WHEN WILL I RECEIVE A NEW TAX BILL?
HOW ARE TAXES COMPUTED?
HOW CAN I PAY MY TAXES?
WHAT IS THE INTEREST RATE ON LATE PAYMENTS?
I DON’T HAVE A TAX BILL – WHY AM I CHARGED INTEREST?
I NEED TO CHANGE MY ADDRESS, OR MORTGAGE INFORMATION- WHAT SHOULD I DO?
MY TAXES ARE TOO HIGH, WHAT CAN I DO?
WHAT IS A TAX SALE?  CAN I BUY PROPERTY AT THE TAX SALE?
HOW DO I PAY OFF A LIEN?
WHAT PROGRAMS ARE AVAILABLE TO REDUCE TAXES?

WHEN ARE TAXES DUE?
Taxes are due on the first day of February, May, August and November.

IS THERE A GRACE PERIOD?
Yes, the Township allows ten (10) calendar days of grace.  If the tenth day falls on a holiday or weekend, the grace period is extended to the next business day.  During August only, the grace period may be extended beyond the 10th of August.  You will be notified on the face of the tax bill of the last day to pay August taxes.

WHEN WILL I RECEIVE A NEW TAX BILL?
Tax bills are mailed in July.  Each bill contains four (4) tear off stubs for the 3rd and 4th quarters of the current year, and the 1st and 2nd quarters of the next year.  Original bills are mailed to those who pay their own taxes, and to banks and mortgage companies.  Property owners who pay their taxes through their mortgage company receive advice copies of the tax bill.  This advice copy can be used to make tax payments if a mortgage has been paid off by the property owner.  Please read both the front and back of the bill.

If improvements to the property have been completed prior of October 1 of the tax year, a second tax billing will be made to the owners of that property.  The Assessor will notify you of the additional assessed value and what time period it covers.  The amount of taxes due for November, February and May will be the sum of the two bills. 

HOW ARE TAXES COMPUTED?
The total tax levy to be collected is the sum of the local budget and the budgets of the School board, County, Fire Districts, and Open Space programs.  This figure is divided by the total assessments in the Township 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.

HOW CAN I MAKE PAYMENT?
Taxes can be paid with cash, personal or certified checks, and money orders.  You may bring in your payment, use the drop box, or mail the payment.  If you are using the drop box, be aware that the payment will not be considered received until the next business day.  If you are mailing, please give at least 3-5 days to reach us.  Postmarks are not accepted.

If you use your bank’s in-line payment feature, be aware that a check is cut and mailed to us by the bank.  Give at least 7-10 days for this process.

Once the tax sale process has begun, only cash, certified checks, or money orders will be accepted.
If you require a receipt, please send the entire bill back with your payment, along with a self-addressed, stamped envelope.  Your bill will be receipted and returned to you.

Effective on or about May 15, 2010, on-line payments will be accepted for ACH and credit cards.  The fees associated with using this feature do not go to the Township; they are paid to the site provider.  If you are listed for tax sale, you may not use this system after the 50th day preceding the tax sale date.  (NJSA 5:30-9.2)

To use this feature, click on the link above; enter the block, lot and qualifier or the account number, or your name or address; press search.  In the appropriate box (tax or utility) click on make payment, and follow the directions.

Only tax and sewer payments will be accepted on-line at this time.

WHAT IS THE INTEREST RATE ON LATE PAYMENTS?
NJSA 54:4-67 states that if payment is not received by the end of business hours on the 10th day of the grace period, interest is to be charged.  Interest is 8% per annum on the first $1,500.00 of delinquency; balances in excess of $1,500.00 have an interest rate of 18% per annum.  This 18% rate remains in place until the taxes are brought current.  Interest is charged from the 1st of the month that the payment is due, or the date of last payment.  In addition, if the total balance (tax and interest) exceeds $10,000.00 on December 31, a 6% penalty shall be added to the amount due the Township.

Under this statute, the collector must have physical possession of the payment; no postmarks are accepted.  Also, any payment placed in the Township drop box is considered as received the next business day.

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.

I NEED TO CHANGE MY ADDRESS, OR MORTGAGE INFORMATION- WHAT SHOULD I DO?
All requests to change a mailing address or mortgage provider must be in writing.  If you are escrowing for taxes with a mortgage company, we need an Initial Authorization form from the mortgage company.  This form, when signed by you, authorizes us to send your tax bill to the mortgage company.  If you have paid off your mortgage, and are now making payments directly to the Township, we need a signed, written notice to stop sending the original bills to the mortgage company.

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 Township 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.  The Tax Assessor can be reached at 609-737-0630 ext. 622.

WHAT IS A TAX SALE?  CAN I BUY PROPERTY AT THE TAX SALE?
Delinquent prior year taxes, utility charges and other Township charges will be sold to the highest bidder in the form of liens.  The Township holds an annual tax sale for those properties delinquent for the prior year.  The State requires that any property listed for tax sale be publicly published and posted in the Township.  The costs of publication and sale are added to the amount to be sold.   Upon the sale of these liens, the purchasers (Lien Holders) may pay current year delinquencies, and add those balances to the lien.  Lien Holders must wait two years before they can begin to foreclose a property.  The property owner may redeem the lien at any time prior to foreclosure, through the Office of the Tax Collector. 

The Township does not sell properties for unpaid taxes.

To obtain more information on the tax sale process, click here

HOW DO I PAY OFF A LIEN?
You must request in writing to the Collector a statement of redemption.  AT NO TIME SHOULD YOU APPROACH THE LIEN HOLDER.  The request must include the date that you anticipate making payment and a statement of your legal interest in the property.  The Collector will provide you with a payoff figure that is computed to the next Committee meeting date.  You may be required to provide proof of identity - NJ Tax Sale Law only allows ‘interested parties’ the right to redeem.

Upon receipt of the redemption figure, payment must be made at least one week prior to the scheduled Committee meeting.  The only accepted forms of payment are cash, certified check, or money order.  The Collector will notify the Lien Holder that payment has been received, and request the lien certificate from the holder.  This certificate will be forwarded to you; you will then have the lien removed at the County.

WHAT PROGRAMS ARE AVAILABLE TO REDUCE TAXES?
The State of New Jersey offers two deductions at the local level; one for Seniors and Disabled citizens, and one for Veterans.  Each deduction reduces taxes by $250.00 per year.  There is also an exemption for disabled Veterans, where the disability was caused by their service in the Armed Forces.

Veterans must be honorably discharged from the Armed Forces, own the property for which the deduction is being sought, and was in active service in time of war.  Applications are available in the Tax Assessors’ office, The Tax Collector’s office, and on-line at www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation.  Widow(er)s of eligible veterans may claim the deduction as well. 

Disabled Veterans may request exemption from property tax payment.  Applications are available in the Tax Assessors’ office, The Tax Collector’s office, and on-line at www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation.  Restrictions apply.

Senior Citizens must be 65 years of age, own and reside in the property for which the deduction is being sought, and meet income requirements.  Total income, less the greater of Social Security or Government pension income, must not exceed $10,000.00.  Applications are available in the Tax Assessors’ office, The Tax Collector’s office, and www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation.  Widow(er)s of eligible seniors may claim the deduction as well, if certain criteria are met.  An annual update is required; forms will be mailed in January by the Tax Collector.  Failure to return the form in a timely manner will result in the deduction being removed.

Disabled Citizens must meet the criteria for Senior deductions, except for age.  They must be receiving Social Security disability payments.

The State of New Jersey Programs:
The state also offers two programs at the state level; the Homestead Rebate and the Property Tax Reimbursement (the Freeze).  These programs are contingent upon the state budget; requirements vary each year.   Again, these forms are available online at www.state.nj.us/treasury

The Homestead Rebate is currently offered to seniors, and those whose income is below a set level.  :    Homestead Benefit                 http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/homestead/geninfo.shtml

The Property Tax Reimbursement Program (also known as the Freeze or the Blue Book) is for seniors, age 65 and over who have resided in New Jersey for the last 10 years, and in the same residence for the last three years.  There are income requirements.  The State also requires that you prove that you have paid your taxes for the prior year, or that you have the Collector complete a tax payment form.  The form is mailed annually in February.                                                              Property Tax Reimbursement    www.state.nj./treasury/taxation/ptr/buffer.shtml

You may call 1-888-238-1233 with questions on the Homestead Rebate, or 1-877-223-1312 for the Property Tax Reimbursement Program.

 

 

 

 
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201 Washington Crossing - Pennington Road  •  Titusville, NJ 08560  •  (609) 737-0605