[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Washington as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Special improvement district — See Ch. 74.
Article I Five-Year Tax Exemption and Abatement
[Adopted 4-6-2004 by Ord. No. 6-2004]
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, words shall have the meanings as so defined unless a different meaning is expressed.
- MIXED-USE STRUCTURE
- A structure with two or more different uses, such as, but not limited to, residential, commercial or industrial.
The Borough hereby authorizes the utilization of tax exemption and abatement in accordance with Article VIII, Section I, paragraph 6, of the New Jersey Constitution and establishes the eligibility of multiple dwellings, mixed-use structures, commercial and industrial structures for five-year tax exemptions and abatements as authorized by N.J.S.A. 40A:21-1 et seq., throughout the entire municipality, but only to the extent set forth herein.
Improvements to multiple dwellings are eligible for tax exemption. The Assessor's full and true value of the improvements shall be regarded as not increasing the value of the property for a period of five years commencing with the completion of an improvement, notwithstanding that the value of the property to which the improvements 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 unless there is damage to the multiple dwelling through action of the elements sufficient to warrant a reduction. As used in this section, "improvements" shall not be construed to include an increase in the number of dwelling units nor the reduction of the total number of dwelling units to less than three.
Improvements to mixed-use, commercial and industrial structures are eligible for tax exemption for a period of five years commencing with the completion of an improvement. The Assessor's full and true value of the improvements shall be regarded as not increasing the value of the property, 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 existing thereon immediately prior to the improvements unless there is damage to the structure through action of the elements sufficient to warrant a reduction.
Construction of new mixed-use, commercial and industrial structures shall be eligible for tax exemption or exemption and abatement commencing with completion of the project. Any such exemption and abatement shall be subject to the owner and Borough entering into a tax agreement as provided by N.J.S.A. 40A:21-10.
The applicant shall furnish to the municipality all the information required by N.J.S.A. 40A:21-9. In addition, every applicant shall file the application form prescribed by the Director of the New Jersey Division of Taxation in the Department of Treasury with the Tax Assessor, as a condition to approval, within 30 days, including Saturdays and Sundays, following the completion of the improvement. Every application for exemption or exemption and abatement so filed shall be approved and allowed by the Assessor to the degree that the application is consistent with the provisions of this article, provided that the improvement for which the application is made qualifies as such pursuant to the provisions of this article and the tax agreement. The granting of an exemption or exemption and abatement and tax agreement, if appropriate, shall be recorded and made a permanent part of the official tax records of the taxing district, which record shall contain a notice of termination date thereof.
No tax exemption shall be granted unless approved by resolution of the Borough Council on an individual basis after review, evaluation and approval of each application for compliance with the terms of this article and the underlying statute, rules and regulations.
The tax agreement shall provide for the applicant to pay to the Borough in lieu of full property tax payments an amount annually to be computed by one, but in no case a combination, of the three formulas set forth in N.J.S.A. 40A:21-10, viz., the "Cost," "Gross revenue," or "Tax phase-in" basis.
An additional improvement or construction, completed on a property granted a previous exemption or abatement during the period in which such previous exemption or abatement is in effect, shall be qualified for an exemption and/or abatement just as if such property had not received a previous exemption or abatement. In such case, the additional improvement or construction shall be considered as separate for the purposes of calculating exemptions and abatements, except that the assessed value of any previous improvement or construction shall be added to the assessed valuation as it was prior to that improvement or construction for the purpose of determining the assessed valuation of the property from which any additional abatement is to be subtracted.
Every application for exemption or abatement and every exemption and abatement granted shall be subject to all the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40A:21-1 et seq., and all rules and regulations issued thereunder.
All tax abatement and exemption agreements shall provide that the applicant is subject to all federal, state and local laws and regulations.
The percentage which the payment in lieu of taxes bears to the property taxes which would have been paid had an abatement not been granted for the property under the agreement shall be applied to the valuation of the property to determine the reduced valuation of the property to be included in the valuation of the municipality for determining equalization for county apportionment and school aid during the term of the tax abatement agreement covering the property.
If during any tax year prior to the termination of the tax abatement or exemption agreement the applicant ceases to operate or disposes of the property or otherwise fails to meet the conditions of eligibility, the tax otherwise due if there had been no abatement or exemption shall become due and payable by the property owner. The Tax Assessor shall notify the property owner and the Tax Collector forthwith, and the Tax Collector shall, within 15 days thereof, notify the owner of the property of the amount of taxes due. However, with respect to sale or other disposal of the property for which it is determined that the new owner of the property will continue to use the property pursuant to the conditions which were set forth in the tax abatement or exemption agreement, the exemption or abatement shall continue.
In the event of default by the applicant, including but not limited to the failure to make timely tax or in-lieu-of-tax payments to the municipality, the municipality shall notify the applicant, in writing, of said default. The applicant shall have 30 days to cure any default. Following the thirty-day cure period, the municipality shall have the right to proceed against the property pursuant to the In Rem Tax Foreclosure Act, N.J.S.A. 54:4-1 et seq., and/or may cancel the financial agreement upon 30 days' notice to the applicant.
Editor's Note: The provisions of the In Rem Tax Foreclosure Act are contained in N.J.S.A. 54:5-104.29 et seq.
At the termination of a tax abatement or exemption agreement, a project shall be subject to all applicable real property taxes as provided by state law and local ordinance.
No application for tax exemption or abatement shall be accepted by the municipality unless accompanied by full payment of the required application fee. Such fees shall be based on total project cost as set forth in a schedule on file with the office of the Municipal Clerk. These fees shall be received as compensation for the legal review and related work of the municipality's departments and agencies.
The Municipal Clerk is hereby authorized and directed to forward a certified copy of this article to the State of New Jersey Department of Community Affairs.
No exemptions shall be granted for any property for which property taxes or any other municipal charges are delinquent or remain unpaid or for which penalties for nonpayment are due for a period of at least one year, or for any property not being used in conformance with local, state or federal ordinance, regulation or statute. In addition, one- and two-family structures which contain home-based businesses are ineligible for the tax exemption or abatement programs described herein.
Appeal of any determination made by the municipality under the terms of this article shall be made to the Warren County Board of Taxation.
Where consistent with the context in which 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.