Borough of Atlantic Highlands, NJ
Monmouth County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Atlantic Highlands as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Development regulations — See Ch. 150.
[Adopted 10-9-1984 by Ord. No. 842]
[Amended 5-8-1991 by Ord. No. 994-91]
Any owner and/or applicant for a certificate of occupancy, a certificate of continued occupancy, permit, license, variance, subdivision of land, construction permit, subcode permit, easement or any other relief that can be granted by the governing body or any official, officer, board, agency or subagency, regarding any real estate or activity upon or in any real estate located in the Borough of Atlantic Highlands, as a condition for the issuance or renewal of any of the aforementioned permits, licenses, etc., shall secure in writing from the appropriate Borough officer, a statement that all real estate taxes, water charges, sewer charges and assessments have been paid to a current basis for the property on which the activity or business in question is to take place. In the event that property taxes or assessments are unpaid to a current basis, no permits or licenses shall be issued until all such payments have been made by or on behalf of the property owner.
No relief referred to in § 323-1 of this article shall be issued by the governing body, board, agency, subagency, officer or employee unless all real estate taxes, water charges and/or sewer bills have been paid through the calendar year quarter of the time of the application.
[Amended 5-8-1991 by Ord. No. 994-91]
Whenever a property owner has failed to pay the taxes due on the property for at least three consecutive quarters, the Borough may, upon notice to the licensee and property owner, revoke or suspend any license or permit until the payment of the delinquent taxes and assessments is made. Upon payment of the delinquent taxes or assessments, the license or permit shall be restored.
[Amended 5-8-1991 by Ord. No. 994-91]
The provisions of this article shall not apply to nor include any alcoholic beverage license or permit issued pursuant to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act.
[Amended 5-8-1991 by Ord. No. 994-91]
The provisions of this article shall apply to all other permits and licenses issued by, or requiring approval of, the Borough of Atlantic Highlands, or any of its Boards or Agencies or Offices, including but not limited to:
A. 
Permits required pursuant to the Uniform Construction Code.
B. 
Certificates of occupancy, provided, however, that if a certificate of occupancy is needed for closing of title, a conditional, temporary certificate of occupancy may be issued upon delivery of executed contracts to the Borough Clerk for the sale of said property. The conditional, temporary certificate of occupancy shall be contingent upon the payment of all taxes at the time of closing of title; and if not paid at closing, the conditional, temporary certificate of occupancy shall be deemed revoked.
C. 
Food establishment licenses.
D. 
Soil removal permits.
E. 
Tree removal permits.
F. 
Amusement licenses.
[Adopted 12-13-1995 by Ord. No. 9-95]
The Legislature has determined that various statutes authorized by N.J.S.A. Const. Art. 8 § 1, par. 6, permitting municipalities to grant, for periods of up to five years, exemptions from taxation in areas in need of rehabilitation, have proven to be effective in prompting construction and rehabilitation of residential and commercial structures threatened with economic decline. The Legislature adopted Chapter 441 of the Laws of 1991 (N.J.S.A. 40A:21-1 et seq.) so as to consolidate and make more coherent the most useful features of such statutes. Chapter 441 provides that if the governing body determines that there are trends in the municipality toward deterioration which it believes will, unless countered by such incentive, inexorably tend toward further deterioration, the governing body may adopt an ordinance granting tax exemptions throughout the municipality to the same extent as if the municipality's neighborhoods had been determined to be in need or rehabilitation. It is the opinion of the Council that in the present economic times there exists an unwillingness of owners of property to properly maintain and improve their properties arising from the perception that the making of such improvements will cause taxes to rise. These feelings create a circle whereby repairs and improvements are delayed, deterioration begins to set in, and the neighborhood itself begins to deteriorate. The Borough Council believes that by exempting for a limited period a portion of such improvements from taxation, much of the unwillingness and fear noted would be dissipated and owners and investors would be encouraged to rehabilitate and improve properties. By doing so, they would improve the Borough and preserve the Town for the future. The Council, being cognizant of these facts, does hereby grant the tax exemptions set forth in this article.
A. 
Definitions. As used in this article, terms shall be defined as in N.J.S.A. 40A:21-3.
B. 
Tax exemption amount declared.
(1) 
Dwellings. In determining the value of real property, the Borough 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 improvement, in any dwelling more than 20 years old, as not increasing the value of the property for a period of five years 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 thereon existing immediately prior to the improvement(s) unless there is damage to the dwelling sufficient to warrant a reduction.
[Amended 6-25-2008 by Ord. No. 07-2008]
(2) 
Multiple dwellings, commercial or industrial structures. In determining the value of multiple dwellings, or commercial or industrial structures, the Borough shall regard the first $25,000 in the Assessor's full and true value of improvements for each of such properties for improvements to any structure more than 20 years old as not increasing the value of the property for a period of five years, 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 thereon existing immediately prior to the improvements unless there is damage to the structure sufficient to warrant a reduction.
C. 
Action of the assessor. The Assessor shall determine, on October 1 of the year following the date of completion of an improvement, the true taxable value thereof. The amount of tax to be paid for the first full tax year following completion shall be based on the assessed valuation of the property for the previous year, plus any portion of the assessed valuation of the improvement, conversion or construction not allowed an exemption pursuant to this act. The property shall be treated in the appropriate manner for five tax years.
D. 
Additional improvements. An additional improvement completed on a property granted a previous exemption during the period in which the previous exemption is in effect shall be qualified for an exemption as if such property had not received a previous exemption. The additional improvement shall be considered as separate for the purposes of calculating the exemption, 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.
E. 
Delinquent taxes. No exemption or abatement shall be granted with respect to any property for which property taxes or water and sewer bills are delinquent or remain unpaid or for which penalties for nonpayment of taxes are due.
F. 
Application to be filed. No exemption shall be granted except upon written application on a form prescribed by the Division of Taxation in the Department of Treasury and shall be filed with the Assessor within 30 calendar days following the completion of the improvement. The granting of an exemption must be approved by the Assessor and shall be made a permanent part of the official tax records and shall contain a notice of the termination date thereof.
G. 
Taxes to which exemption applies. The exemption of real property taxes shall apply to property taxes levied for municipal, school and county government purposes and for the purposes of funding any other property tax exemptions.
A. 
Tax agreements for new construction of commercial structures or multiple dwellings.
(1) 
The Borough Council is granted the discretionary authority to enter into agreements, on a project basis, for the abatement of taxes for the new construction of commercial structures or multiple dwellings.
(2) 
Applicants shall provide the governing body with an application setting forth:
(a) 
A general description of a project for which abatement is sought;
(b) 
A legal description of all real estate necessary for the project;
(c) 
Plans, drawings and other documents as may be required by the governing body to demonstrate the structure and design of the project;
(d) 
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;
(e) 
A statement of the reasons for seeking tax abatement on the project, and a description of the benefits to be realized by the applicant and the Borough if a tax agreement is granted;
(f) 
Estimates of the cost of completing such project;
(g) 
A statement showing the real 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 of the tax agreement;
(h) 
A description of any lease agreements between the applicant and purposed users of the commercial or industrial project, and a history and description of the user's businesses;
(i) 
Such other pertinent information as the governing body may require.
B. 
Tax agreement.
(1) 
On approval of the Borough Council, the Borough may enter into a written agreement with the applicant for the exemption and abatement of local real property taxes on the newly constructed improvements. The agreement shall provide for the applicant to pay to the municipality in lieu of full property tax payments an amount annually to be computed by one of the methods of computation defined and permitted by N.J.S.A. 40A:21-10, to be determined in the discretion of the Borough Council.
(2) 
All tax agreements shall be in effect for no more than five full tax years following the date of completion of the project.
C. 
Termination of tax agreement.
(1) 
If during any tax year prior to the termination of the tax agreement, the property owner ceases to operate or disposes of the property, or fails to meet the conditions for qualifying, then the tax which would have otherwise been payable for each tax year shall become due and payable from the property owner as if no exemption and abatement had been granted. The Borough Council shall notify the property owner and Tax Collector forthwith and the Tax Collector shall within 15 days thereof notify the owner of the property of the amount of taxes due.
(2) 
However, with respect to the disposal of the property, the new owner of the property may request the Borough Council to continue the exemption and abatement agreement and must demonstrate the continuance of the conditions which qualified the property. If the Council determines said conditions continue, no tax shall be due and the exemption and the abatement shall continue, and the agreement shall remain in effect.
D. 
Report of Tax Assessor.
(1) 
The Tax Assessor shall report, on or before September 1 of each year, to the Mayor and Council as to the total amount of real property taxes exempted and the total amount abated within the Borough in the current tax year under this article.
(2) 
This report shall state, for the current tax year, the total amount of payments made in lieu of taxes according to the formula utilized by the Borough 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.
E. 
Effective date. This article and provision for tax abatement agreements was readopted by Ordinance 03-2011 on February 23, 2011. This article shall expire as of February 22, 2021, unless readopted and/or extended by proper ordinance; however, any tax abatement agreement approved or adopted prior to that expiration date shall remain in effect for the full approved period of the abatement agreement.
[Amended 9-27-2017 by Ord. No. 08-2017]