Editor's Note: Ordinance No. 1567-98 expanded Ordinance No. 1444-97 which created this section to include all commercial properties.
[Ord. No. 1444-97 § 1; Ord. No. 1567-98 § I]
The Township of West Orange recognizes that there are residential and commercial areas within its boundaries that are threatened with economic decline. There are, however, various New Jersey statutes which enable municipalities to encourage property owners to improve their properties by offering them temporary relief from a portion of their real estate taxes. One such statute is N.J.S.A. 40A:21-1 et seq., i.e., Five-Year Exemption And Abatement Law. This legislation encourages municipalities to offer certain tax incentives to property owners as a means of addressing local problems associated with areas in economic decline. The within section is adopted pursuant to the authority granted by N.J.S.A. 40A:21-1 et seq.
[Ord. No. 1444-97 § 2; Ord. No. 1567-98 § II]
As used herein the following terms shall mean:
- AREA IN NEED OF REHABILITATION
- Shall mean a portion or all of an area within the Township which has been determined by the Township by ordinance to be in need of rehabilitation or redevelopment pursuant to applicable State or Federal law. (Attached hereto is a map of such area which is available for inspection in the Township Clerk's office and not reprinted herewith.)
- Shall mean the Tax Assessor of the Township.
- COMMERCIAL PROPERTIES
- Shall mean any property within the area in need of rehabilitation which shall include all business establishments and all commercial structures.
- Shall mean substantially ready for the intended use for which a building or structure is constructed, improved or converted.
- Shall mean a property created or recorded as a condominium pursuant to the Condominium Act (N.J.S.A. 46:8B-1, et seq.).
- Shall mean the building of a new residential property or structure or the enlargement of the volume of an existing residential property by more than 30% but shall not mean the conversion of an existing building or structure to another use.
- CONVERSION OR CONVERSION ALTERATION
- Shall mean the alteration or renovation of a building or structure in such manner as to convert the building or structure from its previous use to use as residential property.
- Shall mean a housing corporation or association, wherein the holder of a share or membership thereof is entitled to possess and occupy for residential 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.
- Shall mean 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 this section.
- HORIZONTAL PROPERTY REGIME
- Shall mean a property submitted to a horizontal property regime pursuant to N.J.S.A. 46: 8A-1 et seq.
- 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 building or structure as residential property, and which does not change its permitted use. It shall not include ordinary painting, repairs and replacement of maintenance items. 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 act. Also in no case shall it include the modernization, rehabilitation, renovation, alteration or repair of residential property necessary to secure or maintain its compliance with any health, safety or construction regulation, code or statute applicable to residential property within the Township.
- MULTIPLE DWELLING
- Shall mean a building or structure meeting the definition of "multiple dwelling" set forth in N.J.S.A. 55:13A-1 et seq. and 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.
- RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY
- Shall mean any single family detached dwelling, condominium, cooperative, horizontal property regime, multiple dwelling, apartment or other form of housing.
- Shall mean the Township of West Orange.
[Ord. No. 1444-97 § 3]
The Township, pursuant to procedures hereinafter set forth, may grant to the owners of residential property, more than 20 years old, in areas in need of rehabilitation, exemption from taxation of improvements thereto. If such exemption is granted by the Township, for purposes of real estate taxation, the first $25,000 of the fair market value of the improvement, per dwelling unit, as determined by the Assessor, shall not be considered as having increased the total fair market value of the property by that amount for a period of five years. During the exemption period the assessment on the property for real estate tax purposes shall not be less than the assessment thereon existing immediately prior to the improvements unless there is damage to the residential property through action of the elements sufficient to warrant a reduction.
Notwithstanding paragraph a of this subsection, no exemption shall be granted for any improvement to a residential structure if the total number of dwelling units increases or decreases.
[Ord. No. 1444-97 § 4]
Any applicant for exemption pursuant to this section shall complete and submit to the Assessor a written application, on forms provided by the Township, which shall include the following:
A general description of a project for which exemption and abatement is sought;
A legal description of all real estate necessary for the project;
Plans, drawings and other documents as may be required by the governing body to demonstrate the structure and design of the project;
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;
Estimates of the cost of completing such project;
If the project is a multiple dwelling, a description of the number and types of dwelling units to be provided, a description of the common elements or general common elements and a statement of the proposed initial rentals or sales prices of the dwelling units according to type and of any rental lease or resale restrictions to apply to the dwelling units respecting low and moderate income housing.
Such other pertinent information as the Township may require.
The Assessor shall review any application for its correctness and if satisfied shall forward the application to the Township Council for approval.
[Ord. No. 1444-97 § 5]
If the Township by resolution approves an exemption for any project, the applicant and Township may enter into a written agreement memorializing same. The agreement shall provide that the applicant pay to the Township in lieu of the property tax payments that would otherwise be due on the improvements (not exceeding $25,000 as set forth in subsection 22-1.3) an amount equal to a percentage of taxes otherwise due on the improvements according to the following schedule:
In the first full tax year after completion, no payment of taxes otherwise due;
In the second tax year, an amount no less than 20% of taxes otherwise due;
In the third tax year, an amount not less than 40% of taxes otherwise due;
In the fourth tax year, an amount not less than 60% of taxes otherwise due;
In the fifth tax year, an amount not less than 80% of taxes otherwise due.
[Ord. No. 1444-97 § 6]
All tax agreements entered into by the Township pursuant to this section shall be in effect for no more than the five full tax years following the date of completion of the project.
All projects under tax agreement pursuant to this section shall be subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulation on pollution control, worker safety, employment discrimination, housing zoning, planning and building construction.
[Ord. No. 1444-97 § 7]
No later than 30 days after execution by all parties of a tax agreement, the Township Clerk shall forward a copy of said agreement to the Director of the Division of Local Government Services in the Department of Community Affairs.
All tax agreements entered into pursuant to this section shall be forwarded to the Assessor by the Township Clerk immediately after execution by all parties.
[Ord. No. 1444-97 § 8]
The Assessor shall determine, on October 1 of the year following the date of the completion of any improvement, the assessed value thereof which shall be based upon the assessed valuation of the property for the previous year plus any portion of the assessed valuation of the improvement, not allowed an exemption pursuant to this section. Subject to any other provision of this section the Assessor shall continue to treat the property in the same manner, with respect to any exception granted, for each of the five full tax years subsequent to the original determination by the Assessor.
The granting of any exemption and any tax agreement shall be recorded and made a part of the official tax records of the Township, which record shall contain a notice of the termination date thereof.
During the term of any exemption the Assessor shall compute the percentage which any payment in lieu of taxes for a residential property bears to the real estate tax which would have been paid had an exemption not been granted for said property to calculate the reduced valuation to be included in the valuation of the Township for determining equalization for county tax apportionment and school aid.
[Ord. No. 1444-97 § 9]
Any residential property for which an exemption has already been granted may also qualify for an additional exemption for any additional improvement, conversion or construction completed on said property while the original exemption is still in effect. The additional improvement, conversion or construction shall be considered as separate for the purposes of calculating exemptions pursuant to this section. However, in no year shall the total fair market value of improvements that qualify for exemption exceed $25,000.
[Ord. No. 1444-97 § 10]
The exemption of real estate taxes subject to this section shall include all such taxes levied for municipal, school and County government purposes and for the purposes of funding any other property tax exemptions.
[Ord. No. 1444-97 § 11]
No exemption shall be granted or tax agreement entered into regarding any property for which real estate taxes are delinquent or remain unpaid or for which penalties for nonpayment of taxes are due.
[Ord. No. 1444-97 § 12]
The Township shall on or before October 1 of each year this section is in effect submit to the Director of the Division of Local Government Services in the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs and to the Director of the Division of Taxation in the New Jersey Department of the Treasury a written report detailing the total amount of real estate taxes exempted for the preceding tax year for the following:
The Township shall also include in the report referred to in paragraph a the total amount of payments made in lieu of taxes and the difference between the total amount of in lieu payments and the total amount of real estate taxes which would have been paid had no tax agreement been in effect.
On or before January 15 of each year the Assessor shall report to the Township in writing setting forth the location of each residential property receiving an exemption, the length thereof, the tax impact, the terms of any tax agreement and recommendations, if any, for improving the working of this section.
[Ord. No. 1444-97 § 13; Ord. No. 1567-98 § III]
During the first year following adoption of this section notice of its existence and its salient provisions should be included by the Township in all annual real estate tax bills mailed to the owners of residential and commercial property in any area in need of rehabilitation.
[Ord. No. 1900-03 § II]
There is hereby established a Hotel and Motel Room Occupancy Tax in the Township of West Orange 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 West Orange 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 West Orange on or after July 1, 2004, or 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).
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.
In accordance with the requirements of P.L. 2003, c. 114:
All taxes imposed by this section shall be paid by the purchaser.
A vendor shall not assume or absorb any tax imposed by this ordinance.
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.
Each assumption or absorption by a vendor of the tax shall be deemed a separate offense and each representation or advertisement by a vendor or each day that the representation or advertisement continues shall be deemed a separate offence.
The tax imposed by this section shall be collected on behalf of the Township 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.
A copy of this section shall be transmitted to the State Treasurer and to each hotel and motel located within the Township of West Orange.