Township of Oxford, NJ
Warren County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Oxford as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 12-30-1976 by Ord. No. 76-11 (Ch. 85, Art. I, of the 1974 Township Code)]

§ 305-1 Title.

This article shall be known as the "Oxford Township Home Improvement Taxation Exemption Ordinance."

§ 305-2 Definitions.

The following words and terms, when used in this article, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
APPLICATION
A written request for the exemption filed with the Tax Assessor on forms devised by the Director of the Division of Taxation.
ASSESSOR
The Oxford Township Tax Assessor.
ASSESSOR'S FULL AND TRUE VALUE OF HOME IMPROVEMENTS
That portion of any increased assessed value of real property which directly resulted from improvements made thereon.
COMPLETION
Substantially ready for the use for which it was intended.
DWELLING
Any building or part of a building used, to be used or held for use as a home or residence, including accessory buildings located on the same premises, together with the land upon which such building or buildings are erected and which may be necessary for the fair enjoyment thereof, but shall not mean any building or part of a building defined as a multiple dwelling pursuant to the Hotel and Multiple Dwelling Law (N.J.S.A. 55:13A-1 et seq.). A "dwelling" shall include individual residences within a horizontal property regime or a condominium but shall not include general common elements or common elements of such horizontal property regime or condominium as defined pursuant to the Horizontal Property Act (N.J.S.A. 46:8A-1 et seq.) or the Condominium Act (N.J.S.A. 46:8B-1 et seq.).
[Amended 10-21-1993 by Ord. No. 93-11]
EXEMPTION
That amount to be deducted from the Assessor's full and true value of home improvements.
HOME IMPROVEMENT
The improvement of a dwelling which does not change its permitted use, and shall include the modernization, rehabilitation, renovation, alteration or repair of a dwelling.

§ 305-3 Eligible real property.

Real property must meet the following qualifications in order to gain the exemption:
A. 
It must contain a building (or buildings) which was constructed more than 20 years prior to the time of application for the exemption and is used or being held for use, in whole or in part, as a home or residential dwelling which is a constituent part of the real property.
B. 
The application must be filed with the Assessor within 30 days, including Saturdays and Sundays, following the completion of the improvements.

§ 305-4 Amount of exemption.

A. 
In determining the value of real property for the purposes of taxation, the Assessor shall regard the first $10,000 in Assessor's full and true value of home improvements for each dwelling unit primarily and directly affected by a home improvement in any single- or multiple-dwelling property more than 20 years old as not increasing the value of such property for a period of five years, notwithstanding that the value of the dwelling to which such improvements are made is increased thereby; provided, however, that during said period the assessment on such dwelling shall in no case, except that of damage through action of the elements sufficient to warrant reduction, be less than the assessment thereon existing immediately prior to such home improvements.
[Amended 10-21-1993 by Ord. No. 93-11]
B. 
Such amounts may be deducted from the amount determined by the Assessor on October 1 of any year following the date of the completion of the improvement to be the true taxable value of the improvement and may continue to be so treated for each of the five tax years subsequent to the original determination by the Assessor.
C. 
Additional improvements completed during a period in which the improved property is subject to previously granted exemption privileges, or exemption and abatement privileges, in an amount less than the maximum deductions permissible hereunder shall be qualified for additional deduction privileges, or additional exemption and abatement privileges, under the terms and conditions herein specified; provided, however, that in no tax year shall the total deduction or annual abatement for any single property exceed the maximum amount specified in Subsection A hereinabove.
[Amended 10-21-1993 by Ord. No. 93-11]

§ 305-5 Application procedure.

The following conditions shall apply to all claims for the exemption at the time of application:
A. 
Claims for the exemption shall be in writing upon forms prescribed by the Director of the Division of Taxation and must be filed with the Tax Assessor within 30 days following completion of the home improvement.
B. 
The Tax Assessor shall provide copies of the prescribed application forms at the request of any claimant.
C. 
When required by the Assessor, claimants for the exemption must submit such data in support of their claims as he might request.
D. 
Additional claims for the exemption may be submitted and approved with regard to dwellings with respect to which a previous home improvement exemption was granted in an amount less than $10,000; provided, however, that the total deduction for any dwelling unit shall not be in excess of the maximum of $10,000.
[Amended 10-21-1993 by Ord. No. 93-11]

§ 305-6 Procedure upon allowance of exemption.

The following procedures shall apply upon allowance of exemption:
A. 
Every application for exemption of one or more improvements which qualify shall be approved and allowed by the Assessor, but in no case may the exemption exceed the maximum of $10,000 per dwelling unit.
[Amended 10-21-1993 by Ord. No. 93-11]
B. 
A claim for the exemption, once filed on the prescribed form and allowed by the Assessor, shall continue in force for a period of five years following January 1 of the year in which the exemption was allowed.
C. 
The granting of any exemption shall be recorded and made a permanent part of the official tax record.
D. 
With respect to improvement or improvements which do not qualify, the Assessor shall notify the claimant of the disallowance of the claim, in writing, within 20 days after disallowance and shall note therein the specific reasons for the disallowance.
[Adopted 8-16-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-09]

§ 305-7 Exemptions authorized.

The Township hereby authorizes the utilization of tax exemption in accordance with Article VIII, Section I, Paragraph 6, of the New Jersey Constitution and establishes the eligibility of residential and multiple dwellings, commercial and industrial structures for five-year tax exemptions to the maximum degree permitted by N.J.S.A. 40A:21-1 et seq. throughout the redevelopment area.

§ 305-8 Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ASSESSOR
The officer of the Township charged with the duty of assessing real property for the purpose of general taxation.
COMMERCIAL OR INDUSTRIAL STRUCTURE
A structure or part thereof used for the manufacturing, processing or assembling of material or manufactured products or for research, office, industrial, commercial, retail, recreational, hotel or motel facilities or warehousing purposes, or for any combination thereof, which the Township Committee determines 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. However, it shall not include any structure or part thereof used or to be used by any business relocated from another qualifying municipality unless the total square footage of the floor area of the structure or part thereof used or to be used by the business at the new site, together with the total square footage of the land used or to be used by the business at the new site, exceeds the total square footage of that utilized by the business at its current site of operations by at least 10%; and the property that the business is relocating to has been the subject of a remedial action plan costing in excess of $250,000 performed pursuant to an administrative consent order entered into pursuant to authority vested in the Commissioner of Environmental Protection under N.J.S.A. 13:1D-1 et seq., the Water Pollution Control Act, N.J.S.A. 58:10A-1 et seq., the Solid Waste Management Act, N.J.S.A. 13:1E-1 et seq., and the Spill Compensation and Control Act, N.J.S.A. 58:10-23.11 et seq.
COMPLETION or COMPLETED
Substantially ready for the intended use for which a building or structure is constructed, improved or converted, which shall ordinarily mean the date upon which a certificate of occupancy, whether temporary or final, is issued.
CONDOMINIUM
A property created or recorded as a condominium pursuant to the Condominium Act, N.J.S.A. 46:8B-1 et seq.
CONSTRUCTION
The provision of a new dwelling, multiple dwelling or commercial or industrial structure or the enlargement of the volume of an existing multiple dwelling or commercial or industrial structure by more than 30% but shall not mean the conversion of an existing building or structure to another use.
CONVERSION or CONVERSION ALTERATION
The alteration or renovation of a nonresidential building or structure, or hotel, motel, motor hotel or guesthouse, in such manner as to convert the building or structure from its previous use to use as a dwelling or multiple dwelling.
COOPERATIVE
A housing corporation or association wherein the holder of a share or membership interest thereof is entitled to possess and occupy for dwelling purposes a house, apartment or other unit of housing owned by the corporation or association or to purchase a unit of housing owned by the corporation or association.
COST
When used with respect to exemptions for dwellings or multiple dwellings, only the cost or fair market value of direct labor and materials used in improving a multiple dwelling or of converting another building or structure to a multiple dwelling or of constructing a dwelling or of converting another building or structure to a dwelling, including any architectural, engineering and contractor's fees associated therewith, as the owner of the property, following completion of the project, shall cause to be certified to the Township Committee by an independent and qualified architect licensed in the State of New Jersey or a certified construction cost audit by an independent certified accountant licensed in the State of New Jersey.
DWELLING or DWELLING USE
A building or part of a building used, to be used or held for use as a home or residence, including accessory buildings located on the same premises, together with the land upon which such building or buildings are erected and which may be necessary for the fair enjoyment thereof, but shall not mean any building or part of a building defined as a “multiple dwelling” pursuant to the Hotel and Multiple Dwelling Law, N.J.S.A. 55:13A-1 et seq. A dwelling shall include, as they are separately conveyed to individual owners, individual residences within a cooperative, if purchased separately by the occupants thereof, and individual residences within a horizontal property regime or a condominium but shall not include general common elements or common elements of such horizontal property regime or condominium, as defined pursuant to the Horizontal Property Act, N.J.S.A. 46:8A-1 et seq., or the Condominium Act, N.J.S.A. 46:8B-1 et seq., or of a cooperative, if the residential units are owned separately.
EXEMPTION
That portion of the Assessor's full and true value of any improvement, conversion alteration or construction not regarded as increasing the taxable value of a property pursuant to the law.
HORIZONTAL PROPERTY REGIME
A property submitted to a horizontal property regime pursuant to the Horizontal Property Act, N.J.S.A. 46:8A-1 et seq.
IMPROVEMENT
A modernization, rehabilitation, renovation, alteration or repair which produces a physical change in an existing building or structure that improves the safety, sanitation, decency or attractiveness of the building or structure as a place for human habitation or work and which does not change its permitted use. In the case of a multiple dwelling, it includes only improvements which affect common areas or elements or three or more dwelling units within the multiple dwelling. In the case of a multiple dwelling or commercial or industrial structure, it shall not include ordinary painting, repairs and replacements of maintenance items or an enlargement of the volume of an existing structure by more than 30%. In no case shall it include the repair of fire or other damage to a property for which payment of a claim was received by any person from an insurance company at any time during the three-year period immediately preceding the filing of an application pursuant to this article.
MULTIPLE DWELLING or MULTIPLE-DWELLING USE
A building or structure meeting the definition of "multiple dwelling" set forth in the Hotel and Multiple Dwelling Law, N.J.S.A. 55:13A-1 et seq., and, for the purpose of improvement or construction, the general common elements and common elements of a condominium, a cooperative or a horizontal property regime.
MUNICIPAL CHARGES
Property taxes, assessments, water or sewer charges and any other charge for which a lien may be created, together with interest and penalties thereon, including all advertising fees and costs of sale.

§ 305-9 Improvements to dwellings.

A. 
Improvements to dwellings more than 20 years old are eligible for tax exemption for a period of five years. This exemption is subject to the approval of the Tax Assessor.
B. 
Upon approval, the Township, in determining value, shall regard the first $25,000 in the Assessor's full and true value of improvements for each dwelling unit primarily and directly affected by the improvements as not increasing the value of the property, notwithstanding that the value of the property to which the improvements are made is increased thereby.
C. 
During the exemption period, the assessment on the property shall not be less than the assessment thereon existing immediately prior to the improvements, unless there is damage to the dwelling through action of the elements sufficient to warrant a reduction.

§ 305-10 New construction of dwellings and conversions to dwelling use.

A. 
Construction of new dwellings or the conversion of other buildings and structures, including unutilized public buildings, to dwelling use is eligible for tax exemption for a period of five years. This exemption is subject to the approval of the Assessor or by resolution of the Township Committee.
B. 
Tax exemptions for projects whose estimated conventional taxes on the improvement would be less than $100,000 per annum are subject to approval of the Tax Assessor.
C. 
Tax exemptions for projects whose estimated conventional taxes on the improvement would be more than $100,000 per annum may only be approved by resolution of the Township Committee, provided that the application has first been referred to the Mayor's Tax Exemption Committee for its recommendation.
D. 
Upon approval, the Township, in determining value, shall regard 30% of the Assessor's full and true value of the dwelling constructed or conversion alterations made as not increasing the value of the property for a period of five years. This exemption is to be granted notwithstanding that the value of the property upon which the construction or conversion occurs is increased thereby.

§ 305-11 Improvements to multiple dwellings and conversions to multiple dwellings.

A. 
Improvements to multiple dwellings or conversions of other buildings and structures, including unutilized public buildings, to multiple-dwelling use are eligible for tax exemption for a period of five years. This exemption is subject to the approval of the Assessor or by resolution of the Township Committee.
B. 
Tax exemptions for projects whose estimated conventional taxes on the improvement would be less than $100,000 per annum are subject to the approval of the Assessor. Upon approval, the Township, in determining value, shall regard 30% of the Assessor's full and true value of the improvements or conversion alterations as not increasing the value of the property for a period of five years.
C. 
Tax exemptions for projects whose estimated conventional taxes on the improvement would be more than $100,000 per annum may only be approved by resolution of the Township Committee, provided that the application has first been referred to the Mayor's Tax Exemption Committee for its recommendation. Upon approval, the Township, in determining value, shall regard up to the Assessor's full and true value of the improvements or conversion alteration as not increasing the value of the property for a period of five years.
D. 
This exemption is to be granted notwithstanding that the value of the property to which the improvements or conversion alterations are made is increased thereby. During the exemption period, the assessment on the property shall not be less than the assessment existing thereon immediately prior to the improvement or conversion alteration, unless there is damage to the multiple dwelling through action of the elements sufficient to warrant a reduction.

§ 305-12 Improvements to commercial and industrial structures.

A. 
Improvements to commercial and industrial structures are eligible for tax exemption for a period of five years. This exemption is subject to the approval of the Assessor or by resolution of the Township Committee.
B. 
Tax exemptions for projects whose estimated conventional taxes on the improvement would be less than $100,000 per annum are subject to the approval of the Assessor. Upon approval, the Township, in determining value, shall regard 30% of the Assessor's full and true value of the improvements as not increasing the value of the property for a period of five years.
C. 
Tax exemptions for projects whose estimated conventional taxes on the improvement would be more than $100,000 per annum may only be approved by resolution of the Township Committee, provided that the application has first been referred to the Mayor's Tax Exemption Committee for its recommendation. Upon approval, the Township, in determining value, shall regard up to the Assessor's full and true value of the improvements as not increasing the value of the property for a period of five years.
D. 
This exemption is to be granted notwithstanding that the value of the property to which the improvement is made is increased thereby. During the exemption period, the assessment on the property shall not be less than the assessment thereon existing immediately prior to the improvements, unless there is damage to the structure through action of the elements sufficient to warrant a reduction.

§ 305-13 New construction of commercial or industrial structures or multiple dwellings by tax agreement.

A. 
New construction of commercial and industrial structures and multiple dwellings is eligible for tax exemption for a period of five years. This exemption may only be approved by ordinance of the Township Committee.
B. 
Applicants for tax exemption shall provide the Director of the Department of Housing, Economic Development and Commerce and the Township Committee with an application setting forth the following information:
(1) 
A general description of the project for which exemption is sought.
(2) 
A legal description of all real estate necessary for the project.
(3) 
Plans, drawings and other documents as may be required by the Township Committee to demonstrate the structure and design of the project.
(4) 
A description of the number, classes and type of employees to be employed at the project site within two years of completion of the project.
(5) 
A statement of the reasons for seeking tax exemption on the project and a description of the benefits to be realized by the applicant if a tax agreement is granted.
(6) 
A good-faith estimate of the cost of completing such project, together with the expected method or plan of financing the improvements.
(7) 
A construction time schedule and projected time schedule.
(8) 
A statement showing the real property taxes currently being assessed at the project site; estimated tax payments that would be made annually by the applicant on the project during the period of the agreement; and estimated tax payments that would be made by the applicant on the project during the first full year following the termination or expiration of the tax agreement.
(9) 
If the project is a commercial or industrial structure, a description of any lease agreement between the applicant and proposed users of the project and a history and description of the users' businesses.
(10) 
If the project is a multiple dwelling, a description of the number and type of dwellings units to be provided, a description of the common elements or general common elements and a statement of the proposed initial rentals or sales prices of the dwelling units according to type and of any rental lease or resale restrictions to apply to the dwellings units respecting low- or moderate-income housing.
(11) 
A disclosure statement of the interests of all parties, including subsidiary companies, in the property project.
(12) 
The owner's certification that the improvement as proposed meets the requirements of the redevelopment plan or Chapter 340, Zoning.
(13) 
The owner shall sign the application and certify as to the truth and accuracy of the contents thereof.
(14) 
Such other pertinent information as the Director of the Department of Housing, Economic Development and Commerce and Township Committee may require on a case-by-case basis.
C. 
Agreement.
(1) 
The owner shall enter into a written agreement with the Township to pay a tax on the improvements in an amount equal to a percentage of taxes otherwise due according to the following schedule:
(a) 
In the first full tax year after completion, no payment in lieu of taxes otherwise due.
(b) 
In the second tax year, an amount not less than 20% of taxes otherwise due.
(c) 
In the third tax year, an amount not less than 40% of taxes otherwise due.
(d) 
In the fourth tax year, an amount not less than 60% of taxes otherwise due.
(e) 
In the fifth tax year, an amount not less than 80% of taxes otherwise due.
(2) 
The agreement shall provide that the tax shall be billed and collected in the same manner as any conventional taxes, and any arrearages shall accrue that rate of interest charged for delinquent real estate taxes.
D. 
The Tax Collector shall be responsible for the administration and enforcement of the tax agreement. In the event that a property owner subject to a tax agreement ceases to operate or disposes of the property or fails to meet the conditions for qualifying for the exemption, the local property taxes due for all the prior years subject to exemption and for the current year shall be payable as if no exemption had been granted. The Tax Collector shall notify the property owner and the Township Committee within 15 days of the date of disqualification of the amount of taxes due. In the event that the subject property has been transferred to a new owner and it is determined that the new owner will continue to use the property pursuant to the qualifying conditions, no additional tax shall be due, the exemption shall continue and the agreement shall remain in effect.
E. 
The Township Clerk shall forward a copy of all tax exemption agreements to the Director of the Division of Local Government Services in the Department of Community Affairs within 30 days of the date of execution.

§ 305-14 General requirements.

A. 
Every applicant for tax exemption, including a tax exemption subject to a tax agreement which requires the separate application described in § 305-12B above, shall file that form of application prescribed by the Director of the New Jersey Division of Taxation in the Department of Treasury with the Assessor. As a condition to approval, the application must be filed within 30 days, including Saturdays and Sundays, following the completion of the improvement, conversion or construction. Every application for exemption, including those projects which must also receive the approval of the Township Committee, so filed shall be approved and allowed by the Assessor to the degree that the application is consistent with the provisions of this article; that is, the improvement, conversion alteration or construction for which the application is made must qualify pursuant to the provisions of the law and this article. The applicant shall submit data in support of the application, as the Assessor or Township shall require.
B. 
The granting of an exemption and, if appropriate, tax agreement shall be recorded and made a permanent part of the official tax records of the taxing district, which record shall contain a notice of the termination date thereof.
C. 
As to applications which require approval by the Township Committee, the Assessor shall forward the application to the Director of Housing, Economic Development and Commerce and the Township Committee for action.
D. 
No application shall be filed unless it is accompanied by the fees as provided in Chapter 160, Fees and Charges, to be paid as compensation for legal and related administrative review by the Township.
E. 
No exemptions shall be granted for any property for which property taxes or any other municipal charges, including interest, are delinquent or remain unpaid or for which penalties for nonpayment are due.
F. 
All taxes and other municipal charges must be paid timely and in full during the term of the exemption. The failure to timely pay any tax or other municipal charge, including land tax, shall permit the Tax Collector to terminate the tax exemption and subject the property to full taxation.
G. 
Any tax appeal filed for the exempt property during the term of the exemption shall immediately void the tax exemption.

§ 305-15 Additional improvements eligible for tax exemptions.

An additional improvement, conversion or construction completed to a property already granted an exemption during the period in which the exemption is in effect shall be eligible for an additional exemption just as if such property had not received a previous exemption. The additional improvement, conversion or construction shall be considered as separate for purposes of calculating the exemption, except that the assessed value of any previous improvement, conversion or construction shall be added to the assessed valuation as it was prior to that improvement, conversion or construction for the purpose of determining the assessed value of the property from which any additional exemption is to be subtracted.

§ 305-16 Notice of availability of exemption.

The Tax Collector shall include an appropriate notice in the mailing of the annual property tax bills to property owners advising them of the availability of tax exemptions under this article.

§ 305-17 Report of real property taxes.

A. 
The Assessor, on behalf of the Township Committee, shall report, on or before October 1 of each year, to the Director of the Division of Local Government Services in the Department of Community Affairs and to the Director of the Division of Taxation in the Department of the Treasury the total amount of real property taxes exempted within the Township in the current tax year for each of the following:
(1) 
Improvements of dwellings.
(2) 
Construction of dwellings.
(3) 
Improvements and conversions of multiple dwellings.
(4) 
Improvements of commercial or industrial structures.
(5) 
Construction of multiple dwellings under tax agreements.
(6) 
Construction of commercial or industrial structures under tax agreements.
B. 
In the case of Subsection A(5) and (6) above, the report shall state instead the total amount of payments made in lieu of taxes according to each formula utilized by the Municipality and the difference between that total amount and the total amount of real property taxes which would have been paid on the project had the tax agreement not been in effect for the current tax year.

§ 305-18 Expiration (sunset provision).

No application for tax exemption shall be filed for an exemption to take initial effect for tax year 2007 or any tax year thereafter unless this article is readopted by the Township Committee in accordance with N.J.S.A. 40A:21-4.