How can I find out if someone paid their property taxes?

It's easy to find property tax payment records because the information is public.

Q. How does one find out if the owner of a property in New Jersey is paying their property taxes?

— Curious

A. This information is pretty simple to find.

That’s because property tax information is public record in New Jersey.

It can be researched directly through New Jersey’s website,  or you can go directly to the municipality where the property is located, said Steven Gallo, a certified public accountant and personal financial specialist with U.S. Financial Services in Fairfield.

But, Gallo said, if you’re curious because you’re planning to purchase the property, it’s a moot point.

“In New Jersey, all property purchases must go through a legal closing process in which a property search is conducted,” Gallo said. “No property can change ownership without all outstanding taxes being paid by the seller at closing, therefore giving the new owner clear title and a fresh start.”

You can also learn if there are any liens against the property, and those, too, would be paid off at the closing. 

Good luck on your search!

Email your questions to Ask@NJMoneyHelp.com.

Karin Price Mueller writes the Bamboozled column for NJ Advance Media and is the founder of NJMoneyHelp.com. Follow NJMoneyHelp on Twitter @NJMoneyHelp. Find NJMoneyHelp on Facebook. Sign up for NJMoneyHelp.com’s weekly e-newsletter.

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