Senator ANTHONY R. BUCCO
District 25 (Morris)
Authorizes municipality to deliver property tax bills, construction permits, and receipts for payment via e-mail.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act concerning electronic delivery of certain municipal correspondence and supplementing Title 52 of the Revised Statutes.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. a. The Director of the Division of Local Government Services in the Department of Community Affairs, in consultation with the Chief Technology Officer of the Office of Information Technology and the State Treasurer, shall establish a procedure by which a municipality may offer the option of issuing property tax bills, construction permits, and receipts of payment for any municipal fee or charge via e-mail. The director shall make this electronic delivery procedure available to municipalities, but shall not require a municipality to utilize electronic communication for the purposes of delivering property tax bills, construction permits, and receipts to taxpayers, mortgage loan servicers, or permit applicants.
b. A municipality that wishes to utilize the electronic delivery procedure shall adopt an ordinance designating e-mail as an authorized means of delivery. The ordinance adopted by the municipal governing body shall ensure that taxpayers, including a mortgage loan servicer, and permit applicants are not required to participate in the electronic delivery program and that they may continue to receive all correspondences from the municipality via regular mail without additional charge.
c. For the purposes of this section:
“property tax bill” means a notification of assessment issued pursuant to R.S.54:4-38 or a tax bill issued pursuant to section 7 of P.L.1941, c.397 (C.54:4-63.7), section 8 of P.L.1947, c.413 (C.54:4-63.19), or R.S.54:4-64.
“construction permit” means a permit issued pursuant to the “State Uniform Construction Code Act,” P.L.1975, c.217 (C.52:27D-119 et seq.).
d. The director, in consultation with the Chief Technology Officer of the Office of Information Technology and the State Treasurer, shall promulgate rules, regulations, procedures, and forms necessary to implement this section.
2. This act shall take effect on the first day of the third month next following enactment but the director may take such anticipatory administrative action in advance thereof as shall be necessary for the implementation of this act.
This bill requires the Director of the Division of Local Government Services in the Department of Community Affairs, in consultation with the Office of Information Technology and the State Treasurer, to establish a mechanism by which a municipality may transmit property tax bills, construction permits, and receipts for payment of municipal fees and charges via e-mail. A municipality wishing to utilize electronic delivery of these records must adopt an ordinance authorizing the use of e-mail as a permitted means of delivery. The municipality may not require its residents to receive municipal correspondence via e-mail and must continue to provide hard copies though regular mail to any taxpayer, applicant, or fee payer who does not request electronic delivery.
This bill would serve to provide a municipality with greater budget flexibility by eliminating unnecessary mailing expenses. In the private sector it is now common for bills and proof of payment to be sent via e-mail, thus eliminating the need for these items to be sent through the mail. There are numerous advantages to receiving documents via the internet including faster delivery time, saving on bulk mailing costs, and the environmental benefits of conserving paper. It is the sponsor’s intent that this bill represent one of the first steps in modernizing the way municipal government in New Jersey operates and results in significant savings which can then be passed on to the local property tax payer.