Finance and Tax Departments
The Finance Department and Tax Collection offices are open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding holidays.
The Finance Department is responsible for all financial transactions relating to the revenues and disbursements of the Borough. This department keeps a full account of all cash receipts and disbursements of the Borough, has custody of all investments and invested funds of the Borough in a fiduciary capacity, keeps all moneys not required for current operations safely invested or deposited in interest bearing accounts, handles the payroll for municipal employees, processes requisitions and purchase orders for payment and collects current and delinquent taxes. The Director of Finance oversees the financial operations of the Borough.
| Telephone Numbers
||Director of Finance
||Deputy Municipal Treasurer
||Extension 5533 or 5534
|Kathy Soule, Accounts Payable
|Laura Bonanno, Payroll
The Tax Collector's Office is responsible for billing and collecting property taxes on property located in the Borough of Tenafly. Your tax bill includes revenues collected by the Borough on behalf of the municipality, county and school district. The billing and collection of real estate property taxes is governed by state law and applies to every municipality in the state of New Jersey.
HOW ARE MY TAXES CALCULATED?
Your tax bill is based on the assessed value of your property. You pay taxes for every $100.00 of assessed value. The 2013 tax rate for the Borough of Tenafly is 2.332 for every $100.00 of assessed value. To figure out the taxes on a piece of property with a total assessment of $787,997 (the average assessment for a residential property in the Borough of Tenafly in 2013) you would divide $787,997 by 100 ($7,879.97) and multiply that figure by the tax rate ($7,879.97 x 2.332 = $18,376.09). In 2013 10% of your taxes will be forwarded to Bergen County, 65% will be forwarded to the Tenafly school district and 23% will used to fund the Borough of Tenafly, Almost 2% will used to fund the Library; less than 1% will be used to fund the Bergen County Open Space tax. The elected officials of Tenafly only have control over the municipal budget and do not have total control over all of the pieces that can cause your tax rate to go up or down.
The reason the tax rate is not known at the beginning of each calendar year is because each unit must establish their budget so we know how much to collect. The Board of Chosen Freeholders is responsible for the Bergen County budget, the Mayor and Council determine the municipal budget and the Tenafly Board of Education develops the school district budget. The earliest that the total tax rate is known in any municipality is usually sometime in June. Municipalities that apply for state aid have to wait until after the state budget is adopted, by June 30, to strike a tax rate.
WHEN ARE TAXES DUE?
Taxes are paid quarterly; the first two quarters add up to half of what was billed on the property the prior year and the third and fourth quarter are based on the actual tax rate. If taxes go up, the third and fourth quarter are generally larger than the first and second quarter; if taxes go down, the third and fourth quarters are smaller than the first and second. Tax bills are mailed once a year, during the summer, and contain four coupons. Taxes are due February 1, May 1, August 1 and November 1. Tenafly has a 10 day grace period, the due date is still the 1st, but if we receive your payment by the 10th no interest will be charged. If your payment is received after the 10th you will be charged interest based on the number of days between the 1st and the day your payment is received. Postmark is not used to count the days; we are required by law to count from the day that your payment is received in our office. If you pay by check your cancelled check is your receipt for payment of taxes. If you want to have your bill stamped paid you must bring it with you to the office, or mail it to us with your check payment and a self-addressed stamped envelope.
Interest is charged on delinquent balances. State law allows for interest to be charged at a rate of 8% on the first $1,500.00 of delinquency and 18% on every dollar over $1,500.00. Once your delinquency has exceeded $1,500.00 you will pay 18% interest on any remaining delinquency until your account is current. That means that if your tax bill for the first and second quarter is $800.00 each quarter and you make a payment on June 1 of $800.00 your account is still considered delinquent and will continue to accrue 18% interest daily until you pay the remaining balance. Your account is considered current if you have paid all prior bills before the next quarter is due, in this example, August 1.
The Tax Collector is required by state law to hold a tax sale each year for the prior year's unpaid municipal charges. Municipal charges include, but are not limited to, maintenance liens, special improvement district tax and real property taxes. Your property is not sold at the tax sale; a lien is placed on it. The lienholder pays the debt owed to the municipality by the assessed owner of the property in return for a guaranteed interest rate on the amount paid when the lien is redeemed. The tax sale certificate that is issued is the detailed receipt of what the lienholder purchased at the tax sale; most lienholders record their liens at the Bergen County Clerk's Office to insure redemption of the lien if the property is sold. Clear title cannot be issued for a property with recorded liens on it. At the tax sale most liens are sold to a third party, on occasion there is not a third party interested in purchasing the lien and the lien is struck off to the municipality. If a lien is held by the Borough of Tenafly they may begin foreclosure proceedings six months from the date of the tax sale if the lien has not been redeemed. If a lien is purchased by a third party they have a right to begin foreclosure proceedings two years from the date of the tax sale. The lienholder also has the right to pay any municipal charges that are billed to the property, once they are delinquent, and add them to the lien balance. Liens must be redeemed in full with guaranteed funds.
Assessed owners of property are ultimately responsible for their municipal charges even if you are escrowing for taxes through your mortgage company. New Jersey state law is quite clear; you do not need to be in receipt of a bill to be responsible for paying it.