Township of Burlington, NJ
Burlington County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Adopted 8-28-2012 by Ord. No. 12-OR-022]

§ 537-7 Exemption granted; sunset provision.

A. 
The Council, pursuant to Article VIII, Section I, Paragraph 6 of the New Jersey Constitution, declares eligible for exemption from taxation certain commercial and industrial structures determined by resolution as being in need of rehabilitation and for which a tax agreement has been entered into.
B. 
No application for an exemption shall be filed to take initial effect in the 11th full tax year following the adoption of this article, or any tax year occurring thereafter, unless this article is readopted by the Council.

§ 537-8 Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ANNUAL PERIOD
A duration of time comprising 365 days, or 366 days when the included month of February has 29 days, that commences on the date that an exemption for a project becomes effective pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:21-16.
ASSESSOR
The Township's tax assessor.
COMMERCIAL OR INDUSTRIAL STRUCTURE
A structure, or part thereof, used for the manufacturing, processing or assembling of material or manufactured products, or for research, office, industrial, commercial, retail, recreational, hotel or motel facilities, or warehousing purposes, or for any combination thereof, which the Council determines will tend to maintain or provide gainful employment within the Township, assist in the economic development of the Township, maintain or increase the tax base of the Township and maintain or diversify and expand commerce within Township. It shall not include any structure, or part thereof, used or to be used by any business relocated from another qualifying municipality unless:
A. 
The total square footage of the floor area of the structure, or part thereof, used or to be used by the business at the new site, together with the total square footage of the land used or to be used by the business at the new site, exceeds the total square footage of that utilized by the business at its current site or operations by at least 10%; and
B. 
The property that the business is relocating to has been the subject of a remedial action, costing in excess of $250,000, performed pursuant to an administrative consent order entered into pursuant to authority vested in the Commissioner of Environmental Protection under N.J.S.A. 13:1D-1 et seq., the Water Pollution Control Act, N.J.S.A. 58:10A-1 et seq., the Solid Waste Management Act, N.J.S.A. 13:1E-1 et seq., and the Spill Compensation and Control Act, N.J.S.A. 58:10-23.11 et seq.
COMPLETION
Substantially ready for the intended use for which a commercial or industrial building or structure is constructed, improved or converted.
CONSTRUCTION
The provision of a new commercial or industrial structure, or the enlargement of the volume of an existing commercial or industrial structure by more than 30%, but shall not mean the conversion of an existing building or structure to another use.
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 the Tax Exemption Law.[1]
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 for work, and which does not change its permitted use. For a commercial or industrial structure, it shall not include ordinary painting, repairs and replacement of maintenance items or an enlargement of the volume of an existing structure by more than 30%. In no case shall it include the repair of fire or other damage to the 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 the Tax Exemption Law.
PROJECT
The construction, improvement or conversion of a structure in an area in need of rehabilitation that would qualify for an exemption pursuant to the Tax Exemption Law.
[1]
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 54:4-3.3 et seq.

§ 537-9 Authority of Council; limits on exemptions.

A. 
The Township Council is empowered to grant, in its discretion, approval of an application for tax exemption and to enter into a tax agreement for the project.
B. 
In determining the value of real property, the Township Council 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 that the market 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 through action of the elements sufficient to warrant a reduction.

§ 537-10 Unpaid or delinquent taxes.

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

§ 537-11 Applicability.

The exemption of real property taxes herein applies to property taxes levied for municipal purposes, school purposes, county government purposes and for the purposes of funding any other property tax exemptions or abatements.

§ 537-12 Application for exemption.

An applicant for a tax exemption for new construction of commercial or industrial structures shall provide to the Township Clerk the original and 10 copies of the application which shall set forth:
A. 
A general description of a project for which the exemption 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 Township Council 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 the tax exemption on the project and a description of the benefits to be realized by the applicant if a tax agreement is granted.
F. 
Estimates of the cost of completing such project.
G. 
A statement showing the real property taxes currently being assessed at the 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 the proposed users of the project and a history and description of the users' businesses.
I. 
A certification that if granted a tax exemption, unless the Township increases the assessed value of the property as the result of a revaluation or reassessment, the applicant agrees not to file a tax appeal challenging the assessment for the term of the exemption.
J. 
Such other pertinent information as the Township Council may require or which the applicant may wish to submit.

§ 537-13 Formulas for payments under tax agreements.

Upon adoption of an ordinance authorizing a tax agreement for a particular project, the Township Council may enter into a written agreement with the applicant for the exemption of local real property taxes. The agreement shall provide for the applicant to pay to the Township, in lieu of full property tax payments, an amount annually to be computed by one, but in no case a combination, of the following formulas:
A. 
Cost basis: The agreement may provide for the applicant to pay to the Township, in lieu of full property tax payments, an amount equal to 2% of the cost of the project. For the purposes of the agreement, "the cost of the project" means only the cost or fair market value of direct labor and all materials used in the construction, expansion or rehabilitation of all buildings, structures and facilities at the project site, including the costs, if any, of land acquisition and land preparation, provision of access roads, utilities, drainage facilities and parking facilities, together with architectural, engineering, legal, surveying, testing and contractors' fees associated with the project, which the applicant shall cause to be certified and verified to the Township Council by an independent and qualified architect, following the completion of the project.
B. 
Gross revenue basis: The agreement may provide for the applicant to pay to the Township, in lieu of full property tax payments, an amount annually equal to 15% of the annual gross revenues from the project. For the purposes of the agreement, "annual gross revenues" means the total annual gross rental and other income payable to the owner of the project from the project. If in any leasing any real estate taxes or assessments on property included in the project, or any premiums for fire or other insurance on or concerning property included in the project, or any operating or maintenance expenses ordinarily paid by the landlord, are to be paid by the tenant, then those payments shall be computed and deemed to be part of the rent and shall be included in the annual gross revenue. The tax agreement shall establish the method of computing the revenues and may establish a method of arbitration by which either the landlord or tenant may dispute the amount of payments to be included in the annual gross revenue.
C. 
Tax phase-in basis: The agreement may provide for the applicant to pay to the Township, in lieu of full property tax payments, an amount equal to a percentage of taxes otherwise due, according to the following schedule:
(1) 
In the first full year after completion, no payment in lieu of taxes otherwise due.
(2) 
In the second full year after completion, an amount not less than 20% of taxes otherwise due.
(3) 
In the third full year after completion, an amount not less than 40% of the taxes otherwise due.
(4) 
In the fourth full year after completion, an amount not less than 60% of the taxes otherwise due.
(5) 
In the fifth full year after completion, an amount not less than 80% of taxes otherwise due.

§ 537-14 Duration of tax agreements; applicability of other laws; valuation procedure; notification to Department of Community Affairs.

A. 
All tax agreements entered into by the Township shall be in effect for no more than five full years next following the date of completion of the project and shall be subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations on pollution control, worker safety, discrimination in employment, housing provision, zoning, planning and building code requirements.
B. 
That percentage which the payment in lieu of taxes for a property bears to the property tax which would have been paid had an exemption 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 Township for determining equalization for Burlington County tax apportionment and school aid during the term of the tax agreements covering the properties, and at the termination of an agreement for a property the reduced valuation procedure required shall no longer apply.
C. 
Within 30 days after execution of a tax agreement, the Township Clerk shall forward a copy of the agreement to the Director of the Division of Local Government Services in the Department of Communities Affairs.

§ 537-15 Exemption for additional improvements or construction.

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. The additional improvement or construction shall be considered as separate for the purpose of calculating the exemption, 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.

§ 537-16 Conditions for owing full taxes due; termination of agreement.

A. 
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 had been granted. The Township 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. However, with respect to the disposal of the property, where it is determined that the new owner of the property will continue to use the property pursuant to the conditions which qualified the property, no tax shall be due, the exemption shall continue, and the agreement shall remain in effect.
B. 
At the termination of a tax agreement, a project shall be subject to all applicable real property taxes.