Business Report: Moratorium on utility shut-offs to end but customers will be given grace period to pay bills

Residents will be protected from shut-offs through mid-March 2022

Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order Monday ending the moratorium on utility shut-offs as of July 1. But that doesn’t mean overdue bills must be paid right away, nor will shut-offs occur. The order creates a grace period, giving customers time to enroll in payment assistance plans. The governor says the grace period will end on Dec. 31, but then the annual winter moratorium on shut-offs will begin, which means residents will be protected from shut-offs through mid-March of 2022. Some of the federal COVID-19 relief funds the state received may be used to help the hundreds of thousands of residents who are unable to pay their bills.

New Jersey taxpayers may have little say on how lawmakers and the Murphy administration will spend an extra $11 billion in cash that’s now available to the state. While public hearings on the proposed state budget were held back in March, the situation is much different now as recent revenue forecasts have dramatically improved. But public meetings on the state’s new revenue forecasts were cancelled last week.

Jersey City residents would get a tax cut under the new municipal budget introduced by Mayor Steven Fulop. The $620 million spending plan would reduce taxes by $967, on average, for every household. The budget goes before the city council later this week.

WATCH: Business Report: New OSHA COVID-19 safety rules, retroactive paid leave, child care finances

MORE: Business Report: Rising inflation, moratorium on utility shut-offs, high cost of living in NJ

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