Town of Newton, NJ
Sussex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Newton as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 6-8-1970 as Ch. 23 of the Revised General Ordinances]

§ 279-1 Purpose.

It is the purpose of this article to implement the provisions of P.L. 2003, c. 114,[1] which authorizes the governing body of a municipality to adopt an ordinance imposing a tax, at a uniform percentage rate not to exceed 1%, on charges of rent for every occupancy on or after July 1, 2003, but before July 1, 2004, and not to exceed 3% on charges of rent for every occupancy on or after July 1, 2004, of a room or rooms in a hotel subject to taxation pursuant to Subsection (d) of Section 3 of P.L. 1966, c. 40 (N.J.S.A. 54:32B-3), which shall be in addition to any other tax or fee imposed pursuant to statute or local ordinance or resolution by any governmental entity upon the occupancy of a hotel room.
[1]
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 54:32D-1 et seq.

§ 279-2 Establishment of tax.

There is hereby established a hotel and motel room occupancy tax in the Town of Newton, which shall be fixed at a uniform percentage rate of 3% on charges of rent for every occupancy of a hotel or motel room in the Town of Newton on or after July 1, 2004, of a room or rooms in a hotel subject to taxation pursuant to Subsection (d) of Section 3 of P.L. 1966, c. 40, N.J.S.A. 54:32B-3 (sales tax).

§ 279-3 Tax in addition to other taxes or fees.

The hotel and motel room occupancy tax shall be in addition to any other tax or fee imposed pursuant to statute or local ordinance or resolution by any governmental entity upon the occupancy of a hotel room.

§ 279-4 Exemptions.

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 an 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).

§ 279-5 Absorption of tax by vendor prohibited.

In accordance with the requirements of P.L. 2003, c. 114, N.J.S.A. 40:48F-1:
A. 
All taxes imposed by this article shall be paid by the purchaser.
B. 
A vendor shall not assume or absorb any tax imposed by this article.
C. 
A vendor 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 vendor, that the tax will not be separately charged and stated to the customer, or that the tax will be refunded to the customer.
D. 
Each assumption or absorption by a vendor of the tax shall be deemed a separate offense, and each representation or advertisement by a vendor for each day that the representation or advertisement continues shall be deemed a separate offense.
E. 
The penalty for violation of the foregoing provisions shall be for each offense.

§ 279-6 Collection of tax.

The tax imposed by this article shall be collected on behalf of the Town by the person collecting the rent from the hotel or motel customer. Each person required to collect the tax herein imposed 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 a customer as if the tax were a part of the rent and payable at the same time, provided that the Chief Financial Officer of the Town shall be joined as a party in any action or proceeding brought to collect the tax.

§ 279-7 Distribution of copies.

A copy of this article shall be transmitted to the State Treasurer and to each hotel or motel located within the Town of Newton.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Original Sec. 5, Effective date, which immediately followed this section, was deleted at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
[Adopted 8-8-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-15; amended 8-22-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-10]

§ 279-8 Incorporation of recitals.

The recitals set forth above are incorporated herein as if set forth at length.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Said recitals are included in the as-adopted version of Ord. No. 2016-10, on file in the Town offices.

§ 279-9 Definitions.

All terms utilized in this article not specifically defined herein shall conform to the meanings set forth in the Exemption Law.[1] For ease of reference, the definitions set forth in the Exemption Law as of the date of the adoption of this article are attached hereto as Exhibit B.[2] However, if the definitions set forth in the Exemption Law shall be subsequently amended, then the Exemption Law, and not Exhibit B, shall control.
[1]
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 40A:21-1 et seq.
[2]
Editor's Note: Exhibit B is on file in the Town offices.

§ 279-10 Statement of purpose.

The Town hereby determines to utilize the authority granted under Article VIII, Section I, Paragraph 6 of the New Jersey Constitution to establish the eligibility of certain dwellings, commercial structures and industrial structures for exemptions, as provided in this article and as permitted by the Exemption Law, throughout the Downtown Historic District.

§ 279-11 Exemptions authorized to be implemented by Tax Assessor.

The Town hereby determines to provide for the exemption from taxation of certain improvements and certain new construction occurring within the Downtown Historic District. To the extent that a property owner shall apply to the Town's Tax Assessor (the "Tax Assessor") within the time period prescribed by the New Jersey Department of Treasury in accordance with the Exemption Law, which currently requires submission within 30 calendar days following completion of the improvements or construction for which the exemption is sought, and shall provide documentation to the Tax Assessor, in a form and manner acceptable to the Tax Assessor and consistent with the Exemption Law, of compliance with this section, such property owner shall be entitled to the relevant exemption enumerated herein without any need for action by the Town Council.
A. 
Residential: improvements. The Town hereby determines to provide for the exemption from taxation of certain improvements made to dwellings, on the following terms and conditions:
(1) 
The term "dwelling," for purposes of this Subsection A, shall include condominium residential units but not cooperative type residential properties.
(2) 
The term "dwelling," for purposes of this Subsection A, shall not include "multiple dwellings," as defined by the Exemption Law.
(3) 
Only dwellings that are more than 20 years old shall be eligible for exemption.
(4) 
The term "improvements," for purposes of this subsection, shall mean 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 structure as a place for human habitation, and which does not change its permitted use.
(5) 
To the extent that a dwelling shall comply with the requirements set forth at Subsections A(1) through A(5), above, in determining the value of real property for each dwelling unit, the Town shall regard the first $15,000 in the Tax 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 for a period of five years, notwithstanding the value of the property to which the improvements are made is increased thereby. During the exemption period, the assessment on any property pursuant to this paragraph shall not be less than the assessment thereon existing immediately prior to the improvements, except if there is damage to the dwelling through action of the elements sufficient to warrant a reduction.
B. 
Residential: new construction. The Town hereby determines to provide for an exemption of 30% of the Tax Assessor's full and true value for a period of five years following construction of new dwellings. The term "dwelling," for purposes of this Subsection B, shall include condominium residential units but not cooperative type residential units, and shall not include multiple dwellings. This exemption is to be granted notwithstanding that the value of the property upon which the construction occurs is increased thereby.
C. 
Residential: improvements to multiple dwellings.
(1) 
The Town hereby determines to provide for an exemption of 100% of the Tax Assessor's full and true value for a period of five years following the construction of improvements to multiple dwellings. The term "multiple dwelling" shall have that meaning ascribed to it by the Exemption Law. The definition of "multiple dwelling" set forth in the Exemption Law as of the date of adoption of this article is set forth at Exhibit B, attached hereto.
(2) 
This exemption is to be granted notwithstanding the value of the property upon which the construction occurs is increased thereby. During the exemption period, the assessment on any property pursuant to this Subsection C shall not be less than the assessment thereon existing immediately prior to the improvements, except if there is damage to the multiple dwelling through action of the elements sufficient to warrant a reduction.
D. 
Commercial: improvements. The Town hereby determines to provide for the exemption from taxation of certain improvements made to commercial structures, on the following terms and conditions:
(1) 
For purposes of this article the term "commercial structure" relates to office, retail and like uses, but does not include multiple dwellings.
(2) 
For purposes of this article, the term "commercial structure" shall include a structure which contains both residential units and some other commercial use (for example, retail), provided that the structure is not part of a condominium or cooperative regime and further provided that the structure does not qualify as a multiple dwelling under the Exemption Law.
(3) 
To the extent that improvements to a commercial structure shall comply with the requirements set forth at Subsections D(1) and (2), above, the Town hereby determines to provide for an exemption of 100% of the Tax Assessor's full and true value for a period of five years following the construction of the improvements. This exemption is to be granted notwithstanding that the value of the property upon which the construction of the improvement occurs is increased thereby.
E. 
Industrial: improvements. The Town hereby determines to provide for the exemption from taxation of certain improvements made to industrial structures, on the following terms and conditions:
(1) 
Improvements must be made to both the interior and exterior of a structure in order to qualify for exemption under this section.
(2) 
Only improvements with a cost of less than $1,000,000 shall be eligible for exemption under this section.
(3) 
No less than 25% of the improvement cost shall be attributable to the exterior improvements.
(4) 
To the extent that improvements to an industrial structure shall comply with the requirements set forth at Subsections E(1) through (3), above, the Town hereby determines to provide for an exemption of 100% of the Tax Assessor's full and true value for a period of five years following the construction of the improvements. This exemption is to be granted notwithstanding that the value of the property upon which the construction of the improvement occurs is increased thereby.
(5) 
To the extent that improvements to a commercial structure do not comply with one or more of Subsections E(1) through (3), above, a property owner is not eligible for exemption under this section but may apply to the Town for consideration of the proposed exemption in accordance with § 279-12 hereof.

§ 279-12 Exemptions requiring application to the Town Council.

A. 
Exemptions for which application is required. The Town hereby determines that any property owner seeking exemption from taxation with respect to industrial improvements which do not meet the requirements of § 279-11E(1) through E(3), respectively, shall make application to the Town Council in accordance with this section, within 30 calendar days following completion of the improvements or construction for which the exemption is sought. However, nothing in this article shall prohibit a property owner who has made more than $1,000,000 in industrial improvements which otherwise comply with the applicable requirements of § 279-11 from forgoing exemption of the improvements in excess of $1,000,000 and seeking instead an as of right exemption from the Tax Assessor to the limits permitted by § 279-11 above.
B. 
Contents of application. Applicants for an exemption under this section shall provide the Town Council and the Tax Assessor with the following information:
(1) 
A general description of the project for which exemption is sought, and an estimated schedule of completion for the project;
(2) 
A legal description of all real estate necessary for the project;
(3) 
Plans, drawings and other documents as may be required by the Town Council 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 an exemption on the project, and a description of the benefits to be realized by the Town and the property owner if an exemption is granted;
(6) 
Estimates of the cost of completing the project;
(7) 
A statement showing the real property taxes currently being assessed at the project site; estimated tax payments that would be made annually by the property owner with respect to the project during the period of the exemption, and estimated tax payments that would be made by the property owner with respect to the project during the first full year following the termination of the exemption;
(8) 
A description of any lease agreements between the property owners and proposed users of the project, and a history and description of the users' businesses;
(9) 
A certification by the property owner listing all properties within the Town owned by the property owner or in which the property owner has an interest and all agreements with the Town to which the property owner is a party; and
(10) 
Such other pertinent information as the Town may require.
C. 
Review and recommendation by Tax Assessor. Within 30 days of receipt of the information set forth at § 279-12B, above, the Tax Assessor shall review the information provided and shall provide written recommendations to the Town Council with respect to same.
D. 
Action by Town Council. Within 60 days of receipt of the Tax Assessor's recommendations, the Town Council shall consider the application for exemption, and shall by resolution either disapprove the exemption or approve an exemption of 100% of the value of the improvements for a five-year period following the completion of construction.

§ 279-13 Additional exemptions when property already subject to exemption.

The Town hereby determines that an additional improvement or construction completed on a property already granted a previous exemption pursuant to this article during the period in which the previous exemption is in effect, shall be eligible to qualify for an additional exemption under the standards identified in this article. The additional improvement or construction shall be considered as separate for purposes of calculating the exemption, except 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 value of the property for which any additional exemption is to be subtracted.

§ 279-14 Tax delinquency.

No exemption shall be granted pursuant to this article with respect to any property for which real estate taxes or other municipal charges are delinquent or remain unpaid, or for which penalties and interest for nonpayment of taxes are due.

§ 279-15 Revaluation during exemption period.

In the event the Town implements a revaluation or reassessment during the exemption period for any property, any exemptions granted hereunder shall continue to apply but at a valuation level consistent with the revaluation or reassessment.

§ 279-16 Revision of base assessment during exemption period.

The granting of an exemption for a particular property shall not prejudice the right of the Town to appropriately examine and revise the assessment during the five-year exemption period in the event the base assessment is found to be improperly valued and assessed.

§ 279-17 Effective date; sunset provision.

Upon final passage and publication as provided by law, this article shall take effect on October 1, 2016, and shall authorize the Town to grant exemptions up to a five-year period. This article shall lapse, unless readopted, on September 30, 2021, and no exemptions shall be granted after September 30, 2021, without such readoption.

§ 279-18 Prior actions superseded.

Any and all previous ordinances adopted by the Town relating to the Exemption Law are hereby superseded by this article.