Washington, D.C. – (RealEstateRama) — A critical report on New Jersey’s online municipal tax lien auctions issued Tuesday by the State Commission of Investigation recommended a series of remedies contained in legislation (A2887) introduced by Assemblyman Ron Dancer in February.
“Not only did the state’s investigation uncover serious weaknesses and flaws in the current online tax sale pilot process, it asserted the benefits in my bill as a comprehensive countermeasure that will save taxpayer money by increasing competition,” said Dancer (R-Ocean). “In light of the SCI findings, it is my hope that the Legislature will move quickly to pass my bill. I think it is important to allow municipalities this opportunity prior to scheduling year-end municipal tax lien sales.”
The SCI report was critical of the Department of Community Affairs for its failure to issue any rules or regulations 15 years after legislation enacted in 2001 authorized electronic tax lien sales in New Jersey. Moreover, the department was chided for allowing a single contractor to dominate the market for online tax auctions without competitive bidding.
The report includes a footnote regarding Dancer’s bill: “In fact, legislation has recently been introduced in the General Assembly (A2887) that would effectively eliminate DCA’s pilot program by amending the 2001 electronic tax sale enabling statute such that pilot programs would no longer be permitted. … Accordingly, this legislation underscores the importance and necessity for DCA to efficiently establish such rules, regulations and procedures.”
“Every town is required to conduct a tax lien sale annually to recover money for delinquent taxes and fees for services. Almost 90 towns have utilized the current online electronic tax sale process, and the SCI report states that the process can be conducted in a fair and orderly fashion, allowing efficiencies,” Dancer said. “It is time to open this program up to competition, and make it easier for towns to participate and benefit. My legislation will expand and facilitate the online opportunity to hundreds of other municipalities, providing immediate relief to property taxpayers.”
CLICK HERE to view the Commission of Investigation report