Can the local government assess a late fee for pet licenses if there was no prior disclosure? 1 Answers as of July 29, 2014

Pet licensure period runs from January 1 to December 31.I received a letter in the beginning of July dated June 23 with an application for pet license renewal stating that a $5 late fee is owed as of June 1. I sent the $3 license fee in with the application and wrote on the application that the late fee should be waived due to failure to disclose. My check and self-addressed envelope was returned to me with no license enclosed along with a copy of last year's license record with the expiration date highlighted and a letter referring to that info and stating that it is the pet owner’s responsibility to renew on time and that our borough requires they be renewed between Jan. 1 and June 1. The letter also stated that no other notices are sent to renew pet licenses. I returned my check for $3 with a letter claiming that the borough did not make it clear that a late fee would be assessed prior to June 1 and therefore I should not have to pay the late fee. My check was returned to me a second time with no license and this time I was given a copy of all the borough ordinance late fees with the pet license late fee highlighted (no assessment date indicated, just the $5 fee) and a copy of the actual ordinance stating that it will run from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31.] I have yet to see in writing anywhere other than the renewal application that was mailed on or around June 23 that the late fee is assessed after June 1. Am I liable to pay this fee if there was no prior disclosure from the borough as to when it would be assessed?

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Scott Goldstein | Scott Goldstein
You owe the fee.
Answer Applies to: New Jersey
Replied: 7/29/2014
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