Paterson waiving late fees on taxes, sewer bills due to coronavirus pandemic | Paterson Times

Paterson waiving late fees on taxes, sewer bills due to coronavirus pandemic


Recognizing the financial hardship caused by the new coronavirus pandemic, City Council members on Saturday approved a measure to waive late fees on sewer and tax payments.

“If you’re late, we’re not going to charge you eight percent. It’s going to be zero,” said councilman Al Abdelaziz, who championed the measure.

Property owners late on their May 1 tax and sewer bills can pay by June 1 without incurring 8 to 18-percent interest penalties. The city charges 8% for the first $1,500 that’s late and 18% for amount over $1,500.

Abdelaziz faced hurdles in securing approval for the measure from some of his colleagues and mayor Andre Sayegh’s administration.

Sayegh’s law director Farrah Irving told council members the measure may contravene the memorandum of understanding between the state and municipal governments. Last year, the state provided $24.65 in transitional aid and imposed a series of conditions.

Irving said the MOU requires the city secure permission from the state.

Councilman William McKoy said the city could jeopardize as much as $28 million in state aid by going ahead with the measure. He recognized taxpayers were in a “bind.”

Councilman Flavio Rivera, chairman of the finance committee, said the mayor and his administration need to find better excuses than repeatedly saying DCA does not allow this or that.

Abdelaziz pointed out utility companies are barred from terminating services to customers and landlord are barred from evicting tenants amid the pandemic.

“Government is supposed to help people up, not kick them when they are down with fees during a pandemic,” said Abdelaziz.

Council members could not legally eliminate the interest fees, but reduced it to 0.00001%.

Council members voted 7-0 to approve the measure. Abdelaziz, Shahin Khalique, Rivera, McKoy, Luis Velez, Maritza Davila, and Michael Jackson voted in favor. Ruby Cotton and Lilisa Mimms were absent.

Cotton lost her husband to Covid-19 last week.

Email: [email protected]

Updated 11:50 a.m.  

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  • John

    It wouldn't surprise me if Paterson officials would vote in favor even if it jeopardizes state/federal funding. Paterson officials only think about today, never tomorrow. In a couple months these same Paterson officials will be crying they are broke and then vote to further increase taxes.

    So who are these elected officials helping now?

  • John Brown

    you took everyone's lively hood away people can't pay their rent put food on the table for their families
    and you Mother F'ers are talking about paying sewer and tax bills!! .. WITH WHAT?!!!!!!!!…
    I've seen the long lines at the food pantries that stretch around the corner.
    I know people who apply for unemployment last month and still haven't gotten a check
    much less get on the website. most people in Paterson are. 1 paycheck away from being homeless
    and hungry. and that has come to fruition this pass 30 days.
    so lets some businesses Open up so they can pay. if not F*** YOU!!!

  • John

    every year this council turns more into garbage