Will $5 Homelessness Surcharge Affect You?

  OCEAN COUNTY – To create a Homelessness Trust Fund, officials approved a $5 surcharge on most recorded documents at the Ocean County Clerk’s Office, but what does that mean for the average person?

  The applicable documents are listed below, but many are not ones that most residents will see more than a few times in their lives. Mortgages, deeds, liens, power of attorney are a few of the more common ones, but most people probably don’t need aircraft liens or notices of lis pending.

  Starting on September 1, 2023, Ocean will join several other counties that have such a surcharge. The idea of it is that some money will help tackle the problem. That money won’t come from taxpayers. People without homes will be helped by people making real estate transactions.

  Up until this year, the County Commissioners didn’t want to install this charge, calling it an added tax. However, upon looking at the list of documents, it’s clear that it would be nothing like a tax because the average resident might go decades without needing to fill out any of these forms. It would only be “like a tax” to the real estate community and developers.

  County government still does not want to run a shelter. Rather, this money will help fund programs already in place.

  Commissioner Barbara Jo Crea has said that the fund could bring in about $275,000 to $390,000 a year. This money will stay in Ocean County.

  Homelessness advocates have urged the county to create this for some time as a tool in the belt, but not the solution to all the homeless problems in the area.

  The only beneficiary officials have named is the Code Blue program. This is in reference to the shelters that open after the temperature drops near freezing.

  The $5 will be charged on all land documents whether they are submitted via mail, Express Mail, courier, electronic transmission, or in person, according to county records. If you submit a document without the fee, your document will be rejected and returned to you, with a request for the fee.

  E-recording customers will have the $5 automatically tallied onto their total. It will be listed on a separate line item on the receipt following a successful recording.

  According to oceancountyclerk.com, the following documents will be assigned the fee: Aerial Easement, Aircraft Lien, Assignment Of Mortgage, Bankruptcy Lien, Bill Of Sale, Building Contract, Cancelled Mortgage, Cancelled Mortgage Recorded 2 Times, Cancelled Mortgage Recorded 3 Times, Cancelled Mortgage Recorded 4 Times, Collateral Assignment, Construction Lien Claim, Contract Of Sale, Deed, Discharge Construction Lien, Discharge Of Building Contract, Discharge Of Collateral Assignment, Discharge Of Contract Of Sale, Discharge Of Judgement Lien, Discharge Of Lease, Discharge Of Lis Pendens, Discharge Of Mechanic’s Liens, Discharge Of Mechanic’s Notice Intension, Discharge Of Mortgage, Discharge Of Notice Of Settlement, Discharge Of Reimbursement Agreements, Discharge Of Tax Sale Certificate, Discharge Recognizance, Disclaimer, Easements, Federal Lien, Final Judgement, Land Use Permit, Lease, Lis Pendens, Mechanic’s Lien, Mortgage, Mortgage Modification, Municipal Tax Foreclosure, Municipal Tax Sale Certificate, Notice Of Lis Pending Recorded, Notice Of Settlement, Notice Of Settlement Double Transaction, Power Of Attorney, Recognizance Bond, Release / Stipulation, Release Of Assignment Of Mortgage, Release Of Bond Constr Lien, Release Of Federal Tax Lien, Release Of Mortgage, Repayment Agreement, Revocation Of Power Of Attorney, State Permit, Stop Notice, Subdivision Maps, Subdivision, Tax Sale Certificate, Trust Agreement, Underground Easement, Vacations, Warrant Of Execution, Warrant Of Satisfaction and Writ Of Execution.