The State of New Jersey has thrown a yellow penalty flag on the Brick Township sidelines after the council passed a resolution earlier this month to extend the property tax grace period by 30-days to May 31.

Brick Township Mayor John Ducey said that this was done to try and provide some assistance to families impacted by the coronavirus crisis.

On Monday, the state informed Mayor Ducey and the council that the grace period extension is not permissible.

“I cannot overstate how disappointed and frustrated I am with the state’s decision. Extending the grace period has been done in the past by the state in the wake of Sandy and even for Federal employees during the recent furlough” Mayor Ducey said in a stated release. “All we were doing was giving people – many of whom are not earning a paycheck right now – more time to pay their quarterly taxes without worrying about penalties. I cannot understand why the state won’t approve this small gesture during this unprecedented time.”

At their April 16 meeting, the council unanimously passed a resolution that decreased the interest on late payments to 0% until May 31.

However on Monday, the state informed them that the guidelines penalties and interest rates will take effect at the statutory levels after the 10 day grace period.

The quarterly payments are still due May 1 and there again is a maximum grace period of 10 days as required by law.

Mayor Ducey hopes the state will reconsider their decision and approve the grace period extension.

“We are going through a national emergency and no one knows when it will end. Providing some relief to people struggling in the way of a few more weeks to save for property tax payments is just plain common sense," Ducey said. "I urge Governor Murphy and the State Legislature to address this issue and give towns the ability to help their taxpayers. They should be following past practices. Now is not the time to change course from what was previously allowed."

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