Roberti was one of hundreds of people who converged on tax offices around the state yesterday on the final day of New Jersey's three-month grace period for tax delinquents.
"I was always worried about it, because I'm a homeowner and I didn't want them to take away my house," said Roberti, who feels more at ease now, despite being $2,000 poorer.
The tax-amnesty program, born out of a legislative compromise to provide hard-pressed cities with more aid, was expected by tax officials to raise at least $100 million by today's 12:01 a.m. deadline.
As of 4 p.m. yesterday, the state had collected $93.7 million. Taxpayers had until 12:01 a.m. today to put their amnesty applications in the mail.
The first $50 million collected has been dedicated to New Jersey's hard- pressed cities.
Tax officials had not determined as of yesterday whether the program met the goal of raising $50 million in "new" money - or money that would not have been collected without the amnesty program.
Under the one-time amnesty, individuals and corporations were allowed to pay off back taxes at 9 percent interest without penalties or criminal charges. With the program now ended, the penalties will increase, and state officials say they will step up efforts to find tax delinquents.
About 94,000 taxpayers had paid off their back taxes by Monday, according to state officials. An additional 70,000, who were notified by the state that they were delinquent, are disputing the state's figures.
Robert Thompson, director of the state's amnesty program, said yesterday that he estimated that at least 250,000 individuals and corporations owed back taxes when the amnesty program began in September.
Tax offices were flooded with mail, phone calls and visitors in the final days of the grace period. Officials reported 9,500 telephone calls to their offices Monday, when they took in $15.2 million in back taxes.
More than 250 people visited the state's Cherry Hill tax office yesterday, and lines were reported at other offices around the state as people scurried to meet the deadline and avoid penalities and possible prosecution.
One check that raised a few eyebrows at tax-amnesty headquarters when it arrived yesterday was for $282,000, which meant that the taxpayer, a person whom officials declined to identify, had a gross income of more than $8 million last year.
Another taxpayer, also an individual, wrote out a check for $430,000 for taxes owed over a four-year period.
While declining to identify them, state tax officials say that several Fortune 500 companies were among the delinquents.