When do the Mayor and Council hold public meetings?
Stanhope’s Mayor and Council hold public meetings two times per month. They meet at 7pm on the second Tuesday and the fourth Tuesday of the month.
If I want to speak to the Mayor and Council in person, how do I get on the Agenda?
All meetings have an “Open to the Public” portion to afford the public time to speak to the Mayor and Council about questions or concerns.
How do I request a copy of a municipal record?
Government Records Request Forms are available in the Municipal Clerk’s office (OPRA Form) or by clicking here. The Government Records Request Form contains complete instructions and fee schedule.
How can I report a street lamp out?
Street lamp outages can be reported directly to the power company at this site: https://www.firstenergycorp.com/service_requests/report-lighting-problem.html. You will need the nearest house address, cross street, and pole number. Use this site for street lamps only. Please report traffic light outages to the Stanhope Police at 973-347-4533.
Marriage Certificates and Other Records
How do I apply for a marriage or civil union license?
Stanhope’s Registrar of Vital Statistics issues marriage and civil union licenses. You can apply for a marriage or civil union license in Stanhope if either party resides in Stanhope, or if neither party is a resident of New Jersey but the marriage or civil union ceremony will be performed in Stanhope.
What is the fee for a marriage or civil union license?
The fee for a marriage or civil union license is $28. Payment can be in the form of cash or check made payable to the Borough of Stanhope.
After filing a marriage or civil union application, is there a waiting period?
Yes. There is a 72-hour waiting period before the license can be issued. The waiting period begins once the application has been filed with the Registrar. A Superior Court judge can waive all or part of the 72-hour waiting period.
How long is the marriage or civil union license valid?
Upon issuance, the license remains valid for 30 days.
How do I obtain certified copies of a marriage, civil union, or death certificate?
All marriages, civil unions, or deaths which occur within the Borough of Stanhope are recorded by the Registrar of Vital Statistics. In order to obtain a certified copy of one of these documents you will be required to authenticate your relationship to the subject of the vital record you seek and provide proof of your identity.
What is the fee for a certified copy of a vital record?
The fee for a certified copy of a vital record is $5 per copy.
Can I park my car on the street?
Vehicles cannot be parked on any Stanhope street from November 1st through April 1st between the hours of 4 AM and 6 AM or at any time when the DPW is removing snow from the roadways.
What do I do if my dog or cat loses their license tag?
If your dog or cat has lost their tag you may obtain replacement tags through the Municipal Clerk’s office for a fee of $5.00.
What is the annual license fee?
Annual license fees are as follows: Dog, neutered/spayed – $10.00 Dog, not neutered/spayed – $13.00 Cats – $10.00 Replacement Tag – $ 5.00 (this is for lost tag in same calendar year) (There is no fee for licensing a seeing/hearing or service dog for the handicapped.)
How do I license my dog or cat?
Residents can license their dogs and cats at the Municipal Clerk’s office Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Please remember to bring proof of your pets rabies vaccination (must be valid through October 31st of the licensing year) and alteration papers if not already on file with the Municipal Clerk’s office.
How old must a dog or cat be in order to need a license?
All dogs and cats kept within Stanhope must be licensed by the time they are seven (7) months or have their permanent teeth.
When must my dog/cat be licensed?
Your pet must be licensed annually by April 30th. Licenses issued after April 30th are subject to a $5.00 per month late fee.
How can I pay a ticket?
If “Court Appearance Required” is not checked on the summons and you wish to plead guilty to the offense you may:
- Stop at the Court Administrators office at 111 River Styx Road Hopatcong, NJ call for hours 973-770-1400 to make payment.
- Complete the back of the summons as per the instructions on the summons and mail the summons/payment to Stanhope Municipal Court at 111 River Styx Road Hopatcong, NJ 07843 prior to the court date indicated on the front of the summons.
- Make the payment by credit card at https://njcourts.judiciary.state.nj.us/njmcdirect/atswepr2/ticket/search/entry.do
How do I plead not guilty to a ticket?
You must notify the Stanhope Court Administrator at 973-770-1200.
- Many summonses require that the not guilty plea be in writing.
- If “Court Appearance Required is checked on the summons you are required to attend court on the date and time specified to enter your plea unless you are authorized by Stanhope Municipal Court not to appear.
- If you appear in court without first notifying Stanhope Municipal Court of a not guilty plea your case will not be heard at that time and you will be scheduled for a future appearance.
What are the hours for the Police Records Department?
The Stanhope Police Records Department is open 9 am to 3pm Monday through Friday.
How do I obtain a criminal history background check?
Criminal history checks for employment, Visas, Immigration, etc. are conducted through the New Jersey State Police. Instructions and forms for obtaining a background check may be found at: http://www.njsp.org/criminal-history-records/index.shtml
What should I do to prepare if I am going on vacation?
Come to the Stanhope Police Station at 77 Main Street and notify us of your intended vacation. We will need your name, address, phone number, leave date, return date, emergency contact information, key holder contact information, description of vehicles left at residence, and location of lights on timers. Also, please consider these safety preparations:
- Cancel mail or have neighbor collect same
- Cancel newspaper or have neighbor collect same
- Arrange for lawn maintenance and/or snow removal for extended leaves
- Arrange with neighbor to monitor and collect unexpected deliveries such as phone books, free newspapers, packages, etc.
- Arrange with neighbor to remove obvious signs of vacancy such as tree limbs across driveway.
What can I do about identity theft?
If you believe there has been a disclosure of your personal identity information you should immediately:
- Call the credit companies (800-860-7289, 800-525-6285, 800-397-3742) and place a fraud alert on your credit
- Contact your banks
- Closely monitor all of your credit information
If you have been a victim of identity theft notify the Stanhope Police at 973-347-4533 and file a report. In addition, go to the Federal Trade Commission web site at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/ to file a complaint and obtain an information package.
Are there any positions available in the Stanhope Police Department?
Stanhope is a Civil Service municipality. This means that the majority of the hiring (including for the position of Police Officer) begins with the New Jersey Civil Service Commission.
To be considered for a civil service position one must pass an exam specific to the position being sought and be placed on a list. To apply to take the civil service test for Entry Level Law Enforcement please visit the Civil Service Commission site at: http://www.state.nj.us/csc/
Positions that require no test will be advertised in the local newspaper as they become available.
How do I get to the court in Hopatcong?
The court is located at 111 River Styx Road in Hopatcong. Click here to download directions.
Taxes and Utilities
I have a change of mailing address or a misspelling of my name on my bill? What should I do?
If you have had a change in your mailing address, you must inform us in writing. Please note your name, address, block and lot, and note both the former address and the revised one. Sign and date the letter and mail to: Borough of Stanhope Tax Collector, 77 Main Street, Stanhope, NJ 07874, or drop off the letter at Borough Hall, to the attention of the Tax Collector. The Tax Collector will see that the information is passed on to the proper authority.
If there is a misspelling on your Water & Sewer Bill only, please make note of the correct spelling and send a written note as above to the Water & Sewer Collector.
If the error is on your tax bill, this means that the spelling is incorrect at the county level, and may mean that your deed is incorrect. Please contact the Tax Assessor to find out what information will be required to make the correction to your record.
What is the difference between the Tax Collector and the Tax Assessor?
The Tax Assessor is responsible for the values assessed to your property, while the Tax Collector is responsible for the billing, collection and enforcement of property taxes based on that value. If you have problems with your bill, payments or receipting of payments, speak to the Tax Collector. For issues related to the value of your home or for filing an appeal, speak to the Tax Assessor.
How much is the penalty for late payment of Water & Sewer billings?
Utility Charges are due and payable quarterly within 30 days of the billing date, after which time they are delinquent and subject to interest at the rate of 8% on the first $1500 and 18% over $1500. Interest charges accrue beginning the first day after the due date.
How and where can I make Tax Payments?
Payments may be made in person, in the drop box on the front door of the Municipal Building, or by mail. Your cancelled check is your receipt. If you cannot come to the tax office, and wish to have a receipt, mail your entire tax bill with payment and a self addressed stamped envelope.
If I lose my property tax bill, can I get another copy?
Property Tax bills are mailed out once per year, usually in mid-July, with (4) coupons attached. All property tax bills can be used to make payments, but note that when your mortgage pays for your taxes on your behalf, your bill will be imprinted: For Advice Only.
If you lose your bill or for some reason did not receive your bill, please notify the Tax Collector as soon as possible. Non-receipt of a bill is not a valid excuse for non-payment.
Can I pay my Tax Payment or Utility Payments online or by credit card?
We do not accept credit cards at this time, nor do we currently have the ability to accept payments online. You can however use your own online banking to make payments. Please note on your check stubs your block, lot and qualifier number so that we can accurately apply your payment. It is also helpful to note whether the payment is for taxes or water & sewer, since some payments are similar in size and we do not want to post your payment to the wrong place.
When using online banking, please note that the bank is still mailing a check to us. Please leave sufficient time for your check to reach our office. The date of receipt is the date of payment. We do not accept postmarks.
How much is the penalty for late payment of property taxes?
Taxes are due and payable quarterly on the first day of February, May, August and November, after which time they are delinquent and subject to interest at the rate of 8% on the first $1500 and 18% over $1500. You have a 10-day grace period to pay taxes with no penalty, after which interest will accrue back to the actual due date. If the 10-day grace period falls on a Saturday or Sunday, you may make payment by 4:30 pm on the next business day with no penalty.
What portion of my tax bill supports the municipality?
Approximately 28% of your tax bill is for the support of the Local Municipal Budget, 17% supports the County of Sussex, 35% supports the Local School District, and the remaining 20% supports the Regional (Lenape Valley) School District. The County bill includes County Health Services, County Library, Open Space and General County Expenditures.
How is the Tax Bill calculated?
Each year the Municipality, Board of Education, and County must introduce and pass their individual budgets, and once they are all completed, the year’s tax rate is verified by the County. Most municipalities are on a calendar year cycle. Since the 3 budgets are not completed until approximately May or June, bills are not mailed until July of the budget year, by the Tax Collector. Thus, you receive a bill labeled “200X FINAL/200Y PRELIMINARY TAX BILL”. The tax bill includes 4 stubs that are laid out in the order in which they are due, to make it easy to tear off the stub for inclusion with your payment. The quarters on the bill are the FINAL 2 quarters of the current year, and the PRELIMINARY 2 quarters for the next year. The current year’s tax rate is multiplied by your property value, and the result is the total tax due for the current year. The first two calendar quarters (billed the previous year) are then subtracted from that total, and the balance is divided between the final two calendar quarters—due August 1 and November 1. That is why that portion of the bill is considered “FINAL”. The total tax for the current year is then divided by half, and half of that amount is then due in each of the first two quarters of the following year. Thus, the wording “PRELIMINARY” is on your tax bill.
Are the cards we receive in January proof of payment of taxes?
Each January you receive a card from the Tax Assessor, intended to inform you of your PROPERTY VALUE, in case you wish to file an appeal of your value. The amount of your prior year’s taxes has been printed on the card, but it merely indicates the amount of taxes that would be due on that value. Even someone who has been delinquent in their taxes all year will receive a card with the full amount of taxes listed on it. The card is NOT proof of paid taxes. It is NOT mailed for that purpose.
My mortgage company no longer pays my property taxes on my behalf. What should I do?
Please notify our office if your mortgage holder is no longer responsible for payment of your property taxes. We will need to change the coding of your account so that you receive the original copy of your tax bill, but note that the ADVICE COPY of your bill has all the information on it and may be used for payments. You are ultimately responsible for the payment of your property taxes, so please advise this office if you need a copy of your bill or are unsure of how much is due or when payments are due.
I feel that my taxes are too high in comparison to similar properties in town. What can I do?
Your taxes are based on the value of your home, and therefore if you feel that your taxes are too high, you must appeal the value of your property. We recommend that you speak to the Tax Assessor before you consider filing an appeal, or whenever you feel that your property value is not correct. The Tax Assessor can go over your property record card with you, and help you to understand how your property value is determined. If you decide to file an appeal, please note that all appeals must be filed with the Sussex County Board of Taxation, 83 Spring Street, Suite 301, Newton, N.J. 07860 on or before April 1st of the Current Tax Year, (per N.J.S.A. 54:3-21).
What is a Tax Sale and when is it held?
A Tax Sale is held each year when there are prior year delinquent property taxes and/or water & sewer charges. The sale is usually held sometime after September of the year, in the Meeting Room of Borough Hall. We are not selling your property, but we are selling a lien on your property for the amount of delinquent charges as well as interest and penalties. The Borough of Stanhope will sell the lien at auction to interested parties at a rate not to exceed 18%, and you will have two years in which to pay back the lien or potentially face foreclosure by the lien holder. During the two year period following the Tax Sale, the lien holder will have the right to make subsequent payments on your delinquent billings, and they will accrue interest on those payments made on the resident’s behalf. To redeem the lien, the homeowner will need to pay all charges at one time. No payment plan is available on the redemption of a lien.
How do I find out where to vote?
The sample ballot that registered voters receive in the mail contains all polling information. Or you may find out by visiting this link.
How do I get an absentee ballot?
The Municipal Clerk’s office can provide you with an absentee ballot application which you mail to the Sussex County Clerk’s office. The application must be received by the Sussex County Clerk at least seven days prior to the election if mailed; or by 3:00 p.m. on the day prior to the election if you appear in person at the Sussex County Clerk’s office.
How do I register to vote?
You can register to vote at the Sussex County Clerk’s office or by mail. Voter Registration Forms are available at the Municipal Clerk’s office, or can be downloaded from the Sussex County Clerk’s website: http://sussexcountyclerk.org/forms2/
What is the deadline to register to vote in an upcoming election?
Voter registration deadline is 21 days prior to an election. Voters may register after the deadline, but will not be eligible to vote in the election immediately forthcoming.
How do I declare or change my party affiliation?
The Municipal Clerk’s office can provide you with a “change of party” application. The application must be received by the Sussex County Clerk’s office fifty-five (55) days prior to the Primary Election. Forms can be obtained at the Sussex County Board of Elections website.