Frequently Asked Questions

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Beach Tags

Cost of Beach Tags:
Beach tags are required on all persons 12 years of age and over on all city beaches from 10 am - 5:30 pm at all times Beaches are open or when lifeguards are on duty.

CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION ON BEACH TAGS

Additional Beach Tags:

  • Seasonal $30.00
  • Weekly (Saturday - Saturday) $20.00
  • Three Day $15.00
  • Daily $ 6.00

Check back for information regarding in-person sales for Preseason Seasonal Beach Tags  from December 1st to March 31st .  They may also be purchased on the beach from Memorial Day Saturday through Labor Day

Yes. Seasonal tags can be ordered by mail from December 1st through April 30th only. There is a small shipping and handling fee charged for mail order. All mail orders can be mailed to the City of Cape May, 643 Washington St, Cape May, NJ  08204. All mail order forms must be received by March 31st to qualify for the discounted rate.

Military Tags are available in the Tax Office from December 1st – Labor Day as well as at Beach Tag Headquarters (704 Beach Avenue) from Memorial Day Saturday through Labor Day. Veterans will receive 1 tag per season. Active Duty military will receive 1 set of tags per season which includes the active member, the spouse, and any dependent child age 12 and older.

Yes. The City of Cape May offers Weekly, 3-Day, and daily tags in addition to seasonal tags. Weekly tags run Saturday to Saturday, 3-Day tags are used for 3 consecutive days, and all of these tags can only be purchased as you enter the beach. They are not available anywhere else.

Tax Collection

Tax Due Dates: Taxes are due and payable quarterly on the 1st of February, May August, and November.  To pay a tax bill in full, add the amount due on each of the four numbered stubs provided on the tax bill. The State of New Jersey does not permit postmark.  Taxes are due in the office by the close of the business day on the 1st of February, May, August, and November to avoid interest charges.  However, if the 1st falls on a weekend or Legal Holiday, you have until the next business day to make payment without interest.

Tax bills are mailed in July and the 3rd quarter payment is due August 1st.  If you have a mortgage company escrowing for taxes and they do not receive a copy of the tax bill from the Tax Office, it is the owner’s responsibility to see that they get a copy.  Tax bills are to be forwarded upon sale of a property between buyer and seller.  Failure to receive a tax bill does not relieve the owner from paying taxes.  Interest will be applied to all late payments.  Please contact this office if you need a copy of your tax bill.

Please notify Collector of Address change by mail or email to durquhart@capemaycity.com or mkennedy@capemaycity.com.

No. The City of Cape May does not provide a grace period. Taxes are due by the close of the business day on the due date to avoid interest charges.

Interest will be charged at the rate of 8% per annum up to $1500.00 of the delinquency and 18% per annum over $1500.00 until taxes are current.

To receive a receipt for a payment, please included the entire tax bill with a stamped self-addressed envelope.  Otherwise, detach the appropriate stub and mail with your check. The cancelled check will be your receipt.

Taxes not paid by December 31st of the current year, in excess of $10,000 will be assessed a 6% year-end penalty.

A $20.00 charge for checks returned by bank. The City of Cape May does not redeposit returned checks

Unpaid taxes, interest and other Municipal charges become a lien. The Collector shall enforce the lien through a publicly held tax sale. The City of Cape May holds a standard tax sale each year for delinquent taxes not paid for the prior year. The sale can be held any time between January 1st and December 31st. Properties included in the tax sale will be advertised in the Cape May Star & Wave newspaper for four weeks prior to the week of the sale. If a property is included in our tax sale, a lien will be placed against it. You must contact our office for a redemption statement

To qualify for a senior citizen deduction, you must meet all qualifications listed below:

  • Age 65 as of December 31st of pretax year for Senior Citizen, no age requirement for Disabled Persons
  • Citizenship in the State of New Jersey
  • Ownership as of October 1st of pretax year, and in New Jersey for at least one year immediately preceding October 1st of pretax year
  • Income – cannot exceed $10,000 (husband/wife combined) excluding of the following: social security (up to $34,332 per person), Government Pension, or Railroad Pension

Yes, however to qualify for the $250 deduction you must meet all the qualifications below:

  • Citizenship in the State of New Jersey
  • Residency in New Jersey
  • Active wartime service in the United States Armed Services
  • Honorably Discharged

By now you should have received the 2020 Final / 2021 Preliminary Tax Bills. When sending in payments, please check the 2020 - 3 coupon for an "adjusted balance due" as this installment was previously billed in June and due by August 1, 2020. If you have already sent in the payment, a credit has been applied to your account. Please contact the Tax Office with any questions. 609-884-9540

Tax Assessor

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.

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.

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

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.

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."

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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 $1,000,000, you may file directly with the Tax Court by April 1st annually.

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?

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

Public Works

Recycle collection scheduled for Monday, October 12, 2020 will be collected on Tuesday, October 13, 2020.

Special Events

Due to New Jersey Governor Murphy's Executive Order on outdoor gatherings and with a priority to the safety and welfare of the parade participants and attendees, the City has cancelled the 2020 Halloween Parade.  The 2021 Halloween Parade is scheduled for Sunday, October 24.

The Cape May City Tree Lighting is scheduled for Saturday,  December 5, 2020 at 6pm in Rotary Park, 400 Lafayette Street.  For more information click HERE.

The West Cape May Christmas Parade has been cancelled.  Please see notice below from West Cape May Mayor Carol Sabo:

It is with much sadness that the difficult decision has been reached to cancel the 2020 West Cape May Community Christmas Parade. This parade draws thousands of people from the Tri-state area to West Cape May and the surrounding municipalities. The health and safety of participants and viewers alike was the greatest factor to consider.
Consideration of the economic impact was also weighed. The weekend is certainly a boom to the economy. However, as most people know, this parade is funded entirely by the donations of individuals and businesses who love and enjoy this parade. It would be impossible to solicit donations from businesses and individuals who are already severely impacted by the devastation of Covid-19.
That being said, donations will still be accepted and we will be dedicated to making the 2021 parade bigger and better than ever!
Thank you everyone- be well and stay safe!
Mayor Carol Sabo

Box Office

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, New Jersey State Governor Murphy issued an executive order that will not allow indoor concerts in any capacity.  Therefore, in the essence of safety for the public and City employees as well sound fiscal judgement for the City, the July 2020 Summer Concert Series has been cancelled.  All tickets purchased will be refunded OR you may choose to hold your tickets at the price you purchased them for this year as well as your reserved seat for next year.

The following acts have been rescheduled for 2021:

Cape May Summer Concert Series:

All shows are on Wednesdays at 8pm

The Duprees (July 1) rescheduled to July 7, 2021

Lee Greenwood (July 8) rescheduled to July 14, 2021

The Platters ( July 15) rescheduled to July 28, 2021

The Guess Who (July 22) rescheduled to July 21, 2021

The Manhattans Featuring Gerald Alston (July 29) rescheduled to August 4, 2021

THE HIT MEN:  Legendary Rock Supergroup (August 12) rescheduled to August 11, 2021

MARY WILSON of the Supremes (Aug 5) rescheduled to August 18, 2021

The Modern Gentlemen:  The Voices Behind Frankie Valli over the past decade (Aug 19) rescheduled to August 25, 2021

Other concerts rescheduled:

British Invasion Years (July 24) rescheduled to July 23, 2021

Linda Gentile and the Jersey Shore Pops (August 21) rescheduled to August 13, 2021

Beach Bumz Outdoor Concert (Sept 4) rescheduled to September 3, 2021

For further information, please email boxoffice@capemaycity.com or call 609-884-9565.

Marriages

If either partner is a resident of New Jersey, the marriage license must be obtained from the Registrar of Vital Statistics in the municipality where either partner lives. If one partner is a non-resident of New Jersey and the other partner is a resident of New Jersey, the license must be obtained from the Registrar in the municipality in which the partner resides in New Jersey. (For marriage license purposes, soldiers are residents of the posts at which they are stationed.) A license issued under either of the preceding circumstances is good for use anywhere in New Jersey. If both Partners are nonresidents of New Jersey, the license must be obtained from the Registrar of the municipality where the Ceremony is to be performed and is only good for use in that municipality.  A license may never be used outside of New Jersey and a license issued in another state may never be used in New Jersey. Be sure to contact the Registrar well in advance of the wedding to find out on what days and during what hours the Registrar will be in the office. The license fee is $28.00.

According to state law, judges of a Federal District Court, United States magistrates, judges of a Municipal Court, judges of the Superior Court, judges of a Tax Court, retired judges of the Superior Court or Tax Court, or judge of the Superior Court or Tax Court who has resigned in good standing, and any mayor or deputy mayor, village president of New Jersey, County Clerks, and every minister of every religion may solemnize a marriage.

A local Registrar will not issue a license sooner than 72 hours after the application for a marriage license has been made, unless ordered to do so via an appropriate court order. If the marriage is scheduled for a Saturday or Sunday, the application should be made no later than the preceding Tuesday. If the application is made on a Wednesday or Thursday, the 72 hours will end on Saturday or Sunday, but the Registrar will probably not be available on those days or any public holiday. If both the partners are unavailable to complete the application at the same time, either applicant may complete his/her part of the application and start the waiting period.The other applicant must return with the same witness (who must be at least 18 years old) to complete his/her part of the application. Both parties must complete the application before the license will be issued. Once the license is issued, it is good for 30 days from the date of issuance. A couple wishing to have both religious and civil ceremonies may be issued a license for both ceremonies on the basis of a single application. However, a couple wishing to have two religious ceremonies, and wanting to have a public record of each, may not have two licenses issued at the same time. They must apply for and use the first license. They must then return to the Registrar with signed original certificate of the marriage and a witness to apply for a remarriage license.

  A witness, who must be at least 18 years of age. Two forms of identification, preferably a birth certificate and one photo ID. For example, you may use a birth certificate, state issued driver's license, employment issued ID, a passport, a voter's registration card, a U.S. military card.  If one or both of the applicants are divorced, you should bring a copy of the final decree or decrees for examination by the Registrar or a statement by the judge as to when the final decree was signed (not the date of the final hearing.) Both the bride and groom will provide their Social Security numbers (Married Persons Title 37:117). Consent of both parents is necessary if an applicant is under 18 years of age. Both parental consents and judicial approval of such consents are necessary if the applicant is younger than 16. These consents should be on forms supplied by the Registrar.

The officiant performing the ceremony must file the license and marriage certificate with the Registrar of the municipality in which the marriage was performed. Since failure to record the marriage may cause considerable inconvenience at a later date when proof of marriage is needed, you should make sure that this has been done. Certified copies of the marriage event may be obtained from the local Registrar in the municipality where the ceremony occurred or from the Office of the State Registrar of Vital Statistics.

  • TO APPLY FOR A MARRIAGE APPLICATION IN THE CITY OF CAPE MAY:

  • If either partner resides in New Jersey, the application must take place in the municipality where the applicant resides.  If both partners are from out of state, THEY MUST APPLY IN THE MUNICIPALITY WHERE THE MARRIAGE IS TAKING PLACE.
  • Applicants must provide valid government-issued photo identification (example: unexpired photo Driver’s License).  If the Driver’s License does not have the correct address listed, the applicant may instead provide a valid photo passport and proof of residency (example: utility bill/bank statement from within the last 90 days, vehicle registration/insurance card, etc.)
  • A witness 18 years or older (can be a friend or family member, but not the wedding officiant) with valid government-issued photo identification.
  • Application fee of $28.00 cash, check or money order.
  • Appointments to apply for a marriage license are conducted in the City of Cape May Clerk’s Office Monday through Friday (excluding holidays) 9:00am to 2:45pm upon availability (Appointment Necessary).
  • For an appointment please call Erin Burke at (609) 884-9530 or e-mail eburke@capemaycity.com
  • E-Mail appointments – Please send the preferred appointment date, time, both partners’ full birth names, address, anticipated date of marriage, and a day time phone number.
  • Applicants may apply up to 8 months in advance and leave the license with the Registrar until 30 days before the ceremony.  The week of the wedding is recommended to pick up the license.
  • Please note: If either applicant is divorced/has had a dissolution of Civil Union, the exact date and location of divorce/dissolution of Civil Union must be provided at the time of the application, along with the most recent spouse’s full name at birth.
  • Additionally: At the time of the appointment, both applicants must provide the full birth names and birth locations of both parents (if applicable).
  • Upon application for the marriage license, there is a 72-hour waiting period before the license can be issued to the applicants.  APPLICANTS MAY APPLY FOR A WAIVER OF THE 72 HOUR WAITING PERIOD WITH THE COUNTY OF CAPE MAY IN CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE, NJ. PLEASE MAKE AN APPOINTMENT TWO HOURS AFTER THE CAPE MAY CITY APPOINTMENT ON THE SAME DAY (609) 402-0100 ext. 47720 or ext. 47730.

If you are interested in a beach wedding or a City property wedding in the City of Cape May, please click HERE for ceremonial arrangements and choose your location.  If you have additional questions on the City location or use of the Mayor/Deputy Mayor as an officiant, please call Terry Stickle at (609) 884-9534 or e-mail her at terrys@capemaycity.com.

Ceremonial Fee's
Mayor's Fee - $225.00
Administration Fee - $100.00
City location - $50.00

*NO BENCHES PERMITTED ON THE BEACH - CHAIRS ONLY*

For information on weddings, receptions, rehearsal dinners or private parties at Convention Hall, please contact Kate O'Connell at 609-884-9565 or by email koconnell@capemaycity.com.