After the Brick Township council passed a resolution allowing a 30-day grace period to avoid interest and penalties for property taxes due May 1, the administration of Gov. Phil Murphy contacted the township and said the state will not allow it.
“I cannot overstate how disappointed and frustrated I am with the state’s decision,” said Mayor John Ducey. “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.”
The township was been informed by the state that the grace period extension was not permissible following the vote earlier this month, leading Ducey to voice his frustration Monday.
“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,” he said. “I cannot understand why the state won’t approve this small gesture during this unprecedented time.”
At their April 16, 2020 meeting, the township council enacted the grace period by unanimously passing a resolution that decreased the interest on late payments to 0 percent until May 31.
Officials on Monday said that, per the state’s guidelines, penalties and interest rates will indeed take effect at the statutory levels after the 10 day grace period. The township will proceed with the quarterly payments due May 1 and a maximum grace period of 10 days as required by law.
Ducey called on the state to reconsider and approve the grace period extension.
“We are going through a national emergency and no one knows when it will end,” he said in a statement. “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.”
He continued: “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.”
New Jersey residents face the highest property tax bills in the nation, with the average homeowners statewide paying $8,953 per year.