Township of Hamilton, NJ
Atlantic County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Adopted 7-6-2015 by Ord. No. 1792-2015]

§ 269-22 Legislative authority.

This article is authorized in the manner described in Article II of this Chapter 269.

§ 269-23 Findings and purpose.

A. 
Pursuant to the Local Redevelopment and Housing Law, N.J.S.A. 40A:12A-1 et seq., by resolution dated April 20, 2015, the Township of Hamilton determined that certain areas of the industrial Business Park Zone are in need of rehabilitation.
B. 
The Township of Hamilton finds and declares that a limited tax exemption program for improvements to commercial and industrial structures where the square footages of such structures are increased and the improvement increases the assessed value of the property by more than $50,000, as authorized by N.J.S.A. 40A:21-1, et seq., will promote rehabilitation in the areas designated herein by incentivizing investment.
C. 
Subject to the requirement of review for each individual project, the Township of Hamilton finds and declares that the investments incentivized will be of such a nature that they will have both short-term and long-term substantial, positive impacts on the local economy.

§ 269-24 Definitions.

As used in this article, the definitions provided for in Article II of this Chapter 269 shall apply.

§ 269-25 Lots for which exemptions are available.

[Amended 5-1-2017 by Ord. No. 1847-2017]
The lots specified in Article II of this Chapter 269 shall comprise the "area in need of rehabilitation" pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:21-3, the Township's resolution of April 20, 2015, and Ord. No. 1847-2017, providing for same, and shall be the only lots subject to the provisions of this article.

§ 269-26 Exemptions for commercial and industrial improvement projects.

A. 
Owners of any lot or lots referenced in § 269-25 and § 269-10 shall be entitled to apply for an exemption under this article for the improvement of an industrial or commercial structure planned for said lot or lots where the improvement increases the square footage of the structure.
B. 
To qualify for an exemption, the additional square footage must consist of interior, four-walled space with a permanent roof.
C. 
To the extent the additional square footage is part of a broader improvement, the exemption shall only apply to the increase in assessed value of the property attributable to the portion of the improvement that has added square footage to the structure. For example, where an owner adds a new wing to an existing structure and also renovates the existing structure the exemption is available for the amount the tax assessment is increased as a result of the interior, four-walled, permanent-roofed space of the new wing and everything therein but is not available for any increase in assessment arising from the renovation.
D. 
Exemptions shall not be granted for any improvement which will be utilized in its entirety by a business relocated from another municipality which has designated any area therein as an "area in need of rehabilitation" as defined in N.J.S.A. 40A:21-3(b). Where only a portion of an improvement will be utilized by a business relocated from a qualified municipality, the exemption shall only apply to the increase in assessed value of the property attributable to that portion of the improvement not utilized by the relocating business. For the purpose of this provision a business does not "utilize" common space in an improvement unless the relocating business's activities are primarily carried out in common space.
E. 
Exemptions shall not be granted for any improvement which will increase the full and true assessed value of the property by less than $50,000.

§ 269-27 Submission and approval of applications.

A. 
No exemption shall be approved for an improvement except upon written application filed with and approved by the Assessor and thereafter granted by the Township Committee.
B. 
Within 30 days, including Saturdays and Sundays (but not legal holidays), of the completion of an improvement the owner or owners must apply in writing for the approval of an exemption. If the thirty-day falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the time shall be extended until the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.
C. 
The application shall be on the form prescribed by the Director of the Division of Taxation in the Department of the Treasury, which form shall be available to the public in the office of the Assessor. The form need not be retrieved from the office of the Assessor if the applicant obtains the correct form from another source.
D. 
The applicant shall submit eight copies of its application materials to the Tax Assessor.
[Amended 2-16-2016 by Ord. No. 1811-2016]
E. 
The Assessor shall review the application within 20 days of receipt. The application shall be approved by the Assessor upon his or her determination that the application is consistent with the provisions of this article, including but not limited to the limitations on the availability of exemptions provided for in § 269-26 of this article and the project qualifies as an improvement under the terms of this article and the definition of "improvement" found in N.J.S.A. 40A:21-3.
[Amended 2-16-2016 by Ord. No. 1811-2016]
F. 
Within 24 days of the Assessor's receipt of the application, and upon his or her approval, the Assessor shall forward the application to the Township Committee.
[Amended 2-16-2016 by Ord. No. 1811-2016]
G. 
The Township Committee shall schedule a public hearing on the application to be held within 75 days of the receipt of the application by the Assessor.
H. 
The applicant and any co-applicant, or representatives thereof, shall be present at the public hearing and subject to questioning by the Township Committee, the Township Solicitor, and any other Township professional under oath or affirmation. The applicant and any co-applicant shall have the right, but not obligation, to present sworn testimony in support of the application. Any member of the public, including the representative of any legal entity, shall have the right to comment at the time of the hearing.
I. 
The Township Committee shall grant the application upon a demonstration by the applicant and any co-applicant that the terms and conditions of this article have been met in their entirety and that the project will tend to maintain or provide gainful employment within the Township; assist in the economic development of the Township; maintain or increase the tax base of the Township; and maintain, or diversify and expand, commerce within the Township.
J. 
During the first regular public meeting following the hearing, the Township shall:
(1) 
Adopt a resolution granting the requested exemption; or
(2) 
Adopt a resolution denying the application.

§ 269-28 Assessment of value of improvement; effective as of completion.

A. 
On October 1 of the year following the date of the completion of the improvement project, the Assessor shall determine the true taxable value thereof.
B. 
The amount of tax to be paid for the tax year in which the improvement project is completed shall be based on the assessed valuation of the property for the current tax year plus any portion of the assessed valuation of the improvement not allowed an exemption pursuant to this article, prorated.
C. 
The property shall continue to be treated in the appropriate manner for each of the four tax years subsequent to the original determination by the Assessor and shall be prorated in the final tax year in which the exemption expires to the last day of the fifth Annual Period from the date of completion.

§ 269-29 Scope of exemption.

A. 
During the exemption period, the assessment of the property shall not be less than the assessment thereon immediately prior to the improvements unless there is damage to the structure through action of the elements sufficient to warrant a reduction.
B. 
The full and true value of the improvement, as determined by the Assessor, shall be exempt from taxation for five annual periods from the date of completion.

§ 269-30 Additional improvements or construction.

A. 
An additional improvement or construction completed on a property granted a previous exemption for an improvement pursuant to this article during the period in which the previous exemption is in effect, shall be qualified for an exemption just as if such property had not received a previous exemption.
B. 
In such case, the additional improvement or construction shall be considered as separate for the purposes of calculating exemptions pursuant to this article or Article II of this Chapter 269, except that the assessed value of any previous improvement shall be added to the assessed valuation as it was prior to that improvement for the purpose of determining the assessed valuation of the property from which any additional abatement is to be subtracted.

§ 269-31 Ineligibility of property with outstanding taxes or penalties.

No exemption under this article may be granted with respect to any property for which property taxes are delinquent or remain unpaid, or for which penalties for nonpayment of taxes are due.

§ 269-32 Property taxes subject to exemption.

The exemption of real property taxes provided by the Township pursuant to this article shall apply to property taxes believed for municipal purposes, school purposes, county government purposes, and for the purposes of funding any other property tax exemptions or abatements.

§ 269-33 Recording of exemption; preparation and submission of annual report.

A. 
The grant of an exemption pursuant this article shall be recorded and made a permanent part of the official tax record of the Township, which record shall contain a notice of the termination date thereof.
B. 
The Township Committee shall meet its reporting obligations under this article by filing a report as required by § 269-20 of this Chapter 269.

§ 269-34 Effect of amendment to article; automatic expiration and required reauthorization.

A. 
This article may be amended from time to time.
B. 
An amendment to this article, or the adoption of an ordinance otherwise affecting this article, shall not affect any exemption in force prior to the adoption of the amendment.
C. 
No exemption authorized by this article shall be applied for, entered into, or take initial effect in the 11th tax year after this article is first adopted or in any year thereafter. Except as provided in Subsection D of this section, any such application or exemption shall be void ab initio where it is apparent on the face of the application that the exemption would not take effect until such a year. Except as provided in Subsection D of this section, where it is not apparent on the face of the application, but the improvement's completion is delayed such that the exemption will not take effect until the 11th tax year after this article is first adopted or thereafter, the exemption shall be void on January 1 of the said 11th year.
D. 
The provisions of this article may be readopted by ordinance at any time during or after the 10th tax year after this article is initially adopted. Exemptions which on their face will not take effect until the 11th year after this article is first adopted, or thereafter, shall not be void ab initio if the application for such exemption is filed after the adoption of an ordinance readopting this article. Exemptions which, by virtue of delayed completion of the improvement, do not take effect until the 11th tax year after this article is first adopted or thereafter, shall not be void if this article is readopted during the 10th year after this article is initially adopted.
E. 
Notwithstanding anything in this article to the contrary, under no circumstances may an application be filed or approved for an exemption that, on its face, would not take effect until the 11th tax year after the application is filed.