Crabtree, J.t.c. (temporarily assigned).
[189 NJSuper Page 525] Plaintiff moves for summary judgment in this in rem tax foreclosure proceeding. The only issues are the calculation of interest on delinquent taxes and whether the property owner's tender of payment of an amount purporting to be the full amount due affects the accrual of interest on those taxes.
The facts are undisputed.
On October 9, 1973 plaintiff purchased a tax sale certificate for delinquent 1972 taxes on the subject property. No part of those taxes has been paid to date. The taxes for all years after 1972 likewise remain unpaid. In January 1973 plaintiff's governing body adopted the following resolution with respect to interest on delinquent taxes:
RESOLVED that interest at the rate of eight (8%) percent per annum be charged for the non-payment of taxes or assessments on or after the date when they shall become delinquent as provided by law, on the first $1,000 of the delinquency, and twelve (12%) percent per annum on any amount in excess of $1,000 and said rates of interest are hereby fixed for the balance of the year 1973.
Resolutions containing wording identical to the quoted resolution (except for the year) were adopted in January of each of the years 1974 through 1980. All these resolutions for the years 1973 through 1980 were adopted pursuant to N.J.S.A. 54:4-67, which, until February 14, 1980, provided, pertinently:
On February 14, 1980 the statute was amended by substituting $1,500 for $1,000 and 18% for 12%. On March 18, 1980 plaintiff's January 1980 resolution was likewise amended to reflect the new limitations of the enabling statute. The language of the January 1980 resolution was otherwise unchanged.
Plaintiff's governing body adopted a resolution in January 1981 using the same language (except for the year) as that contained in the amended 1980 resolution.
On three separate occasions, i.e., on or about March 20, 1979, December 24, 1979 and April 22, 1980, the property owner (hereafter defendant) tendered payment of what he claimed to be the full amount due. Plaintiff rejected each tender as insufficient to satisfy the full amount of delinquent taxes plus interest. On July 24, 1981 plaintiff commenced this action in
rem pursuant to N.J.S.A. 54:5-104.29 et seq. to foreclose and bar all rights of redemption with respect to the property affected by the aforementioned tax sale certificate.
The parties are in agreement that the delinquent 1972 taxes bear interest at the rate of 8% a year until paid. N.J.S.A. 54:5-34. Likewise there is no dispute over the requirement that all subsequent years' taxes, with interest, together with all other municipal ...