Township of Maple Shade, NJ
Burlington County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Maple Shade as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Hotel and motel room occupancy tax — See Ch. 89.
[Adopted 8-23-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-11]
A. 
The Township hereby determines to utilize the authority granted under Article VIII, Section I, Paragraph 6, of the New Jersey Constitution to establish the eligibility of commercial and industrial structures for five-year tax exemptions and abatements as authorized by N.J.S.A. 40A:21-1 et seq., but only to the extent set forth herein.
B. 
This article authorizes the Township of Maple Shade to grant exemptions up to a five-year period to commence and take effect in the 2012 tax year and thereafter. This article shall lapse, unless readopted, in the 2021 tax year and no exemptions shall be granted after December 31, 2021 tax year without such readoption.
A. 
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.
B. 
The following words, terms, phrases, when used in this article shall have the meaning ascribed to them in this subsection, consistent with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40A:21-3, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
EXEMPTION
That portion of the Assessor's full and true value of any improvement, conversion alteration, or construction not regarded as increasing the taxable value of a property pursuant to the Act.[1]
QUALIFYING COMMERCIAL OR INDUSTRIAL STRUCTURE
Shall refer to:
(1) 
A structure or parts 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 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. It shall not include any structure or part thereof used or to be used by any business relocated from another qualifying municipality unless: 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 of operations by at least 10%; and the property that the business is relocating to has been the subject of a remedial action plan 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 P.L. 1970, c.33 (N.J.S.A. 13:1D-1 et al.), the "Water Pollution Control Act," P.L.1977, c.74 (N.J.S.A. 58:10A-1 et seq.), the "Solid Waste Management Act," P.L.1970, c.39 (N.J.S.A. 13:1E-1 et seq.), and the "Spill Compensation and Control Act," P.L. 1976, c.141 (N.J.S.A. 58:10-23.11 et seq.).
(2) 
The term "commercial structure" relates to office, retail and like uses, but does not include multiple-dwelling-type (three or more rental units) structures. In the event a structure includes a mix of commercial and multiple-dwelling uses, the exemption shall only apply to that component of the structure relating to commercial, as opposed to multiple-dwelling use.
[1]
Editor's Note: According to the preamble of Ord. No. 2012-11, "the Act" refers to the Five-Year Exemption and Abatement Law, N.J.S.A. 40A:21-1 et seq.
A. 
For properties located in designated areas of rehabilitation or redevelopment, tax exemptions are available for the Assessor's full and true value of "improvements" to existing qualifying commercial and industrial structures as may be granted by the governing body on an individual basis, after review, evaluation and approval of each application by resolution. The application procedure for seeking such an exemption shall be consistent with the procedures outlined in § 181-4. However, the granting of an exemption under this section shall not require the adoption of an ordinance nor a written tax agreement. An "improvement" is defined under N.J.S.A. 40A:21-3n, which definition is fully incorporated herein, and includes the renovation, rehabilitation, repair, and alteration of an existing building that improves the safety and attractiveness of the building but does not include ordinary painting, repairs, and replacement of maintenance items nor the enlargement of the volume of an existing structure by more than 30%.
B. 
For properties located in designated areas of rehabilitation or redevelopment, tax exemptions are available for the construction of commercial and industrial structures pursuant to the procedures set forth in the Act and in this article. The term "construction" is defined under N.J.S.A. 40A:21-3g, which definition is fully incorporated herein, and includes the construction of a new commercial or industrial building or the enlargement of an existing commercial or industrial building by more than 30%, but shall not mean the conversion of an existing building or structure to another use.
A. 
Applicants for tax exemption and abatement shall submit an application, approved by the Director of the Division of Taxation in the Department of Treasury and currently on file with the Township, to the Tax Assessor specifying the following:
(1) 
A general description of a project for which exemption and abatement 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 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 (if applicable);
(5) 
A statement of the reasons for seeking tax exemption and abatement 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 agreement between the applicant and proposed users of the project, and a history and description of the applicant's businesses;
(9) 
Such other pertinent information as the Township of Maple Shade may require.
B. 
Separate applications shall be filed for each building involved in a phased project.
C. 
A preliminary application is required to be filed with the Township Tax Assessor prior to the issuance of a construction permit for the project. The final application shall be filed with the Township Clerk and Tax Assessor no later than 30 days, including Saturdays and Sundays, following the completion of the improvement or construction. "Completion" means that the subject improvement is substantially ready for the intended use for which it is constructed. Such completion may be evidenced by the issuance of a certificate of occupancy or like document by the Township's building inspectors.
D. 
The Township Council shall have full discretion to accept, deny or revise the application and shall not be subject to any time limitations to make a determination.
E. 
No exemption shall be granted or tax agreement entered into pursuant to this article for any property for which property taxes are delinquent or remain unpaid, or for which penalties for nonpayment of taxes are due.
A. 
If the Township Council grants the exemption for the project, the Council shall adopt an ordinance authorizing a tax agreement for the particular project. The Council shall enter into a written agreement with an applicant for the exemption of local property taxes. The agreement shall provide for the applicant to pay the municipality in lieu of full property taxes an annual amount to be computed in accordance with N.J.S.A. 40A:21-10 utilizing one of the following: a) the cost basis; b) the gross revenue basis; or c) the tax phase-in basis, as set forth therein.
B. 
All tax agreements entered into shall be in effect for no more than the five full years next following the date of completion of the project.
C. 
All projects subject to tax agreement as provided herein 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.
D. 
The Clerk of the Township of Maple Shade is authorized to forward a copy of all executed agreements entered into pursuant to this article to the Director of the Division of Local Government Services in the Department of Community Affairs within 30 days of the date of execution.
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.
In the event a property owner subject to a tax agreement ceases to operate or disposes of the property or fails to meet the conditions for qualifying for the exemption, the local property taxes due for all the prior years subject to exemption and for the current year shall be payable as if no exemption had been granted. The Township Tax Collector shall notify the property owner within 15 days of the date of disqualification of the amount of taxes due. In the event the subject property has been transferred to a new owner and it is determined that the new owner will continue to use the property pursuant to the qualifying conditions, and no tax or payment in lieu of tax shall be delinquent, the exemption shall continue and the agreement shall remain in effect.
A. 
No exemption or abatement 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 or for which other municipal charges are due.
B. 
All tax agreements entered into pursuant to this article shall be subject to the condition that all taxes and other municipal charges shall be kept current to the extent the same are assessed. In the event that taxes and charges go unpaid for more than six months beyond the date upon which such amounts become due, then the agreement shall terminate and the property restored to full assessment. This condition shall be binding and effective, notwithstanding the absence of any reference to the same in the tax agreement.
A. 
An applicant for tax exemption under this article shall agree, as a condition to receiving the exemption, not to file a tax appeal challenging the assessment granted under this article.
B. 
In the event that the Township implements a revaluation or reassessment during the exemption period for any property, the exemption shall continue to apply but at a valuation level consistent with the revaluation or reassessment.
C. 
The granting of an exemption for a particular property shall not prejudice the right of the Township 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.
At the termination of an agreement for tax exemption or abatement authorized pursuant to this article, the project shall be subject to all applicable real property taxes, as provided by state and local law and regulations, provided that nothing herein shall be deemed to prohibit the project or improvement at the termination of the agreement for tax abatement from qualifying and receiving the full benefits of any other tax preference as provided by law.
An additional improvement, conversion 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 qualify for an additional exemption under the standards identified in this article. The additional improvement, conversion or construction shall be considered as separate for purposes of calculating the exemption, except that the assessed value of any previous improvement, conversion or construction shall be added to the assessed valuation as it was prior to that improvement, conversion or construction for the purpose of determining the assessed value of the property for which any additional exemption is to be subtracted.
A. 
The following fees are to be paid at the time that an application is submitted for tax exemption and/or exemption and abatement.
B. 
The following fees are based on the estimated cost of the improvement:
Estimated Cost
Fee
0 to $50,000
1%
$50,001 to $150,000
1.2%
$150,001 to $300,000
1.4%
$300,001 to $500,000
1.6%
$500,001 and above
1.8%
C. 
Provided, however, that the maximum fee shall not exceed $10,000 on a single tax exemption or tax exemption and abatement application.
[Added 10-24-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-15]
[Adopted 5-22-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-07]
This article sets forth the procedures to be followed by the Township in the review and consideration of applications for tax exemptions of real property taxes pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:20-1 et seq. and the administration of financial agreements authorized by the Council.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ACT
The Long Term Tax Exemption Law, N.J.S.A. 40A:20-1 et seq.
AGREEMENT or FINANCIAL AGREEMENT
A contract entered into between the Township and a qualified entity pursuant to the Act.
APPLICATION
An application for a long-term tax exemption submitted to the Township containing the information and data required to be submitted pursuant to § 18-15A hereof.
COMPLETION
Substantially ready for the intended use for which the building or structure is constructed, as evidenced by a temporary certificate of occupancy or a permanent certificate of occupancy, whichever is issued first.
DAYS
Calendar days.
ENTITY
A limited-dividend entity satisfying the qualifications set forth in N.J.S.A. 40A:20-5, a nonprofit entity satisfying the qualifications of N.J.S.A. 40A:20-5.1, or the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, which seeks to enter into a financial agreement with the Township pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:20-1 et seq. to undertake a project pursuant to an adopted redevelopment plan for the redevelopment of all or any part of a redevelopment area; or a project necessary, useful or convenient for the relocation of residents displaced or to be displaced by the redevelopment of all or any part of one or more redevelopment areas; or a low- and moderate-income housing project.
PROJECT
Any work or undertaking pursuant to a redevelopment plan adopted pursuant to the Local Redevelopment and Housing Law, N.J.S.A. 40A:12A-1 et seq., which has as its purpose the redevelopment of all or any part of a redevelopment area, including any industrial, commercial, residential or other use, and may include any buildings, land, including demolition, clearance or removal of buildings from land, equipment, facilities, or other real or personal properties which are necessary, convenient, or desirable appurtenances, such as, but not limited to, streets, sewers, utilities, parks, site preparation, landscaping, and administrative, community, health, recreational, educational and welfare facilities.
A. 
Form of application. All applications shall be submitted by an entity utilizing the application form on file with the office of the Township Clerk and adopted by the Council, which application may be amended from time to time. The application shall include but not be limited to:
(1) 
A general statement of the nature of the proposed project, that the undertaking conforms to all applicable municipal ordinances, and that the project accords with the Redevelopment Plan and Master Plan of the Township, or, in the case of a redevelopment relocation housing project, provides for the relocation of residents displaced or to be displaced from a redevelopment area, or, in the case of a low- and moderate-income housing project, the housing units are restricted to occupation by low- and moderate-income households.
(2) 
A description of the proposed project outlining the area included and a description of each unit thereof if the project is to be undertaken in units and setting forth architectural and site plans as required.
(3) 
A statement prepared by a qualified architect or engineer of the estimated cost of the proposed project in sufficient detail as required by the Township, including the estimated cost of each unit to be undertaken.
(4) 
The source, method and amount of money to be subscribed through the investment of private capital, setting forth the amount of stock or other securities to be issued therefor or the extent of capital invested and the proprietary or ownership interest obtained in consideration therefor.
(5) 
A fiscal plan for the project outlining a schedule of annual gross revenue, the estimated expenditures for operation and maintenance, payments for interest, amortization of debt and reserves, and payments to the Township to be made pursuant to a financial agreement to be entered into with the Township.
(6) 
A proposed financial agreement conforming to the provisions of Subsection B herein.
(7) 
Schedule of the construction of the project.
(8) 
An estimate by the entity as to the number and type of jobs to be created by the project during the period of construction and the number and type of permanent jobs to be created by the project within one year after the completion date.
B. 
Form of financial agreement. The proposed agreement shall be prepared by the applicant and submitted as a separate part of the application. The agreement shall be in the form of a contract requiring full performance within 30 years from the date of completion of the project and shall include the following:
(1) 
Profits of or dividends payable by the entity shall be limited according to terms appropriate for the type of entity in conformance with the provisions of the Act.
(2) 
All improvements and land, to the extent authorized pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:20-12, in the project to be constructed or acquired by the entity shall be exempt from taxation in accordance with the Act and this chapter.
(3) 
The entity shall make payments for Township services in accordance with the requirements of the Act.
(4) 
The entity shall submit annually, within 90 days after the close of its fiscal year, its auditor's reports to the Mayor and Council and to the Director of the Division of Local Government Services in the Department of Community Affairs.
(5) 
The entity shall, upon request, permit inspection of property, equipment, buildings and other facilities of the entity, and also permit examination and audit of its books, contracts, records, documents and papers by authorized representatives of the Township or the state.
(6) 
In the event of any dispute between the parties, matters in controversy shall be resolved by arbitration in the manner provided in the agreement.
(7) 
The agreement shall be terminable by the entity in the manner set forth within the Act.
(8) 
The entity shall at all times prior to the expiration or termination of the agreement remain bound by the provisions of the Act and executed agreement.
(9) 
The agreement shall contain detailed representation and covenants as to the manner in which the entity proposes to use, manage or operate the project.
(10) 
The agreement shall set forth the method for:
(a) 
Computing gross revenue for the entity;
(b) 
The method of determining insurance;
(c) 
Operating and maintenance expenses paid by a tenant which are ordinarily paid by a landlord;
(d) 
The plans for financing the project, including the estimated total project cost, the amortization rate on the total project cost, the source of funds, the interest rates to be paid on the construction financing, the source and amount of paid-in capital;
(e) 
The terms of mortgage amortization or payment of principal on any mortgage;
(f) 
A good-faith projection of initial sales prices of any condominium units and expenses to be incurred in promoting and consummating such sales; and
(g) 
The rental schedules and lease terms to be used in the project.
(11) 
The agreement shall set forth the appropriate annual service charge schedule to be followed for the payment in lieu of taxes in accordance with N.J.S.A. 40A:20-12.
(12) 
The agreement shall include a provision for the Township's levy of an annual administrative fee equal to 2% of the annual service charge pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:20-12b.
(13) 
The agreement shall require the timely submission of a certified audit of the total project cost and a certified audit of the fiscal operations of the project and shall require timely payment of all municipal taxes, fees and charges arising out of the agreement or in any way arising out of the property. The financial agreement shall provide that the failure to comply with the requirement to submit certified audits, make payment of municipal taxes, fees and charges, or failure to comply with any material condition of the agreement shall be grounds for the Township to terminate the agreement, and/or to exercise such other remedies as may be provided by statute, municipal ordinance or the financial agreement.
C. 
Discretionary terms of financial agreement. The Township may, in its discretion, approve a financial agreement that contains terms related to the following:
(1) 
Transfer to another entity: a provision that the Township will consent to the sale of the project by the entity to another urban renewal entity, its successors or assigns, owning no other project at the time of the transfer and that, upon assumption by the transferee urban renewal entity of the transferor's obligations under the financial agreement, the tax exemption and improvements thereto and, to the extent authorized by N.J.S.A. 40A:20-12, the land shall continue and inure to the transferee entity, its respective successors and assigns.
(2) 
Purchasing entity net profits. The purchasing entity's net profits, if any, shall be computed commencing with the date of acquisition of the project.
(3) 
Selling entity. The date of transfer of title of the project to the purchasing entity shall be considered to be the close of the fiscal year of the selling entity.
(4) 
Payment of reserve. Within 90 days after the date of the transfer of title, the selling entity shall pay the Township the amount of the reserve, if any, maintained pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:20-15 and N.J.S.A. 40A:20-16.
(5) 
Administrative fee. The Township shall levy an administrative fee in the amount of 2% of the annual service charge for the processing of any request to sell the project and continue the tax exemption pursuant to the terms of the agreement upon transfer.
D. 
Application fee. The following fees are to be paid at the time that an application is submitted for consideration by the Township based on the estimated cost of the improvements as follows; provided, however, that the maximum fee shall not exceed $10,000 for a single application:
Estimated Cost
Fee
$0 to $50,000
1%
$50,001 to $150,000
1.2%
$150,001 to $300,000
1.4%
$300,001 to $500,000
1.6%
$500,001 and above
1.8%
E. 
All applicants shall submit one original and 10 copies of an application for exemption to the Township Manager in person or by certified mail at:
Township of Maple Shade
Municipal Building
200 Stiles Avenue
Maple Shade Township, NJ 08052
F. 
Distribution of application. Within five days of receipt of an application, the Township Manager shall simultaneously distribute one copy of the application to each of the following for their review and recommendations to the Township Manager:
(1) 
Director of Community Development.
(2) 
Chief Financial Officer.
(3) 
Township Solicitor.
G. 
Scope of review.
(1) 
Community Development review.
(a) 
Upon receipt of an application, the Director of Community Development shall conduct a complete review of the project. Such review shall take into consideration the suitability, propriety, and accuracy of the property, description(s), plan(s) and estimate(s) submitted, the degree to which the project complies with the Township's development goals as expressed in the Township's Master Plan, zoning ordinances, and redevelopment plans and the degree of economic necessity of the tax abatement for the project.
(b) 
Based upon the review, the Director of Community Development shall submit a recommendation to approve or disapprove the application to the Township Manager within 20 days of receipt of the application. Such recommendation shall include any changes to the application that may be deemed necessary by the Director of Community Development, as well as a detailed explanation as to the analysis conducted to arrive at such recommendation.
(2) 
Financial review.
(a) 
Upon receipt of an application, the Chief Financial Officer shall conduct a financial review of the application, including a cost and benefit analysis of the proposed project. In addition, the Chief Financial Officer shall obtain written certifications of the information contained within the application. Those certifications shall include the following:
[1] 
Certification of the Tax Assessor as to:
[a] 
The taxes levied on the real property included within the project in both the year in which the application was filed and the immediately preceding year.
[b] 
The current status of payments due for real estate taxes, service charges and/or municipal liens of any type arising from the property included within the project or from any other property owned by the entity.
[c] 
The current status of payments due for any financial agreement then in force and effect to which the entity is a party.
[d] 
The status of payments due for water and sewer services provided to the real property included within the project or other real property within the Township in which the entity has an interest.
[e] 
The precise identity of all real property included within the project, including the metes and bounds description, all tax block and lot designations and corresponding street addresses, as well as a survey or plotting of the property on the Official Tax Map.
[f] 
The owner of record as recorded in the office for each tax lot included within the project.
[g] 
The tax assessment for land and improvements then in effect for each tax lot included within the project.
[h] 
The total amount assessed on all real property included within the project in the calendar year immediately preceding its acquisition by the Township, the Township's agent, the entity or the entity's agent.
[i] 
The taxes levied on the real property included within the project in both the year in which the application was filed and the immediately preceding year.
(b) 
Based upon the review, the Chief Financial Officer shall submit a recommendation to approve or disapprove the application to the Township Manager within 20 days of receipt of the application. Such recommendation shall include any changes to the application that may be deemed necessary by the Chief Financial Officer, as well as a detailed explanation as to the analysis conducted to arrive at such recommendation.
(3) 
Legal review.
(a) 
Upon receipt of an application, the Township Solicitor shall conduct a review as to the form and legality of the application. In addition, the Township Solicitor shall obtain written certifications from Township officials as necessary to substantiate the information contained in the application. The Township Solicitor shall:
[1] 
Review any financial agreements then in force and effect to determine the extent to which each party to the application is a party to any other agreements with the Township and whether they are current on their obligations in those agreements.
[2] 
Make a determination as to the propriety of the application. Applications shall be deemed proper in those cases where they are presented in the proper form, satisfy the requirements of this chapter and all other applicable statutes and ordinances and for which no delinquency has been found with respect to any payments due to the Township.
[3] 
Where an application is deemed proper, the Township Solicitor shall prepare an ordinance in the form necessary to authorize the exemption and shall prepare the form of the financial agreement. All financial agreements shall be in the form filed with the Township Clerk. The authorizing ordinance shall be signed by the Township Solicitor as to form and legality and submitted, together with the financial agreement, to the Township Manager.
[4] 
Where an application is deemed improper or deficient, the Township Solicitor shall prepare a correspondence outlining those aspects of the application that are deficient and shall forward the correspondence to the Township Manager for consideration.
[5] 
The Township Solicitor shall submit a recommendation to approve or disapprove the application to the Township Manager within 20 days of receipt of the application.
(b) 
Failure of the Township Solicitor to submit his or her recommendation to the Township Manager within the set time frame shall relieve the Township Manager of his or her obligation to consider the Township Solicitor's recommendation.
(4) 
Township Manager. Upon receipt of the recommendations of the Director of Community Development, the Chief Financial Officer, and Township Solicitor, the Township Manager shall submit three copies of the application to the Township Council with a recommendation to approve the application or a recommendation to reject the application. The recommendation whether to approve or reject the application shall occur within 60 days after receipt of the application by the Township Manager.
H. 
Township Council consideration. Upon receipt of an application submitted by the applicant, as well as the Township Manager's recommendation, the Council shall place the application on its agenda for consideration. Upon review, the Council shall adopt a resolution either approving the application or disapproving the application. In the event of a disapproval, the Council may suggest changes to the application in order secure an approval.
(1) 
Where an application is disapproved by the Council, the applicant may revise the application and resubmit it to Mayor and Council for its consideration in accordance with this § 18-15. Where an application is resubmitted within a two-year period from the date the disapproving resolution of the Council was adopted, the application fee shall be waived.
A. 
Council findings. Any agreement approved by the Council must include determinations as to:
(1) 
The relative benefits of the project to the redevelopment of the redevelopment area when compared to the costs, if any, associated with the tax exemption; and
(2) 
An assessment of the importance of the tax exemption to be granted in obtaining the development of the project and influencing the locational decisions of probable occupants of the project or units of the project.
B. 
Approval of financial agreement. The terms the tax exemption and form of a financial agreement shall be approved by ordinance of the Council, and notice of adoption of the ordinance shall be published in accordance with N.J.S.A. 40:49-2 and N.J.S.A. 40A:20-12.
C. 
Execution of financial agreement. Upon adoption of an ordinance by the Township Council authorizing the exemption and financial agreement, it shall be the responsibility of the Township Clerk to insure that the financial agreement is fully executed. No financial agreement shall be considered to be in force and effect unless and until it has been signed by the entity and the Township Manager and dated and certified by the Township Clerk by signature and affixing the Township Seal.
D. 
Township Clerk certification. When housing is to be constructed, acquired or rehabilitated by an entity, the land upon which the housing is situated shall be exempt from taxation for a period of time as set forth within the agreement. The exemption shall be allowed following the Township Clerk's certification to the Township Tax Assessor that the agreement has been entered into and is in effect. The delivery of a certified copy of the Council's ordinance approving the tax exemption and financial agreement, along with a copy of the financial agreement by the Township Clerk, to the Township Tax Assessor shall constitute the required certification.
E. 
Transmittal to Director of Division of Local Government Services. The Township Clerk shall transmit a certified copy of the Council's ordinance approving the tax exemption and financial agreement with the entity, along with a copy of the agreement itself, to the Director of the Division of Local Services.
A. 
The financial agreement shall establish a schedule of annual service charges to be paid over the term of the exemption period, which shall be in stages as follows:
(1) 
For the first stage of the exemption period, which shall commence with the date of completion of the unit or of the project, as the case may be, and continue for a time of not less than six years nor more than 15 years, as specified in the financial agreement, the urban renewal entity shall pay the Township an annual service charge for municipal services;
(2) 
For the second stage of the exemption period, which shall not be less than one year nor more than six years, as specified in the financial agreement, an amount equal to either the amount determined pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:20-11 or 20% of the amount of taxes otherwise due on the value of the land and improvements, whichever shall be greater;
(3) 
For the third stage of the exemption period, which shall not be less than one year nor more than six years, as specified in the financial agreement, an amount equal to either the amount determined pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:20-11 or 40% of the amount of taxes otherwise due on the value of the land and improvements, whichever shall be greater;
(4) 
For the fourth stage of the exemption period, which shall not be less than one year nor more than six years, as specified in the financial agreement, an amount equal to either the amount determined pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:20-11 or 60% of the amount of taxes otherwise due on the value of the land and improvements, whichever shall be greater; and
(5) 
For the final stage of the exemption period, the duration of which shall not be less than one year and shall be specified in the financial agreement, an amount equal to either the amount determined pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:20-11 or 80% of the amount of taxes otherwise due on the value of the land and improvements, whichever shall be greater.
B. 
If the financial agreement provides for an exemption period of less than 30 years from the completion of the entire project, or less than 35 years from the execution of the financial agreement, the financial agreement shall set forth a schedule of annual service charges for the exemption period which shall be based upon the minimum service charges and staged adjustments set forth in this section.
C. 
Notwithstanding the above, the minimum service charge shall not be less than the amount of the total taxes levied against all real property of the project area in the last full tax year in which the area was subject to taxation.
D. 
The annual service charge shall be paid to the Township on a quarterly basis in a manner consistent with the Township's tax collection schedule.
E. 
The entity shall be entitled to credit for the amount, without interest, of the real estate taxes on land paid by it in the last four proceeding installments against the annual service charge.
F. 
All exemptions granted shall terminate at the time prescribed in the financial agreement.
During the period of construction of a project, the Tax Assessor and Construction Code Official shall each be responsible for oversight of the project and the agreement as follows:
A. 
Permits and inspections. Upon receipt of an executed financial agreement, the Construction Code Official shall cause permits to be issued upon the application of the entity and shall cause inspections of all work activity to be conducted in the manner provided by applicable Township ordinances. The Construction Code Official shall notify the Tax Assessor of any failure by the entity to properly apply for permits to begin or complete construction within the time frame set forth in the financial agreement. When permits are issued, the Construction Code Official shall be responsible for notifying the Tax Assessor of such issuance.
B. 
Quarterly report to Assessor. From the date of the execution of a financial agreement until the issuance of a permanent certificate of occupancy for the project, the Construction Code Official shall report to the Tax Assessor each quarter as to the status of the permit and construction activity on the project. Upon the total or partial completion of construction, the Construction Code Official shall issue a certificate of occupancy in the appropriate form and shall be responsible for filing a copy of every certificate with the Tax Assessor.
C. 
Assessments and taxes.
(1) 
When a permanent or temporary certificate of occupancy is issued for a project granted a tax exemption pursuant to the Act, the Tax Assessor shall reflect the improvements and land thereof, as authorized, on the exempt property list or as otherwise required by state statute. Further, the Tax Assessor shall exempt the assessment of all improvements covered by the financial agreement during the period the exemption remains in effect. Assessments for land shall remain taxable throughout the term of the exemption, except as otherwise provided.
(2) 
At any time that the Tax Assessor causes the assessment on the improvements or land of a project to be removed, in whole or in part, from taxable to exempt status, he or she shall so notify the Tax Collector in writing so as to insure the commencement and payment of annual service charges, pursuant to the terms of the financial agreement.
D. 
Collection and audit. Upon receipt of an executed financial agreement, the Tax Assessor shall note within his or her book of accounts a record of the execution of the agreement and the dates provided for commencement and completion of construction. The Tax Collector shall thereafter continue to levy taxes and collect payment thereof on the property until the occurrence of the following:
(1) 
In the event that a certificate of occupancy is issued for the project, the Tax Collector shall immediately cease to levy or collect taxes on the portion of the assessed value covered by the certificate of occupancy and shall instead commence billing the entity the estimated annual service charge (in lieu of taxes) as required by the financial agreement. Where the financial agreement is authorized pursuant to the Act, taxes on the value of the land shall continue to be levied and collected according to the laws of New Jersey.
E. 
Certified project costs. When a certificate of occupancy for a project is issued, in addition to the steps outlined above, the entity shall submit to the Chief Financial Officer, the Tax Collector and the Tax Assessor a copy of a certified total project cost audit prepared by a certified public accountant, along with an independent and qualified architect's certification required by the Act, within 90 days from the date of issuance of the certificate of occupancy.
(1) 
The Tax Assessor shall review the certified total project cost audit and the architect's certification and make a determination as to the acceptability of the audit. If the audit is deemed unacceptable it may be performed by the Township's designated auditor and the cost thereof shall be borne by the entity. The Tax Assessor shall be responsible for billing the entity for the cost of the audit. Once the audit is accepted, if its findings cause any change in the basis to be used in the determination of the annual service charge, net profit or excess profits, the Tax Assessor shall bill the entity for any adjustment. The Tax Assessor shall also maintain a copy of an approved certified total project cost audit in its permanent files.
(2) 
Upon adoption of an ordinance authorizing an amendment to the financial agreement, as result of the certified total project costs, the Tax Assessor shall bill the entity for the cost of the audit services and for any additional service charges resulting from an adjustment of the estimated service charges, and thereafter the annual service charges or excess profits, if owed, shall be billed to the entity. The Township Clerk shall be responsible for distributing and filing executed copies of the financial agreement, as amended, in the same manner as set forth for in the financial agreement.
F. 
Breach of material terms. In the event that the entity fails to commence or complete construction of the project within the time required by the agreement, or fails to make payment of annual service charges (in lieu of taxes) as required by the agreement, or otherwise fails to satisfy a material condition of the agreement, the Tax Assessor shall notify the Township Solicitor of the default by the entity.
(1) 
The Township Solicitor shall thereupon take steps necessary to terminate the financial agreement and to advise the Tax Assessor and the Tax Collector of the actions to be taken regarding the assessment and collection of real estate taxes.
(2) 
The Township Solicitor shall also be responsible for the preparation of such ordinance necessary to authorize the termination of the financial agreement.
(3) 
Upon adoption of such an ordinance, the Township Clerk shall be responsible for filing and distributing the ordinance in accordance with the procedures established in the financial agreement and shall provide a copy of the ordinance to the Director of the Division of Local Government Services.
A. 
Operation of project. Upon completion of the construction project and the issuance of a permanent certificate of occupancy, the entity shall continue to operate the project according to the terms of the financial agreement until the agreement terminates or expires.
B. 
Billing and payment.
(1) 
During the term of the agreement, the Tax Collector shall bill quarterly service charges to the entity in a manner consistent with the Township's tax collection schedule.
(2) 
The bills shall reflect the taxes due on the value of all land included within the project and all service charges (in lieu of taxes), or other fees or charges due on the improvements as required by the agreement.
(3) 
If authorized by law, the land upon which housing is constructed, acquired or rehabilitated by an entity may be exempt from taxation during the term of the financial agreement.
(4) 
Irrespective of the date of issuance, any bill for annual service charges or other Township charges shall be deemed to have been issued on the first day of each calendar quarter and to be due and payable within 30 calendar days thereafter.
(5) 
Where annual service charges are billed on the basis of estimated or projected figures, any payments thereof shall be reconciled upon the submission of a certified audit. In such instance, the entity shall make any additional or required payments within 90 days after the close of its fiscal year. Any additional payment by an entity shall be submitted, along with a statement by a certified public accountant attesting that the additional payment was the actual amount due based upon the gross revenue or total project cost as computed in accordance with provisions of the Act and the financial agreement.
(6) 
All payments due to the Township arising out of the financial agreement which are not paid as of the date due shall be subject to the same charges for penalties and interest as arrears then in effect for nonpayment of real estate taxes.
(7) 
The Tax Collector shall accept all payments made pursuant to an effective and valid financial agreement and shall maintain books of account as to each agreement.
(8) 
Payments of real estate taxes and service charges.
(a) 
Except as otherwise required by law, the Tax Collector shall apply payments received for real estate taxes in the following order: first, amounts due for penalties and interest on taxes, and then amounts due for the principal of tax payments.
(b) 
As to payments received for service charges:
[1] 
First: amounts due for penalties and interest; and then
[2] 
Amounts due for the principal of service charge payments (in lieu of taxes).
(c) 
The entity shall be responsible for making timely payments for real estate taxes and service charges directly to the Tax Collector.
C. 
Annual administration fee. In addition to payment of the annual service charge (in lieu of taxes), an entity shall be required to pay an annual administrative fee to the Township. The annual administration fee shall be paid on February 1 of each year. In the event the entity granted the exemption pursuant to the Act does not pay the annual administrative fee, such delinquency shall be grounds for rescission or termination of the exemption.
D. 
Annual audits.
(1) 
Where required by law or by the financial agreement, an entity shall submit a certified audit prepared by a certified public accountant of the financial performance of the project.
(2) 
A certified audit shall be submitted each year within 90 days after the end of the fiscal year of the entity to the Township Tax Assessor with a simultaneous copy to the Township Clerk for archival purposes.
(3) 
As part of or in addition to the submission of a certified audit, the entity shall submit a statement prepared by a certified public accountant attesting to the net profits and the percentage of excess profits utilized to maintain reserves authorized pursuant to the provisions of the Act.
(4) 
The Tax Assessor shall review each audit upon submission and make a determination as to any adjustment required in the annual service charge (in lieu of taxes), net profit and/or excess profits.
E. 
Noncompliance (non payment). If an entity fails to comply with the requirements for timely payment of real estate taxes and service charges during the term of the financial agreement, the Tax Assessor shall have the responsibility to enforce the terms of the financial agreement through the below procedure. Such procedure shall not be the Township's sole remedy, but rather shall be used in addition to such other remedies as may be provided by the law and the terms of the financial agreement.
(1) 
In the case where any payment due to the Township pursuant to a financial agreement, whether arising from real estate taxes or service charges (in lieu of taxes) is in arrears for a period of six months or more, the Tax Assessor shall notify the entity that unless the total amount due, including penalties and interest, and subsequent charges are brought to current status within a period of 30 days from the date of the notification, the exemption and financial agreement shall be rescinded. If the entity fails to comply with such notice, the Tax Assessor shall recommend that the Township Solicitor prepare an ordinance rescinding the exemption and the financial agreement and shall notify the Tax Assessor of the pending action.
(2) 
Where an exemption and financial agreement is rescinded, the entity shall have 30 calendar days to seek reinstatement of the exemption and financial agreement, which shall only be permitted when all obligations of the entity or person receiving the benefit of an exemption are satisfied and made current. Upon satisfaction of all obligations, the Tax Assessor shall recommend that the Township Solicitor prepare an ordinance to reinstate the exemption and financial agreement for the remainder of its term.
(3) 
It shall be the responsibility of the Township Clerk to file and distribute copies of all ordinances to rescind or reinstate an exemption and financial agreement.
F. 
Remedies for nonpayment. In the event of any nonpayment, as outlined in Subsection E, in addition to the remedies outlined therein, the entity by signing the agreement agrees that the Township shall have the same rights to enforce liens and commence foreclosure proceedings against its project as though the nonpayment were real estate taxes. The Township may exercise such rights by following the procedures established by state statutes and local ordinances for the collection of delinquent real estate taxes.
G. 
Noncompliance with audit submission. If an entity fails to comply with the requirements for timely submission of its certified audit during the term of the financial agreement, the Tax Assessor shall have the responsibility to enforce the terms of the financial agreement through the below procedure. Such procedure shall not be the Township's sole remedy, but rather shall be used in addition to such other remedies as may be provided by the law and the terms of the financial agreement.
(1) 
Where any certified audit required to be submitted pursuant to a financial agreement is delinquent for a period of three months or more from the date required to be submitted, the Tax Assessor shall notify the entity that unless the audit is submitted in proper form within 30 days from the date of notification, the exemption and financial agreement shall be rescinded. If the entity fails to comply with the notice, the Tax Assessor shall recommend that the Township Solicitor prepare an ordinance rescinding the exemption and financial agreement, which shall cause the project or unit thereof to be assessed according to the general laws of taxation.
(2) 
Where an exemption and financial agreement are rescinded, the entity shall have 30 calendar days to seek reinstatement of the exemption and financial agreement, which shall only be permitted when all obligations of the entity or person receiving the benefit of an exemption are satisfied and made current. Upon satisfaction of all obligations, the Tax Assessor shall recommend that the Township Solicitor prepare an ordinance to reinstate the exemption and financial agreement for the remainder of its term.
(3) 
It shall be the responsibility of the Township Clerk to file and distribute copies of all ordinances to rescind or reinstate an exemption and financial agreement.
(4) 
The Township, at its option, may choose not to exercise its right to rescind or terminate, but instead cause an equivalent audit to be conducted by qualified personnel under the Township's direction. Where this option is elected, the Township shall utilize the resulting audit as the basis for billing as if it had been submitted by the entity. Further, the Township shall have the right to bill the entity for the cost of conducting an audit. Exercise of this option by the Township shall not in any way preclude or waive the right of the Township to terminate an exemption for any other default, declare the exemption and financial agreement void or other such remedies as may be provided by law, regulation or the terms of the financial agreement.