Finance FAQ

Search:
Browse by Category:

 

Instructions / Hint: Either enter your search criteria above or browse the below selections.

Doing Business with the City

What is the Payment Process
The payment process begins at the department level and requires several steps.

  •  Indentifying the need for a product or service and entering a requisition.
  • Each requisition requires three (3) electronic signoffs/approvals.  1st approval comes from the department head; 2nd approval comes from the City’s Qualified Purchasing Agent; the 3rd and final approval is that of the CFO. Once all approvals have been obtained, a Purchase Order is generated.

    Purchase Order – A Purchase order is a three (3) part colored coded document: White- vendor copy, Green – requisitioning department’s copy and Yellow – accounting’s copy.  The vendor, upon receipt of their copy provides the products/services being requested.  The vendor must sign the “claimant’s declaration” portion of the Purchase Order certifying the products/services have been rendered and prices are correct.  The Purchase Order along with an original invoice, are mailed to the attention of the accounting department.    

    Once products/services are received and verified as complete by the requisitioning department, the “green” copy is signed off on by both the individual having received the products/services and the department head to authorized payment.  The green copy along with the packing slip and invoice are forwarded to the accounting office for payment.

    Once, both, the signed Purchase Order and green copy authorizing payment have been received by the accounting office and reconciled; payment is place on the “Claims List” to be presented to the members of the governing body for their approval. 

    Claims List – This is a list of all Purchase Orders ready for payment which is presented to Council Members seven (7) days prior to a scheduled Council meeting.  Meetings are usually the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month, but can vary from time to time.  Upon Council’s approval of the payments, checks are generated and mailed.

     

    ****Important Reminder****

    All Purchase Orders must be signed and an invoice provided prior to inclusion on theclaims list.

    Requisition – A requisition is a request by a department to make a purchase. An individual designated within each department shall enter electronically, via the City’s accounting program, the items being requested for purchase. 
     

    How to do business with the City of Ocean City NJ?

    What is purchased?

    The City of Ocean City Division of Purchasing assists all departments and divisions in obtaining all supplies, equipment, services or construction needed. This includes a very large variety of products and services.

    SMALL PURCHASES

    Small purchases are obtained individually by the division through a Request for Quotation (RFQ). Electronic, fax, written or telephone quotations may be used. Vendors are strongly encouraged to provide immediate responses to an RFQ since the period of time is short and purchases are usually made promptly. City Departments can solicit a quote from 2 or more vendors, use a state contract vendor or purchase through cooperative. For purchasing under $5,400.00, a minimum of two (2) quotes shall be solicited, if possible. A “Business Registration Certificate” (BRC) would not be necessary. However, if the aggregate to the vendor totals over the $5,400.00 threshold, a BRC is necessary.

    As a vendor you will receive prior authorization through either a purchase order, a direct purchase order (DPA) or a Visa credit card (procurement card). Under no circumstances as a vendor provide the goods or services without one of these authorizations.

    What is a Business Registration Certificate?

    Businesses planning to contract with any public agency in New Jersey, including state agencies, local governments, colleges/universities and local school boards as well as with casino licensees will be required to provide a “Business Registration Certificate” as proof of registration as per N.J.S.A. 40A: 11-23.2. For more information regarding Business Registration Certificate, please visit:

    http://www.state.nj.us/njbusiness/registration/

    INVITATION TO BID

    This is a formal competitive bidding process used for large purchases or construction projects. The City Contract contains contractual terms and specifications. All current City Contracts open to bid can be found on our web page under “Notice to Bidders.” The bids are opened publicly at a specific time and place designated in the City Contract. The contract is awarded to the lowest responsible and responsive bidder whose bid conforms in all criteria required in the City Contract. All bid results are posted to our web page under “Bid Results” and can be found by the number or title of the city contract. A Business Registration Certificate (BRC) is required at the time of the start of the project. (see above for more information on BRC) A New Jersey Public Works Contractors Registration Act Certificate is required for any projects over $14,187.00 per N.J.S.A. 34:11-56.30.

    What is a Business Registration Certificate?

    Businesses planning to contract with any public agency in New Jersey, including state agencies, local governments, colleges/universities and local school boards as well as with casino licensees will be required to provide a “Business Registration Certificate” as proof of registration as per N.J.S.A. 40A: 11-23.2. For more information regarding Business Registration Certificate, please visit:

    http://www.state.nj.us/njbusiness/registration/

    INVITATION TO BID

    This is a formal competitive bidding process used for large purchases or construction projects. The City Contract contains contractual terms and specifications. All current City Contracts open to bid can be found on our web page under “Notice to Bidders.” The bids are opened publicly at a specific time and place designated in the City Contract. The contract is awarded to the lowest responsible and responsive bidder whose bid conforms in all criteria required in the City Contract. All bid results are posted to our web page under “Bid Results” and can be found by the number or title of the city contract. A Business Registration Certificate (BRC) is required at the time of the start of the project. (see above for more information on BRC) A New Jersey Public Works Contractors Registration Act Certificate is required for any projects over $14,187.00 per N.J.S.A. 34:11-56.30.

    What is a Public Works Contractors Registration Act Certificate?

    This registration requires all contractors, subcontractors, or lower tier subcontractors (including subcontractors listed in bid proposals) who bid on or engage in the performance of any public work to register with the Department of Labor and Work Development. For more information regarding the Public Works Contractors Registration Act Certificate, please visit:

    http://lwd.dol.state.nj.us/labor/wagehour/regperm/pw_cont_reg.html

    REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL (RFP)

    This is a competitive sealed proposal process and is used when the City Purchasing Manger determines that the RFP process is more beneficial to the City than the City Contract process. The City uses this process when it may be not only cost but several other criteria may be necessary to make an award. Usually the RFP process is used for a Professional Service. Evaluation criteria will be established and used by the evaluation committee for their recommendation. After the award of the contract, the results will be posted on our web page under “Bid Results.”

    PLAY TO PAY (P2P)

    New Jersey Pay to Play Threshold for all contracts is $17,500.00 per N.J.S.A. 19:44A-204 et seq. aggregates per for all vendors. The City of Ocean City Pay to Play threshold for only professional services, banking and insurance service contracts starts at $1 and above per City Ordinance 05-13. Proper paperwork must be completed prior to issuance of the purchase order and/or contract.

    How do I get notified about City Bids?

    No Current Content

    Tax Assessment

    Important Dates
    January -            Tax Books are filed with the County                 
                                 ·        Demolished structures
                                 ·        New exemptions
                                 ·        Tax map
                                 ·        Estimate amounts of veterans approved
                                 ·        Estimate amount of senior citizens approved
                                 ·        New construction for Budget Cap purposes 

     
    February 1 -        Notify each taxpayer, by post card, of the current assessment and the previous year’s taxes; include tax appeal information
     
    March 1 -             Hearings on County Equalization tables 
     
    April 1 -                Deadline for tax appeals
     
    May 20 -              County Board to certify general tax rates
     
    July 1 -                 Process Building Permits, new property record cards, added assessments
     
    August 1 -           Deadline for farmland assessment
                               Defend Tax Appeals 

     
    September -        Complete all added assessment records 
     
    October 1 -         Assessing date for all real property in the District
                               All required conditions for Veterans Exemption must exist by October 1    
                               File added Assessment List
                               All Exemptions must be filed with the exceptions of seniors which is due by December 31 
    December 1 -     Added assessment appeal deadline
                               Defend added assessments 
                               Proof tax list
                               Advertise that the Tax is open for inspection 
    What is the basis for my assessment?

    What is my assessment based on?

    In order for an assessment to be deemed excessive a taxpayer must prove an assessment does not fairly represent one of the two standards:

    • After the completion of a revaluation, all assessments must represent 100% of true market value as of the previous October 1. The October 1 pre-tax date is referred to as the annual "assessment date". All evidence submitted in a tax appeal must be on or near the assessment date, especially property sales used as comparables.
    • The "common level" or common level range is the 2nd standard. With this standard you must consider what happens following a revaluation. or reassessment. Once a revaluation or reassessment is completed, external factors such as inflation, appreciation, and depreciation may cause values to increase or decrease at varying rates.

    Other factors such as physical deterioration may contribute to changes in property values. If assessments are not adjusted annually, a deviation from 100% of true market value will occur.

    The State Division of Taxation annually conducts a fiscal year sales survey, investigating most property transfers that occur in your community, with your local assessor assisting. Every sale is compared individually to every assessment to determine an average level of assessment in a municipality. An average ratio is developed from a sampling of property sales to represent the assessment level in your community. In any year, except the year a revaluation or reassessment is implemented, the common level of assessment is the average ratio of the district in which your property is located and is used by the Tax Board to determine the fairness of your assessment.


    How do I know if my assessment is fair?

    The New Jersey Legislation adopted a formula known as Chapter 123 in 1973 to test the fairness of an assessment. Once the Tax Board has determined the true market value of a property during an appeal, they are required to automatically compare the true market value to the assessment. If the ratio of the assessment to the true value exceeds the average ratio by 15%, then the assessment is automatically reduced to the common level. However, if the assessment falls within this common level range, no adjustment will be made. If the assessment to true value ratio falls below the common level, the Tax Board is obligated to increase the assessment to the common level. This test assumes the taxpayer will supply sufficient evidence to the Tax Board so they may determine the true market value of the property subject to the appeal. You should inquire into your county’s average ratio before filing a tax appeal as the ratio changes annually on October 1, for use in the subsequent tax year.



    What is a tax appeal hearing and who will hear my appeal?

    Once you have filed your tax appeal, a hearing before the Cape May County Tax Board is scheduled. Cape May County Tax Board consists of 5 members (commissioners) which are appointed by the governor. The Tax Board Commissioners are appointed primarily to hear disputes involving assessments. The municipality is the opposing party and will be represented by the municipal attorney. The assessor and/or an appraiser may appear at your hearing as an expert witness for the municipality.



    Is a hearing always necessary?

    A hearing is always necessary. If the assessor, municipal attorney, and the taxpayer agree to a settlement or the issues are otherwise resolved, it may not be necessary for you to attend your hearing, particularly if a settlement stipulation form is submitted to the Tax Board for their approval.



    When are the tax appeal hearings held?

    Tax appeal hearings are generally held after the April 1 annual deadline. Adjournments are generally denied. It is suggested that you make every attempt to attend your hearing. If you miss your hearing and have not received a written notice postponing your case, you may assume the case has been dismissed. If you do not attend your hearing, your case will be dismissed "for lack of prosecution."



    What is good evidence to convince the Tax Board to reconsider an assessment?

    You cannot appeal the taxes on your property since the taxes are the result of the local budget process. You must pay the collector all taxes and municipal charges up to and including the first quarter of the tax year. Remember, the burden is on you, the appellant, to prove your assessment is unreasonable, excessive, or discriminatory. It is necessary for you to prove at the onset that your assessment is in error. It is also necessary for you to suggest a more appropriate value.

    The taxpayer must be persuasive and present reliable and credible evidence. Reliable and credible evidence is that which is supported by fact, not assumptions or beliefs. Photographs of both the subject property and comparables are useful in illustrating your argument. The most reliable and credible evidence is recent comparable sales of other properties of a similar type within your neighborhood. If you are going to discuss comparable sales, not less than three comparable sales shall be submitted to the Assessor, Clerk, and County Tax Board, not less than one week prior to the hearing if not included with the Petition of Appeal. Sales of all properties are available for your review at the Cape May County Tax Board. Comparable means most of the characteristics of your property and the neighboring sale is similar. You should be aware of the conditions of the sales you obtain including financing and be able to give a full description of the properties. Some of the characteristics making your property comparable are: recent sale price, similar square footage of living area as measured from the exterior, similar lot size or acreage, proximity to your property, same zoning use (e.g. residential in a residential zone), similar age and style of structure, etc.



    If the property was recently purchased, how is this purchase considered?

    An assessment is an opinion of value. Uniformity of treatment dictates minor adjustments are not made simply due to a recent sales price. For various other reasons the subject’s sales price may not necessarily be either conclusive evidence of the property’s true market value, or binding upon the Tax Board. An examination of the circumstances surrounding a sale is always important.



    Will the appeal be private?

    No. All meetings of the Board of Taxation are public meetings.



    Are there special rules for commercial properties?

    Yes. Owners of rental income properties must supply an income statement at the time of filing on special forms provided by the Tax Board. Since the income generated by a property has a direct bearing on the owner’s ability to market the property, and therefore its value, this evidence may be useful in arguing both sides of an appeal.



    Who is an expert witness?

    Besides your Municipal Tax Assessor, anyone whose occupation is that of a real estate appraiser, and whose designation as such is from a legitimate/creditable association of professionals, is considered an expert. The qualifications of any expert may be challenged by the Municipal Attorney at the hearing.

    In addition, if you intend to rely on expert testimony at your hearing, you must supply one copy of an appraisal report to the assessor, and one copy to every member of the County Tax Board and Tax Administrator at least 7 days in advance of the scheduled hearing. The appraiser who completed the report must be available at the hearing to give testimony and give the municipality and Tax Board an opportunity to cross-examine them.



    May I further appeal the judgment of the Tax Board if I am still dissatisfied?

    If you are dissatisfied with the judgment rendered by the Tax Board, you will have 45 days from the date your judgment was mailed to file an additional appeal with the Tax Court of New Jersey. If your property is assessed for more than $750,000, you may file directly with the Tax Court by April 1st annually.



    Considerations:

     

    When a taxpayer is filing an appeal, they should consider the following:

    1. What was the market value of my property of the pretax year?

    2. Am I able to support my conclusion of market value with credible evidence?

    3. Is my property assessed in excess of its market value if a reassessment/revaluation was implemented in the current tax year? If a revaluation/reassessment was not implemented, does my assessment exceed market value or does the ratio of my property assessment to its market value exceed the upper limit of the common level range?



    For Additional Information or to request the forms:

    Please contact the Cape May County Board of Taxation at:(609) 465-1030

     

    Tax Assessment Office

    Tax Collection

    What is the Tax Sale Process?
    In the State of New Jersey, the Tax Collector holds a tax sale each year for the prior year’s unpaid municipal charges, as required by state law.  A municipal charge is not limited to property taxes, it includes any unpaid municipal charge such as the Special Improvement District (S.I.D.) .YOUR PROPERTY IS NOT SOLD AT THE TAX SALE; A LIEN IS PLACED UPON IT.
               A Tax Sale List is published in the newspaper for four (4) weeks prior to the tax sale, the cost of such advertising is added to the delinquent amount owed.  The amounts due may be paid in full up to the date of the sale.
    The lien holder 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 issued tax sale certificate is the detailed receipt of what the lien holder purchased at the tax sale.  These liens should be recorded, by the lien holder, at the County Clerk’s Office in order to insure redemption of the lien if the property is sold.  Clear title cannot be obtained for a property with recorded liens on it. 
    At the tax sale most liens are sold to a third party.  If there is not a third party interested in purchasing the lien the lien is thenstruck off to the municipality.  If a lien is held byThe City of Ocean City, they maybegin foreclosure proceedings six months from the date of the tax sale if the lien has not been redeemed. 
    When a lien is purchased by athird party, theyhave a right to begin foreclosure proceedings two years from the date of the tax saleThe lien holder also has the right to pay subsequent taxes and other 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. Cash,certified check or money order.
    Assessed owners of property are ultimately responsible for their municipal charges Even if you are, through a mortgage company, escrowing for taxes.  New Jersey State Law is very clearYOU DO NOT NEED TO BE IN RECEIPT OF A BILL TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR PAYING IT.
    The tax sale is usually conducted in October and is advertised in the Ocean City Sentinel. One may obtain a copy of the tax sale by sending a self addressed stamped envelope to the Tax Collector @ P.O. Box 208, Ocean City, NJ 08226 
    Can I pay my taxes online?
    • A:Yes, tax payments can be made online. Click here for more details. You can pay through an automatic clearing house (ACH) withdrawal from your checking or savings account. This is a free service and can be accessed by block and lot and banking information. You will need your block and lot to access your information.
    What discounts are available to Ocean City residents?
    • A:Veteran/Widow of a veteran deduction-must be an honorably discharged veteran from a specified time frame and a New Jersey resident. For a veteran deduction, proof of discharge will be needed. For a widow of a veteran, included with the above, a copy of the marriage and death certificate will be needed to accompany the application.
       
    • Senior deduction is for residents 65 years of age or older as of October 1 of the pre tax year, living in the residence they wish to claim, and their income does not exceed $10,000 a year, excluding some or all of their social security or certain pensions. Applications for either deduction can be picked up at the Collector's office
    Important Dates
    • Taxes are due on the first of February, May, August and November of each year.
    • There is a ten calendar day grace period for each, with all payments due in our office no later than the 10th of the month they are due.
    • Ocean City does not accept postmark for tax payments.
    Important Links Tax Collection Office