Township of Hamilton, NJ
Atlantic County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Hamilton as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 5-19-2008 by Ord. No. 1623-2008]
There is hereby imposed within the Township of Hamilton a tax to be charged in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 54:32-D1 et seq., on charges of rent for every occupancy within a hotel, motel or boardinghouse room. The tax shall be at the rate of 3% on charges of rent for every occupancy on and after July 1, 2004. Said tax shall be in addition to any and all taxes or fees imposed under state statute or local ordinances upon the occupancy of a hotel, motel or boardinghouse. For purposes of this article, the word "hotel" shall include motels and boardinghouses, as well as hotels.
A. 
All taxes imposed by this article shall be paid by the occupant of the room. "Occupant" shall be defined as a person who, for a consideration, uses, possesses or has the right to use or possess any room in a hotel, motel or boardinghouse, under any lease, concession, permit, right of access, license to use, or other agreement or otherwise.
B. 
The owner of the hotel and/or the person or entity making the hotel room available for occupancy shall not assume or absorb any of the tax imposed by this article.
C. 
The owner of the hotel and/or the person making the room available for occupancy shall not in any manner advertise or hold out to any person or to the public in general, in any manner, directly or indirectly, that the tax will be assumed or absorbed by the owner, that the tax will not be separately charged and stated to the occupant, or that the tax would be refunded to the occupant.
A. 
The tax imposed by this article shall be collected on behalf of the municipality by the person collecting the rent from the hotel occupant. That person shall either be the owner of the hotel, the manager or sales person or other employee of the owner who arranges with the occupant for the rental of the room.
B. 
Individual liability. Each person required to collect the tax imposed by this article shall be personally liable for the tax imposed, collected or required to be collected hereunder. Any such person shall have the same right in respect to collecting the tax from an occupant as if the tax were a part of the rent and payable at the same time.
A. 
A person required to collect the tax imposed under this article as described above shall, on or before, the 28's day of each month, forward to the Director of the Division of Taxation in the Department of the Treasury the tax collected in the preceding month and shall make and file a return for the preceding month with the Director on any form and containing any information as the Director shall prescribe as necessary to determine liability for the tax in the preceding month during which the person was required to collect the tax. Should the Director determine to require payment of tax liability at any intervals and based upon any collection classifications other than described in this article, the person required to collect the tax shall comply with any determinations made in that regard by the Director.
B. 
The Director of the Division of Taxation shall collect and administer the tax imposed under this article, and shall determine and certify to the State Treasurer on a quarterly or more frequent basis the amount of revenues collected in each municipality. The State Treasurer, upon certification of the Director and upon the warrant of the State Comptroller, shall pay and distribute on a quarterly or more frequent basis, as prescribed by the State Treasurer, the amount of revenue determined and certified as described above, to the Township of Hamilton.
The hotel and motel room occupancy tax authorized herein shall not be imposed on the rent for an occupancy if the purchaser, user or consumer is an entity exempt from the tax imposed on the occupancy under the Sales and Use Tax Act pursuant to Subsection (a) of Section 9 of P.L. 1966, c. 30 (N.J.S.A. 54:32B-9).
A. 
Violations. Each assumption or absorption of a tax, by an owner or employee of an owner, as described in § 269-2C above, shall be deemed a separate offense, and each representation or advertisement by a vendor as described in said section, for each day the representation or advertisement continues, shall be deemed a separate offense.
B. 
Penalties. For any violation or offense committed under this article, the offender shall be liable for a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,250; for a term in the county jail not to exceed 90 days; or a period of community service not to exceed 90 days in the discretion of the Judge of the Municipal Court.
[Adopted 6-17-2019 by Ord. No. 1903-2019[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: This article also repealed former Article II, Five-Year Exemption Program for Construction in Industrial Business Park Zone, adopted 7-6-2015 by Ord. No. 1792-2015, as amended; Article III, Five-Year Exemption Program for Improvements in Industrial Business Park Zone, adopted 7-6-2015 by Ord. No. 1792-2015, as amended; Article IV, Five-Year Exemption Program for Construction and Improvement of Commercial and Industrial Structures in Mays Landing Historic District, adopted 2-16-2016 by Ord. No. 1811-2016, as amended; Article V, Five-Year Exemption Program for Construction and Improvement of Multiple Dwellings in Mays Landing Historic District, adopted 2-16-2016 by Ord. No. 1811-2016; Article VI, Five-Year Exemption Program for Construction and Improvement of Dwellings in Mays Landing Historic District, adopted 2-16-2016 by Ord. No. 1811-2016; and Article VII, Five-Year Exemption Program for Construction and Improvement of Commercial and Industrial Structures in Tunney Property, adopted 5-1-2017 by Ord. No. 1847-2017.
The intention of this article is to effectuate and accomplish the purposes authorized by N.J.S.A. 40A:21-1 et seq., which permits municipalities to grant for periods of five years exemptions and/or abatements, or both, from taxation in areas of the municipality in need of rehabilitation. The intended purpose of this article is to promote the improvement, rehabilitation and or construction of residential dwellings, multiple dwellings, commercial structures, industrial structures, and mixed-use structures within designated rehabilitation areas of the Township of Hamilton, County of Atlantic, State of New Jersey.
The Township of Hamilton hereby authorizes the utilization of tax exemptions in accordance with Article VIII, Section I, Paragraph 6, of the New Jersey Constitution and establishes the eligibility of single-family residential dwellings, multiple dwellings, commercial and industrial structures, and mixed-use structures for five years to the maximum degree permitted by N.J.S.A. 40A:21-1 et seq. in any area designated as any eligible area as defined in § 269-9.
A. 
The definitions contained in N.J.S.A. 40A:21-3 are incorporated herein by reference as if set forth at length. As used in this article, those words shall have the meanings as so defined unless a different meaning is clearly expressed.
B. 
Additional terms. As used in this article, the following definitions shall apply:
AREA IN NEED OF REHABILITATION
The area(s) within the Township of Hamilton which have been determined to be an area in need of rehabilitation or redevelopment pursuant to the "Local Redevelopment and Housing Law" (N.J.S.A. 40A:12A-1 et seq.), which have been determined to be a "blighted area" pursuant to the "Blighted Areas Act" (N.J.S.A. 40:55-21.1 et seq.[1]), or which have been determined to be in need of rehabilitation pursuant to N.J.S.A. 54:4-3:72 et seq. or N.J.S.A. 54:4-3.121 et seq.[2]
ASSESSOR
The officer of the Township of Hamilton charged with the duty of assessing real property for the purpose of general taxation.
EXEMPTION AND ABATEMENT OFFICER
The individual appointed by the Township Committee pursuant to this article to administer the five-year exemption and abatement programs provided by this chapter except where otherwise noted. The phrase "E&A Officer" shall mean Exemption and Abatement Officer.
MIXED-USE STRUCTURE
A structure with two or more different uses such as residential, commercial, or industrial.
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.
PROJECT
Any improvement or construction undertaken by a single entity which may include the construction, reconstruction, structural alteration, relocation or enlargement of any building or other structure.
THE ACT
The Five-Year Exemption and Abatement Law, N.J.S.A. 40A:21-1 et seq. enacted into law on or about January 18,1992, as amended and supplemented.
THE TOWNSHIP OF HAMILTON
The Township of Hamilton, County of Atlantic, State of New Jersey.
[1]
Editor's Note: N.J.S.A. 40:55-21.1 was repealed by L. 1992, c. 79, § 59.
[2]
Editor's Note: N.J.S.A. 54:4-3.72 and 54:4-3.121 were repealed by L. 1991, c. 441, § 22.
C. 
Where consistent with the context used in this article, words importing the singular shall include the plural, words importing the plural shall include the singular, and words importing one gender shall include all other genders.
A. 
The Mayor and Township Committee may enter into agreements with developers and/or owners of property that are in areas in need of redevelopment or rehabilitation within the Township of Hamilton, as determined by the Mayor and Township Committee in accordance with N.J.S.A. 40A:12A-1 et seq., providing tax exemptions for the construction and rehabilitation of dwellings, multiple dwellings, industrial structures, commercial structures, and mixed-use structures within the Township of Hamilton pursuant to the Act and the requirements of this article.
B. 
Except as otherwise provided in §§ 269-14 and 269-16 herein, the Assessor may approve tax exemptions and/or abatements for the benefit of developers and/or owners of property, for any project with an estimate of costs less than $500,000, subject to the Act and the requirements of this article. Tax exemptions for any project with an estimate of costs exceeding $500,000 shall be subject to the review and approval of the Mayor and Township Committee pursuant to the Act and the requirements of this article.
Improvements to dwellings shall be eligible for a tax exemption and/or abatement for a period of five years in accordance with the following:
A. 
Only improvements made to dwellings more than 20 years old are eligible for tax exemption for a period of five years. For purposes of eligibility under this section, a dwelling will be considered less than 20 years old if in the last 20 years the dwelling has been demolished in its entirety or where less than 60% of the original square footage of the dwelling remains.
B. 
Upon approval, the Assessor in determining value shall regard the first $25,000 of the 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. The five-year exemption period shall commence on the first day of the month following grant of the exemption. If the five-year period expires leaving a partial year in the tax year, the Assessor shall complete an added assessment as appropriate.
C. 
An abatement for a dwelling may be granted with respect to the property for a total of up to five years, but the annual amount of the abatement granted to any single property may not exceed 30% of the annual amount of the exemption granted under this section. The five-year abatement period shall commence in the first full year following the tax year in which the improvements are completed.
D. 
During the exemption period, the assessment on the property shall not be less than the assessment thereon existing immediately prior to the improvements, unless an abatement has been granted pursuant to this section or there is damage to the dwelling through action of the elements sufficient to warrant a reduction.
Improvements to multiple dwellings shall be eligible for a tax exemption and/or abatement for a period of five years in accordance with the following:
A. 
Upon approval, in determining the value of real property, the municipality 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, notwithstanding the value of the property to which the improvements are made is increased thereby.
B. 
An abatement for a multiple dwelling may be granted with respect to the property for a total of up to five years, but the annual amount of the abatement shall not exceed 30% of the total cost of the improvement, and the total amount of abatements granted to any single property shall not exceed the total cost of the improvement.
C. 
The five-year exemption period shall not commence until the first full year following the tax year in which the improvements are completed.
D. 
During the exemption period, the assessment on the property shall not be less than the assessment thereon existing immediately prior to the improvements, unless an abatement has been granted pursuant to this section or there is damage to the dwelling through action of the elements sufficient to warrant a reduction.
Improvements to commercial structures are eligible for tax exemption for a period of five years in accordance with the following:
A. 
Upon approval, in determining value, the Assessor 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.
B. 
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.
C. 
The five-year exemption period shall not commence until the first full year following the tax year in which the improvement is completed.
A. 
New construction of commercial structures is eligible for tax exemption for a period of five years. This exemption may only be approved by ordinance of the Mayor and Township Committee on a project-by-project basis.
B. 
Pursuant to § 269-21 of this article, applicants for tax exemption shall provide the E&A Officer, on behalf of the Mayor and Township Committee, with an application setting forth all 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 Mayor and Township Committee or Assessor, as applicable, 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 completion schedule.
(8) 
A statement showing the real property taxes currently being assessed at the project site, the estimated tax payments that would be made annually by the applicant on the project during the period of the agreement, and the 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) 
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) 
A disclosure statement of the interests of all parties, including subsidiary companies, in the project.
(11) 
The owner's certification that the improvement as proposed meets the requirements of the redevelopment plan or the Township of Hamilton's Zoning Ordinance.[1]
[1]
See Ch. 203, Land Use and Development.
(12) 
The signature of the owner and the owner's certification as to the truth and accuracy of the contents contained in the application.
(13) 
Such other pertinent information as the Mayor and Township Committee may require on a case-by-case basis.
C. 
The owner shall enter a written agreement with the Township of Hamilton to pay a tax on the newly-constructed commercial structures to be computed in accordance with the "Tax Phase-in Basis" formula set forth in N.J.S.A. 40A:21-10. 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 at the rate of interest charged for delinquent real estate taxes.
D. 
The five-year exemption period shall not commence until the first full year following the tax year in which the construction of the commercial structures is completed.
E. 
The E&A Officer, on behalf of the Township Committee, shall be responsible for the administration and enforcement of the tax agreement in accordance with the following:
(1) 
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 and/or abatement set forth in § 269-14 herein, including but not limited to compliance with the requirements of the redevelopment plan or the Township of Hamilton's Zoning Ordinance,[2] 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.
[2]
See Ch. 203, Land Use and Development.
(2) 
If 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.
(3) 
The E&A Officer, on behalf of the Township Committee, shall notify the property owner, the Assessor and the Tax Collector of the amount of taxes due within 15 days of the date of disqualification.
F. 
Any tax agreement as authorized by this section shall only be available wherein the use of the property is permitted by the existing zoning standards of the Township's Municipal Code and not the result of a variance.
Improvements to industrial structures are eligible for tax exemption for a period of five years in accordance with the following:
A. 
Upon approval, in determining value the Assessor 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.
B. 
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.
C. 
The five-year exemption period shall not commence until the first full year following the tax year in which the improvement is completed.
New construction of industrial structures is eligible for tax exemption for a period of five years. This exemption may only be approved by Ordinance of the Mayor and Township Committee on a project-by-project basis.
A. 
Applicants for tax exemption shall provide the Mayor and Township Committee with an application setting forth all 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 Mayor and 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 completion schedule.
(8) 
A statement showing the real property taxes currently being assessed at the project site, the estimated tax payments that would be made annually by the applicant on the project during the period of the agreement, and the 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) 
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) 
A disclosure statement of the interests of all parties, including subsidiary companies, in the project.
(11) 
The owner's certification that the improvement as proposed meets the requirements of the redevelopment plan or the Township of Hamilton's zoning ordinance.
(12) 
The signature of the owner and the owner's certification as to the truth and accuracy of the contents contained in the application.
(13) 
Such other pertinent information as the Mayor and Township Committee may require on a case-by-case basis.
B. 
(Reserved)
C. 
The owner shall enter a written agreement with the Township of Hamilton to pay a tax on the newly-constructed industrial structures to be computed in accordance with the "Tax Phase-in Basis" formula set forth in N.J.S.A. 40A:21-10. 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 at the rate of interest charged for delinquent real estate taxes.
D. 
The five-year exemption period shall not commence until the first full year following the tax year in which the construction of the industrial structures is completed.
E. 
The E&A Officer, on behalf of the Mayor and Township Committee, shall be responsible for the administration and enforcement of the tax agreement in accordance with the following:
(1) 
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 and/or abatement set forth in this article, including but not limited to compliance with the redevelopment plan or the Township of Hamilton's Zoning Ordinance[1], 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.
[1]
See Ch. 203, Land Use and Development.
(2) 
If 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.
(3) 
The E&A Officer, on behalf of the Mayor and Township Committee, shall notify the property owner and the Assessor of the amount of taxes due within 15 days of the date of disqualification.
F. 
Any tax agreement as authorized by this section shall only be available wherein the use of the property is permitted by the existing zoning standards of the Township's Municipal Code and not the result of a variance.
Construction of mixed use structures are eligible for tax exemption in accordance with the requirements set forth in this article for the various components of the mixed use.
The Assessor shall determine on October 1 of the year following the date of the completion of any improvement or construction the true taxable value thereof. The amount of tax to be paid for the first full tax year following completion of any improvement or construction for any portion thereof not subject to an assessment or exemption shall be based on the valuation of the property by the Assessor pursuant to this section and shall continue in the appropriate manner for each of the five full tax years of the exemption period.
All tax exemption agreements shall provide that the property owner is subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations, including but not limited to laws and regulations governing pollution control, worker safety, discrimination in employment, housing provisions, zoning, planning and building code requirements.
The position of Exemption and Abatement Officer ("E&A Officer") is hereby created for the purpose of administering the Township's five-year exemption and abatement programs under this chapter. The Township shall appoint the E&A Officer by resolution of the Township Committee at its annual reorganization meeting for a period of one-year. The initial E&A Officer shall be appointed by resolution of the Township Committee at its first scheduled meeting following the effective date of this provision and shall serve until the next annual reorganization meeting. The compensation for the E&A Officer shall be set by ordinance.
A. 
Applicants for tax exemption shall submit an application to the Assessor or E&A Officer, as applicable, on a form prescribed by the Director of the Division of Taxation in the Department of Treasury within 30 calendar days following the completion of the improvement or new construction.
B. 
The E&A Officer shall forward a copy of the completed application to the Mayor and Township Committee within 30 days of the receipt of same for all tax exemption requests requiring Mayor and Township Committee approval. Following receipt of a completed application as set forth above, the Mayor and Township Committee or the Assessor, as applicable, shall review same to determine whether an exemption and/or abatement shall be granted.
C. 
All tax exemptions and all tax agreements shall be recorded and made a permanent part of the official tax records of the Township of Hamilton, which records shall contain a notice of termination date thereof.
D. 
Any tax exemption approved pursuant to this article shall apply to the property taxes levied for Township of Hamilton purposes, school purposes, county government purposes, and for any other property tax purposes.
E. 
Every application for exemption shall be subject to the provisions of this article as well as the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40A:21-1 et seq., and all rules and regulations promulgated thereunder.
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 or for any property for which a casino license has been issued.
Any additional improvement or new 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 or new construction shall be considered as separate for purposes of calculating the exemption, except that the assessed value of any previous improvement or new construction shall be added to the assessed valuation as it was prior to that improvement or new construction for the purpose of determining the assessed value of the property from which any additional exemption is to be subtracted.
Upon termination of any tax exemption or any tax agreement approved pursuant to this article, a project shall be subject to all applicable real property taxes as provided by state law and regulation, as well as local ordinances. However, nothing herein shall prohibit a project, upon termination of a tax exemption or any tax agreement, from qualifying for and receiving the full benefits of any other tax preferences provided by law.
During the first year following adoption of this article, the Assessor 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.
A. 
The E&A Officer, on behalf of the Mayor and 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, the Director of the Division of Taxation in the Department of the Treasury, and to the Mayor and Township Committee, the total amount of real property taxes exempted within the Township in the current tax year for each of the following:
(1) 
Improvements to dwellings or multiple dwellings.
(2) 
Improvements to commercial or industrial structures.
(3) 
Construction to commercial or industrial structures under tax agreements.
B. 
In the case of Subsection A(3) above, as applicable, the report shall state instead the total amount of payments made in lieu of taxes according to the formula utilized by the Township of Hamilton, 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.
C. 
The E&A Officer shall be responsible for ensuring the Township's compliance with the provisions of this section and any additional requirements imposed by statute.
Appeal of any determination made by the Township of Hamilton under the terms of this article shall be made to the Atlantic County Board of Taxation.
No application for tax exemption shall be filed for an exemption to take initial effect in the 11th tax year after initial adoption, or any tax year thereafter, unless this article is readopted by the Mayor and Township Committee in accordance with N.J.S.A. 40A:21-4.
The various parts, sections and clauses of this article are hereby declared to be severable. If any part, sentence, paragraph, section or clause is adjudged to be unconstitutional or invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, the remainder of this article shall not be affected thereby.
Captions contained in this article have been inserted only for the purposes of facilitating reference to the various sections and are not intended and shall not be utilized to construe the intent and meaning of the text of any section.
Any ordinances or parts thereof in conflict with the provisions of this article are hereby repealed.
This article shall take effect upon final passage and publication as provided by law, provided that any exemptions approved thereafter shall not take effect until the following tax year. After the effective date, this article shall only apply to projects that have not received a construction permit as of the effective date of this article.