News

Homebuyers, title agents beware of scams…

FYI — The NJCCIC continues to receive reports from members involved in real estate transactions – including agents, lawyers, title agencies, and buyers – detailing incidents in which they were targets of profit-motivated hackers who attempted to defraud them out of thousands of dollars. In a recent incident, hackers impersonated a title agency by spoofing their email address and sent wire transfer instructions to homebuyers requesting their closing costs. In similar schemes, hackers have targeted and gained access to the legitimate email accounts of real estate agents, title agency representatives, paralegals, or homebuyers via compromised account credentials and then used their accounts to send convincing emails to targeted victims. The subject and body of these emails often portray a sense of urgency in an attempt to have targets immediately wire money before they have an opportunity to fully review the email’s content and question its legitimacy. In most cases, these scams are relatively simple for the criminals to conduct, but the consequences can be devastating. The NJCCIC recommends homebuyers and real estate entities educate themselves and others on these malicious tactics and remain vigilant during and immediately after the closing process. We highly recommend real estate businesses, including real estate attorneys and title agencies, implement new policies aimed at preventing fraudulent wire transfers and other scams. For example, including disclaimers in email signatures warning the recipient of these scams, and forbidding the sharing of wire transfer account information via email and instead utilize video chat applications, phone calls from trusted numbers, or in-person meetings. Additionally, homebuyers should never trust email as the sole source of instruction for wiring money related to these transactions and instead receive confirmation of these details in person or over the phone.

 

New Law Allows Slogans for School Board Candidates

Effective immediately, school board candidates are permitted to have slogans appear with their name on the November General Election ballot. Much like independent candidates that participate in the General Election, school board candidate slogans are limited to three words and cannot contain the name of any party participating in New Jersey’s primary elections. The same law also permits school board candidates to file joint petitions and share the same slogan. For more information about the new law, please call the Clerk’s Office at 973-579-0900, ext. 1501.

County Clerk extends hours for in-person voting

Registered voters who will not be able to get to the polls for the June 5 Primary Election may vote early in-person at the Sussex County Clerk’s Office in Newton.

Because the deadline to receive a mailed ballot has passed, voters now must apply for an absentee ballot in person. Early voting is being conducted at the Clerk’s Office during regular hours from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., with extended hours offered Saturday, June 2nd from 9 a.m. to noon. Voters also may vote early in person up until 3 p.m. Monday, June 4th.

The County Clerk’s Office is located on the main floor of 83 Spring Street in Newton, Suite 304, accessible from either Spring Street (front entrance) or Trinity Street (rear entrance). More information about voting can be obtained by calling 973-579-0900 or by visiting the Clerk’s Website at www.sussexcountyclerk.org.

Calling All School Board Candidates!

The New Jersey School Boards Association’s 2018 November Election Candidates Kit is now available for downloading; visit  NJSBA Candidates Kit.  Residents interested in board member candidacy can download the free kit, which includes information on:  Important Dates, How to Become a School Board Member, Frequently Asked Questions, Requirements of the New Jersey School Ethics Act, Criminal Background Checks, Campaign Reporting Requirements, Candidate Briefings.

Pursuant to S-868/A-2030 enacted on May 30, which allows board of education candidates to circulate a nominating petition jointly and to be bracketed together on the ballot, below are two sample petitions: one for an individual filing and one for joint filing.

Candidate Petition for School Board (individual)
Candidate Petition for School Board (joint)

School Board Candidate Petitions must be submitted to the County Clerk no later than 4 p.m. Monday, July 30th.

Passport Fee To Increase April 2

When applying for a U.S. Passport in person, an execution fee is charged by the accepting agency. The current fee imposed is $25 per application, but that fee is set to increase by $10 in April.

Effective April 2nd, the execution fee will be $35.00 per application, payable in cash only. Applications received prior to April 2nd will be assessed the $25 amount.

Attention Sussex County Voters…

Attention Sussex County Voters…

We are fast approaching the 2018 Primary Election where you’ll have a chance to vote for the candidates that will ultimately represent your party on the General Election ballot. This year Sussex County voters will head to the polls to elect a U.S. Senator, U.S. Congressman, as well as your County Surrogate, two County Freeholders, and several municipal-level representatives.

As a U.S. citizen, your vote is not only something candidates covet – it’s your constitutional right. Make sure you’re prepared to cast your vote in the June 5th Primary — and then again on November 6th in the General Election…

April 11: Last day to file Party Declaration Forms to change party affiliation for the June Primary
May 15: Last day to register to vote for the June Primary
June 5: Primary Election Day
All election dates and deadlines

  1. Mark the calendar. Tuesday, June 5th is Election Day. Polls open throughout the county from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  2. Register to vote. If you’re not already a registered voter, download a voter registration form and begin the process. New Jersey law requires that voters be registered with their county a minimum of 21 days prior to Election Day. If you’re not sure of your voter registration status, click this link. Remember that in the Primary your party affiliation status does matter; you must vote in the primary of the party to which you are affiliated. If you want to change parties, you must do so at least 55 days prior to the primary election. You can use a Voter Registration form to change parties, or complete a new Party Affiliation form. Voter registration forms and/or party affiliation forms should be mailed or dropped off at the County Election Board, 83 Spring St., Suite 305, Newton, NJ 07860. If your current registration status is “unaffiliated” you may choose to vote in either the Democratic Primary or the Republican Primary on Election Day. When you arrive at your polling place, just ask the poll worker to give you the ballot of your choice. You should note that by voting in that party’s primary, you become affiliated with that party (although you can always choose to “unaffiliate” yourself again in the future by submitting a change request).
  3. Research candidates. Learn about the issues and how the candidates feel about them. Tune into debates, town halls, and speeches.
  4. Make a plan. It may sound obvious, but having a voting plan is one of the most important things you can do after registering. Work, school, picking up the kids and grocery shopping can make any day hectic. Making a plan to get to your polling station is key. If you are housebound and know you won’t be able to get to the polls on Election Day, you can plan to vote by mail ahead of time. Active military members can also vote absentee and make their voices heard at the polls. Plan ahead and make sure you get your vote in on time.
  5. Spread the word. Friends, family and acquaintances often talk politics, but sometimes don’t make it to the ballot box. Find out if those around you are as prepared as you. If not, educate them. If they haven’t registered, direct them to their county board of elections to register. Be the informed one in your group.

Input from vote.usa.gov

Income Tax Exemption for Veterans

$3,000 Exemption for Veterans

You are eligible for a $3,000 exemption on your Income Tax return if you are a military veteran who was honorably discharged or released under honorable circumstances from active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States on or any time before the last day of the tax year. Your spouse (or civil union partner) is also eligible for an exemption if he/she is a veteran who was honorably discharged or released under honorable circumstances and you are filing a joint return. This exemption is in addition to any other exemptions you are entitled to claim and is available on both the resident and nonresident returns. You cannot claim this exemption for a domestic partner or for your dependents.

Claiming the Exemption

  1. When completing your tax return, you must fill in the oval (resident return) or check the box (nonresident return) to indicate that you are claiming this exemption. Otherwise, the exemption(s) will be disallowed.
  2. You must provide a copy of Form DD-214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, with your return the first time you claim the exemption(s).

Providing Documentation

You must provide a copy of your Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, DD-214, the first time you claim the exemption. We can only accept the member 4 copy of DD-214. This form does not need to be provided each year. The United States National Archives and Records Administration can assist with obtaining a copy of your DD-214.

You can certify for the exemption by sending a copy of your DD-214 and Veteran Exemption Submission Form to the Division before you file, which may help process your return faster. To certify:

Note: We can only accept the member 4 copy of DD-214.

If you do not certify before you file for the exemption, you will need to submit a copy of your DD-214 when you file using:

  • A Paper Return. Enclose a copy of your DD-214 with your return;
  • NJ Fill’nFile. Upload your DD-214, along with all of your other documentation, into the repository;
  • Other Electronic Filing Methods. If you file your return using NJ WebFile, third-party software (such as TurboTax), or you have a tax professional who electronically submits your return, you can send a copy of your DD-214 and Veteran Exemption Submission Form using one of the three certification methods listed above.

More information from New Jersey Division of Taxation.