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Tax Collector FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Borough of Berlin accept payments by credit card?

Yes, the borough does have the ability to take credit card payments online at www.berlinnj.org

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Tax FAQ

When is my tax bill mailed?

Tax bills are mailed out ONCE a year in July and cover the final half of the current year and the preliminary taxes for the first half of the following year. Duplicate copies can be obtained from the tax office. If you sell your home, bring your tax bill to the closing. It is important to give it to the new owner so they have the tax information to continue paying the tax bill. The State of New Jersey has determined it is the homeowner's responsibility to pay the property taxes in a timely fashion and the absence of a tax bill does not prevent interest accrual.

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When are taxes due?

Taxes are payable quarterly on the first day of February, May, August, and November. There is a 10-day grace period. After the grace period, taxes are delinquent and subject to interest back to the first day of the quarter. If the 10th falls on a weekend or holiday they are due the next business day. Postmarks are not indicative of a receipt.

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Tax Calculation & Local Tax Rate?

Your tax bill is based on the assessed value of your property and multiplied by the current year tax rate. The tax rate is computed from the budgets of the local municipality, county, library, local school and regional school districts, a total combination of all these budgets can cause your tax rate to go up or down. Berlin Borough only has control over the municipal portion of the budget.

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How is interest calculated on my tax bill?

Any taxes remaining unpaid after the 10-day grace period are subject to interest back to the first day of each quarter. The interest rate charged is 8% on the first $1,500 of delinquency and 18% on any amount over $1,500 of delinquent tax. The rate of 18% remains until there is no delinquent tax even if the amount falls below $1,500.

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What is a tax sale?

A tax sale is a sale of unpaid prior year balances including taxes, water/sewer & CCMUA charges. This sale puts a lien against your property which would need to be redeemed upon sale of property if not sooner. Lien holders have the right to foreclose if the lien had not been paid off after 2 years.

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How do I pay off a tax lien?

By contacting the Tax Office to find out the redemption figure. Payment must be made in full.

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I've changed my mailing address, what should I do?

Notify the tax office right away so that all future mailings may be properly delivered. Notification must be in writing with signature of homeowner. Failure to properly deliver a tax bill or delinquent notice does not relieve the property owner from interest payments. Unpaid balances will continue to accrue interest until full balance is paid.

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My mortgage company is no longer paying my taxes, what should I do?

The Tax Collector's Office keeps track of who is responsible for paying the taxes on each property. If there is any change in your agreement with your mortgage company which results in a change to who makes the payments the tax office should be notified right away. If you have a bank or mortgage company escrowing your taxes, they will receive the original tax bill and you will receive a copy. If you change from your mortgage company paying your taxes to doing it yourself, then you may use the advice copy stubs that were mailed to you in the summertime.

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Are there any Senior Citizens and Veterans Deductions Available?

Veterans, or their widows, are entitled to a $250 deduction on property owned as of October 1 in the year prior to the tax year for which the claim is submitted. Proof of active service in time of war or eligible conflict and honorable discharge must be submitted with the claim.

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Water / Sewer FAQ

Why pipe freezing is a problem?

Water has a unique property in that it expands as it freezes. This expansion puts tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. No matter the strength of a container, expanding water can cause pipes to break. Pipes that freeze most frequently are those that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, water sprinkler lines and water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets. Also, pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation are also subject to freezing.

Preventing Frozen Pipes:

Before the onset of cold weather, prevent freezing of these water supply lines and pipes by following these recommendations:
  • Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturers or installers directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed. Antifreeze is environmentally harmful, and is dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife and landscaping.

  • Remove, drain and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without cause the pipe to break.

  • Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located and are in unheated areas. Look in the basement, crawl space, attic, garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated. A hot water supply line can freeze just as a cold water supply line can freeze if the water is not running through the pipe and the water temperature in the pipe is cold.

  • Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a pipe sleeve or installing UL-listed heat tape, heat cable, or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Many products are available at your local building supplies retailer. Pipes should be carefully wrapped, with ends butted tightly and joints wrapped with tape. Follow manufacturers recommendations for installing and using these products. Newspaper can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes even of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that usually do not have frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing.
During Cold Weather, Take Preventive Action:
  • Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.

  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.

  • When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe even at a trickle helps prevent pipes from freezing because the temperature of the water running through it is above freezing.

  • Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.

  • If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55F.
To Thaw Frozen Pipes:

If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Locate the suspected frozen area of the water pipe. Likely places include pipes running against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
  • Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt more ice in the pipe.

  • Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, and electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device. A blowtorch can make water in a frozen pipe boil and cause the pipe to explode. All open flames in homes present a serious fire danger, as well as a severe risk of exposure to lethal carbon monoxide.

  • Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you cannot thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.

  • Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.
Future Protection:
  • Consider relocating exposed pipes to provide increased protection from freezing. Pipes can be relocated by a professional if the home is remodeled.

  • Add insulation added to attics, basements and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in these areas.
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When are utility bills mailed?

The water/sewer bills are mailed quarterly. March, June, September and December

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When are the utility bills due?

The bills are due when presented. However, there is a 30-day grace period.

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How is interest calculated on my utility bill?

Interest is calculated to the date of billing once it is past due. Interest is charged at 8% on the first $1,500 and 18% on any charges over $1,500.

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If I do not pay my utility bill will it be included in the tax sale?

Yes. Unpaid water/sewer and CCMUA bills that are from the prior year are sold at the Tax Sale.

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I've changed my mailing address, what should I do?

You should let the Tax Office/Water-Sewer Office know immediately so that the bills can be mailed to you properly.

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How do I request a new meter?

To buy a new meter or upgrade the one you have you need a plumbing permit. The application can be picked up in the Construction Office. Once the permit is signed then it can be paid for in the Tax Office.

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How can I tell if I have a leak?

You can check for water leaks by reading the water meter before you go to bed at night and then read your meter again in the morning before any water is used. If the reading on your meter has changed, that indicates a leak. You can also put food coloring in the tank of your toilet, after fifteen (15) minutes look into the bowel of the toilet. If the food coloring has leaked into the bowl of the toilet that indicates that your toilet is leaking and a plumber should be called as soon as possible to avoid future water loss.

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What do I do if I think my water bill is too high?

If you think your water bill is abnormally high, please call the water office as soon as possible after receiving your bill. We will send a meter reader out to your house to re-read your meter and check for the possibility of a leak.

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If I have a leak am I responsible for the bill?

If the leak is on your side of the meter, then you are responsible for paying for the water lost due to the leak.

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What to do if I have a sewer backup?

During working hours, 7:00am - 3:30pm, you can call the borough sewer plant at (856) 753-1837 and they will check the sewer main for any backups. If the backup is in the main the borough is responsible, if the backup is in the lateral (the lateral runs from the house to the main in the street) the homeowner must call a plumber. After 3:30 pm, if the plumber deems that the backup is in the main you can call (856) 767-0056 and follow the instructions.

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