Township of Union, NJ
Union County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Union as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Department of Tax Assessment — See Ch. 138.
[Adopted 8-26-2003 by Ord. No. 4799 (Ch. 250, Art. I of the 1986 Code)]

§ 487-1 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[2] (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.
[2]
Editor’s Note: See P.L. 1966, c. 30 § 3(d) (N.J.S.A. 54:32B-3).

§ 487-2 Tax established.

There is hereby established a hotel and motel room occupancy tax in the Township of Union which shall be fixed at a uniform percentage rate of 1% on charges of rent for every occupancy of a hotel or motel room in the Township of Union on or after July 1, 2003, but before July 1, 2004, and 3% on charges of rent for every occupancy of a hotel or motel room in the Township of Union 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).

§ 487-3 Tax additional 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.

§ 487-4 Payment of tax; violations and penalties.

In accordance with the requirements of P.L. 2003, c. 114:
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 the 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. 
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate or fail to comply with any provision of this section shall, if convicted, be subject to a fine of not more than $1,250 or imprisonment for any term not exceeding 90 days or by a period of community service not exceeding 90 days, or any combination of the above.

§ 487-5 Collection.

The tax imposed by this article shall be collected on behalf of the Township of Union 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 Township shall be joined as a party in any action or proceeding brought to collect the tax.
[Adopted 8-23-2011 by Ord. No. 5206[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also provided that a certified copy be forwarded to the Department of Community Affairs of the State of New Jersey.

§ 487-6 Establishment.

[Amended 10-25-2016 by Ord. No. 5401]
There is hereby established a program, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:21-1 et seq., commonly known as the "Five-Year Exemption and Abatement Law," of tax exemptions for construction, conversion and improvement of properties in the Union Township Special Improvement District and the Crossroads Garden Apartment Rehabilitation Area in accordance with the provisions hereof.

§ 487-7 Definitions.

The following words shall have the following meanings consistent with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40A:21-1 et seq.:
ABATEMENT
That portion of the assessed value of a property as it existed prior to construction or improvement of a building or structure thereon, which is exempted from taxation pursuant to this Act. No tax abatements are intended to be permitted herein.
COMMERCIAL STRUCTURE
A structure or part thereof used for office, commercial, retail, recreational, hotel or motel facilities, or for any combination thereof, which the governing body determines will tend to maintain or provide gainful employment within the municipality, assist in the economic development of the municipality, maintain or increase the tax base of the municipality and maintain or diversify and expand commerce within the municipality.
COMPLETION
Substantially ready for the intended use for which a building or structure is constructed or improved.
CONDOMINIUM
A property created or recorded as a condominium pursuant to the New Jersey Condominium Act, P.L. 1969, c.257 (N.J.S.A. 46:8B-1 et seq.).
[Added 10-25-2016 by Ord. No. 5401]
CONSTRUCTION
The provision of a new commercial structure, or the enlargement of the volume of an existing commercial structure by more than 30%, but shall not mean the conversion of an existing building or structure to another use.
CONVERSION
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 above the first floor.
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.
[Added 10-25-2016 by Ord. No. 5401]
CROSSROADS GARDEN APARTMENT REHABILITATION AREA
The property commonly known as "Block 405, Lots 19 and 57" on the Tax Map of the Township of Union that has been designated as an area in need of rehabilitation pursuant to the Local Redevelopment and Housing Law, P.L. 1992, c.79 (N.J.S.A. 40A:12A-1 et seq.).
[Added 10-25-2016 by Ord. No. 5401]
EXEMPTION
That portion of the Assessor's full and true value of any improvement or construction not regarded as increasing the taxable value of a property pursuant to this article and the Five-Year Exemption and Abatement Law, N.J.S.A. 40A:21-1 et seq.
HORIZONTAL PROPERTY REGIME
A property submitted to a horizontal property regime pursuant to the Horizontal Property Act, P.L. 1963, c. 168 (N.J.S.A. 46:8A-1 et seq.).
[Added 10-25-2016 by Ord. No. 5401]
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, the cost of which improvement shall exceed $100,000, and which does not change its permitted use to a use that is not permitted; provided, however, that in the case of an improvement to a multiple dwelling in the Crossroads Garden Apartment Rehabilitation Area, there shall be no minimum investment required in order to be deemed an improvement under this article. 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 and the Five-Year Exemption and Abatement Law, N.J.S.A. 40A:21-1 et seq.
[Added 10-25-2016 by Ord. No. 5401]
MIXED-USE STRUCTURE
A structure with two or more different uses such as, but not limited to, residential and commercial.
MULTIPLE DWELLING
A building or structure meeting the definition of "multiple dwelling" set forth in the Hotel and Multiple Dwelling Law, P.L. 1967, c.76 (N.J.S.A. 55:13A-1 et seq.), which means, for the purpose of improvement or construction, the "general common elements" and "common elements" of a condominium, a cooperative, or a horizontal property regime.
[Added 10-25-2016 by Ord. No. 5401]
SPECIAL IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT
That area established as a Special Improvement District by Chapter 471 of this Code and designated by the Township of Union as an ANR[1] pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:12A-1 et seq., by Ordinance No. 4254, adopted by the Township Committee on June 22, 1993.
[1]
Editor's Note: The abbreviation "ANR" means an "area in need of rehabilitation," according to the preamble of Ord. No. 5206.

§ 487-8 New construction.

A. 
Applicants for tax exemption for construction (as defined in § 487-7, the definition of "construction") of commercial structures, or dwellings or multiple dwellings in mixed-use structures, shall enter into a tax agreement pursuant to § 487-11 and shall provide the Tax Assessor and the Township Committee with an application on a project basis pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:21-1 et seq., setting forth:
(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 types 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) 
Estimates of the cost of completing such project;
(7) 
A statement showing:
(a) 
The real property taxes currently being assessed at the project site;
(b) 
Estimated tax payments that would be made annually by the applicant on the project during the period of the agreement; and
(c) 
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;
(8) 
A description of any lease agreements between the applicant and proposed users of the project, and a history and description of the user's business; and
(9) 
Such other pertinent information as the Township Committee may require.
(10) 
Any other information required by N.J.S.A. 40A:21-9.
B. 
Copies of the application and accompanying information shall simultaneously be filed with the Tax Assessor, Township Clerk, Township Administrator, Planning Board and Department of Economic Development.

§ 487-9 Improvements and conversions.

A. 
All conversions or improvements, as defined in § 487-7, of commercial structures, dwellings or multiple dwellings in mixed-use structures or multiple dwellings in the Crossroads Garden Apartment Rehabilitation Area shall be eligible for exemption (but not abatement) from local real property taxes, in accordance with N.J.S.A. 40A:21-1 et seq., for a period of five years if approved by the Tax Assessor after proper application has been made pursuant to such statutes. Application shall be made upon the forms prescribed by the Director of the Division of Taxation in the Department of the Treasury and shall be in compliance with any and all regulations adopted by the Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs.
[Amended 10-25-2016 by Ord. No. 5401]
B. 
Applicants shall be encouraged to apply for tax exemption on improvements and conversions prior to the commencement of construction of the improvement or construction, provided that the applicant must file a proper application with the Tax Assessor within 30 days, including Saturdays and Sundays, following the completion of the improvement in order to be eligible for tax exemption thereon. The Tax Assessor will simultaneously file copies of the application with the Township Clerk, Township Administrator, Planning Board and Department of Economic Development.
C. 
Every properly completed application for exemption of one or more improvements or conversions, which is filed within 30 days including Saturdays and Sundays of the completion of the improvement, 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 or conversion for which the application is made qualifies as an improvement or a conversion pursuant to the provisions of the Five-Year Exemption and Abatement Law, L. 1991, c. 441 (N.J.S.A. 40A:21-1 et seq.), and this article. The granting of an exemption shall be recorded and made a permanent part of the official tax records of the Township, which records shall contain a notice of determination date thereof.
D. 
In determining the value of real property in which there are one or two residential units and for which exemption is granted, the Township 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 improvements, unless there is damage to the dwelling through action of the elements sufficient to warrant a reduction. The determination of value for all other improvements, conversions or construction for real property in which there are more than two residential units or for commercial structures shall be as provided in § 487-10.
[Amended 10-25-2016 by Ord. No. 5401]

§ 487-10 Determination of value.

In determining the value of property, the Township shall regard up to the Assessor's full and true value of the improvements, conversion or construction, as defined herein, 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 this 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. The granting of an exemption shall relate back to, and take effect as of, the date of completion of the project, or portion or stage of the project for which the exemption is granted, and shall continue for five annual periods from that date. The grant of the exemption or 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.

§ 487-11 Tax agreements for construction.

A. 
The Township Committee may, for a particular project, enter into a written agreement with the applicant for the exemption of increases in local real property taxes which would be attributable to new construction as defined in § 487-7, the definition of "construction." 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 the following formula:
(1) 
Tax phase-in basis: The agreement shall provide for the applicant to pay to the municipality in addition to the property taxes which would be otherwise due based on the property tax assessment prior to construction an amount in lieu of full property tax payments equal to a percentage of increased taxes otherwise due based on the construction, according to the following schedule:
(a) 
In the first full year after completion; no payment in lieu of taxes otherwise due;
(b) 
In the second tax year, 20% of taxes otherwise due;
(c) 
In the third tax year, 40% of taxes otherwise due;
(d) 
In the fourth tax year, 60% of taxes otherwise due; and
(e) 
In the fifth tax year, 80% of taxes otherwise due.
B. 
The exemption and payment in lieu of taxes shall not apply to that portion of the assessed value of a property as it existed prior to construction or improvement of a building or structure thereon. The assessment on such portion shall remain unaffected and taxes on such portion shall remain unaffected. The property shall be so treated for the year beginning as of the date of completion of the construction and for each of the four tax years subsequent to the original determination by the Assessor and shall be prorated for the final tax year in which the exemption expires.
C. 
Within 30 days after the execution of any tax agreement, the Municipal Clerk shall forward a copy of same to the Director of the Division of Local Government Services in the Department of Community Affairs.

§ 487-12 Eligibility for additional construction or improvement.

An additional improvement or construction, completed on a property granted a previous exemption during the period in which such previous exemption is in effect, shall be qualified for an exemption, just as if such property had not received a previous exemption. In such case, the additional improvement or construction shall be considered as separate for the purposes of calculating exemptions, 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 exemption is to be subtracted.

§ 487-13 Determination of tax due.

The Assessor shall determine, on October 1 of the year following the date of the completion of an improvement, conversion or construction, the true taxable value thereof. Except for projects subject to tax agreement, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:21-9 to 40A:21-12 and this article, the amount of tax to be paid for the tax year in which the project is completed shall be based on the assessed valuation of the property for the current tax year, prorated, plus any portion of the assessed valuation of the improvement, conversion or construction not allowed an exemption pursuant to this article and N.J.S.A. 40A:21-1 et seq., also prorated. The property shall continue to be treated in the appropriate manner for each of the four tax years subsequent to the original determination by the Assessor and shall be prorated for the final tax year in which the exemption expires.

§ 487-14 Taxes upon termination.

At the termination of a tax exemption agreement, a project shall be subject to all applicable real property taxes as provided by state law and local ordinance.

§ 487-15 Payment of fees.

No application for tax exemption shall be accepted by the municipality unless accompanied by full payment of the required application fee. Such fees shall be 1% of the estimated total project cost. These fees shall be received as compensation for the legal review and related work of the municipality's departments and agencies.

§ 487-16 Cessation or disposition of property.

If during any tax year prior to the termination of the tax 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. Where, however, with respect to sale or other disposal of the property 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 exemption agreement, the exemption shall continue pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:21-12.

§ 487-17 Disqualification from exemption for nonpayment of taxes.

No exemption shall be granted, or tax agreement entered into, pursuant to this article or the statute authorizing this article, with respect to any property for which property taxes are delinquent or remain unpaid, or for which penalties for nonpayment of taxes are due.

§ 487-18 Duration.

All tax agreements entered into by the Township of Union pursuant to this article shall be in effect for no more than five full tax years next following the date of completion of the project.

§ 487-19 Conflict with other provisions.

Nothing contained in this article shall be construed to alter or amend any land use or development regulation of the Township of Union or to exempt any applicant from any provision of federal, state or local laws not expressly set forth herein.

§ 487-20 Applicability of statutory regulatory provisions.

Every application for exemption and every exemption 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.