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Time when lien attaches.-P. L. 1888, p. 372 (superseded in turn by the general tax act of 1903 and by this act), fixes conclusively the 20th of December as the period when an assess. ment for taxes becomes a lien upon lands. Bradley v. Dike, 57 N. J. L. 472. (See par. 106, sec. 6, above, changing this date to December 1.)
Prior to that period there exists nothing but a liability of the lands for a future lien. Id.
An assessment for taxes upon lands is not an incumbrance prior to the 20th of December, within the import of a covenant against incumbrances in a conveyance. Id.
When liens effective.
Municipal liens paramount.
107. Sec. 7. All assessments for benefits for municipal improvements shall be a lien on the land on which they are assessed on and after the date fixed in the act authorizing the assessment; and if no such date is so fixed, then on and after the date on which the same are payable. (P. L. 1918, p. 883.)
108. Sec. 8. All other municipal charges which are liens on real property shall become liens on the respective dates now or hereafter fixed by law. (P. L. 1918, p. 884.)
109. Sec. 9. Each and every municipal lien shall be and remain a first lien on such land and paramount to all prior or subsequent alienations and descents of said lands or encumbrances thereon, except subsequent municipal liens; no writ of certiorari or other suit shall operate to stay the enforcement of any municipal lien, unless the court shall so order, nor unless due notice of said order describing the land and naming the owner shall be filed as a notice of lis pendens in the office of the register of the county where said lands are situate, or if there be no register, then in the office of the county clerk. (P. L. 1918, p. 884.)
Priority of tax lien in general.-P. L. 1888, repealed by P. L. 1903, p. 439, and supplied by the general tax act of 1903 (superseded by this act), giving a tax lien priority over other incumbrances, does not apply to prior liens for taxes held by the State. Smith v. Specht, 58 N. J. E. 47.
It was held that, unless the provisions of section 13 of P. L. 1879, p. 340, repealed by P. L. 1903, p. 340, and supplied by the general tax act of 1903 (superseded in part by this act), had been complied with, as against one who became a purchaser or mortgagee of lands in this State after the 1st day of February in any year, without notice that taxes levied on the land in
previous years were unpaid, such taxes ceased to be a lien. Robinson v. Hulick, 67 N. J. L. 496.
It was held that proceedings under P. L. 1898, p. 442, for the adjustment of taxes, etc., did not affect the title of any purchaser or mortgagee whose purchase or mortgage was made after the lien of such taxes had expired against him pursuant to section 15 of the tax act of 1879. Id.
One who becomes a purchaser or mortgagee of land in this State is chargeable with notice that, under our general statutes, taxes are levied upon real estate annually, and become a paramount lien thereon on the 20th day of December next after the levy, and continue to be so against even purchasers and mortgagees until at least the 1st day of February in the following year. Id.
NOTE.-See par. 106, sec. 6, ante, making December 1st the date when the lien attaches.
Examination of unpaid
110. Sec. 10. "The governing body of each municipality Examination shall, from time to time, by resolution, designate some bonded municipal official of such municipality to make examinations of its records as to unpaid municipal liens and to certify the result thereof. The official so designated, and each new incumbent of said office, shall thereafter be vested with the power to make official certificates of searches for municipal liens until a new official has been designated for such purpose, and no other official than the one so designated shall make any such official certificate. (P. L. 1918, p. 884.)
111. Sec. 11. Upon receipt of the fees hereinafter men- Searches. tioned, and of a written application from any person or cor- as to taxes, poration, containing a diagram showing the location and dimensions of the tract of land to be covered by the certificate, and the name or names of the owner or owners of said tract, such official shall make an examination of the records of the municipality; and within fifteen days after receipt of the application, such official shall issue a certificate certifying what taxes, assessments or other municipal liens or charges, if any, have been levied or assessed against the property described in the application, and are liens thereon at the date of the certificate, and shall include all unpaid installments of any assessment theretofore levied and in force whether due or not. (P. L. 1918, p. 884.)
112. Sec. 12. The official appointed as aforesaid shall be Schedule of entitled to demand and receive, for each certificate issued by
Schedule of fees.
Acreage or block lots.
Not to exceed $5 a block,
him, reasonable fees, not in excess of those hereinafter men
tioned: City lots. (a) When the property described in the application is
shown on the assessment map of the municipality subdivided into city lots, and does not exceed five thousand square feet in area, the sum of two dollars, and for each additional five thousand square feet in area, or fraction thereof, an additional sum of twenty-five cents.
(6) When the property is shown on the assessment map of the municipality as acreage, or is so assessed, and lies wholly within the limits of a single block, the sum of two dollars, and if within the limits of two or more blocks, an additional sum of fifty cențs for each block.
(c) Whenever the property described in the application is, or has been subdivided and assessed as more than one item, an additional fee of fifty cents shall be allowed for each subdivision separately assessed.
(d) No charge in excess of five dollars shall be made for a certificate covering lands lying wholly within one block, as shown on the assessment map of the municipality, unless there is a subdivision of proprietorship indicated by the
assessment. Continuation. (e) Whenever the holder of a certificate issued as afore
said shall, within three years from the date thereof, apply for a continuation thereof, the fees charged therefor shall not be in excess of fifty cents per year. (P. L. 1918, p. 884.)
113. Sec. 13. All searches so made shall be certified to as correct by the designated official, and the fees collected shall be paid by such official to the governing body of the munici
pality. Said official shall keep a duplicate copy of each cerkept.
tificate, consecutively numbered, showing the fees charged, and bound in book form as a permanent record of his office. (P. L. 1918, p. 885.)
114. Sec. 14. Any person who shall acquire for valuable consideration an interest in any lands covered by any such official tax search, in reliance on said tax search, shall hold such interest free from any municipal lien held by the municipality and not shown on such search. (P. L. 1918, p. 886.)
Reliance on search.
If official fail to make
115. Sec. 15. If any such official shall fail to issue such If tax search at his office as here provided, within the time search. herein provided, or if the clerk of such municipality upon written demand upon him shall fail within fifteen days to state the name and place of office of an official of said municipality duly designated to make such tax searches, then any person acquiring an interest in lands described in such application or demand and relying thereon shall hold said lands free from any municipal lien existing and held by the municipality at the date of such application or demand. (P. L. 1918, p. 886.)
116. Sec. 16. When any municipal lien, or part thereof, Sale of on real property remains in arrears on the first day of July enforce lien. in the year following the date when the same became in arrears, the collector, or other officer charged by law in the municipality with that duty, shall enforce such lien by selling such property in the manner set forth in this act. The term “collector” as hereinafter used shall be taken to include any such officer, and the term "officer” shall be taken to include the collector. (P. L. 1918, p. 886.)
An Act to extend protection to the civil rights of members
of the military and naval establishments of the United States engaged in the present war.**
(P. L. 1918, p. 292), inserted here for convenience of reference.
** This act, similar to the act of the Federal Government, passed March 7th, 1918, is a somewhat lengthy one, containing five articles. It is designed to protect the civil rights of soldiers, etc., during the present crisis; but the only article here set forth is article 4, which deals with taxes which may become due by a soldier, etc.
TAXES AND PUBLIC LANDS.
As to taxes.
Affidavit filed with collector of taxes,
116a. Sec. 13. (1) The provisions of this section shall apply when any taxes or assessments, whether general or special, falling due during the period of military service in respect of real property owned by a person in military service and occupied for dwelling or business purposes by such person or his dependents at the commencement of his period of military service and still so occupied by his dependents or employees are not paid. (P. L. 1918, p. 300.)
(2) When any person in military service, or any person in his behalf, shall file with the collector of taxes, or other officer whose duty it is to enforce the collection of taxes or assessments, an affidavit showing (a) that a tax or assessment has been assessed upon property which is the subject of this section; (b) that such tax or assessment is unpaid, and (c) that by reason of such military service the ability of such person to pay such tax or assessment is materially affected, no sale of such property shall be made to enforce the collection of such tax or assessment, or any proceeding or action for such purpose commenced, except upon leave of court granted upon an application made therefor by such collector or other officer. The court thereupon may stay such proceedings or such sale, as provided in this act, for a period extending not more than six months after the termination of the war; and if the tax shall remain in arrears cn the first day of July next following the expiration of the termination of such stay of proceedings, the tax collector or other officer charged by law in the taxing district with that duty shall enforce the tax lien by selling the land or any part thereof in accordance with section 51 (as amended) of the act entitled “An act for the assessment and collection of taxes,” approved April eighth, one thousand nine hundred and three; and the tax collector shall file the said unpaid tax in the county clerk's office on or before the first day of February next following the assessment thereof as now
Enforcement of tax lien.