[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of West Deptford 11-1-1979 by Ord. No. 79-22, to become effective 1-1-1980. Amended 9-3-1981 by Ord. No. 81-21. Amended in its entirety 5-1-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-06. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
The definition of the terms used in this chapter shall be the same as they appear in N.J.S.A. 40A:2 1, et seq. and therefore are:
- That portion of the assessed value of the property as it existed prior to construction, improvement or conversion of a building or structure thereon, which is exempted from taxation pursuant to this chapter.
- The officer of a taxing district charged with the duty of assessing real property for the purpose of general taxation.
- COMMERCIAL OR INDUSTRIAL STRUCTURE
- A structure or part thereof used for the manufacturing, processing or assembling of material or manufacturer of products, or for research, office, industrial, commercial, retail, recreational, hotel or motel facilities, or warehousing purposes, 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 commence within the municipality. It shall not include any structure or part thereof use to be used by any business relocated from another qualifying municipality.
- Substantially ready for the intended use for which a building or structure is constructed, improved or converted.
- A property created or recorded as a condominium pursuant to the Condominium Act, P.L. 1969, c 257 (N.J.S.A. 46:8b-1, et seq.).
- The provision of a new dwelling, multiple dwelling or commercial or industrial structure or the enlargement of the volume of any existing multiple dwelling or commercial or industrial structure by more than 30%, but shall mean the conversion of an existing building or structure or another use.
- CONVERSION OR CONVERSION ALTERATION
- The alteration or renovation of a nonresidential building or structure, or hotel, motel, motor-hotel, or guest house, in such manner so to convert the building or structure from its previous use to use as a dwelling or multiple dwelling.
- 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.
- When used with respect to abatements for dwellings or multiple dwellings, the only cost or fair market value of direct labor and materials use in approving a multiple dwelling, or of converting another building or structure to a multiple dwelling, or of constructing a dwelling or of converting another building or structure to a dwelling, including any architectural, engineering, and contractors' fees associated therewith, as the owner of the property shall cause to be certified to the governing body by an independent and qualified architect, following the completion of the project.
- A building or part of a building used, to be used, or held for use as a home or residence, including accessory buildings located on the same premises, together with the land upon which such building or buildings are erected and which may be necessary for the fair enjoyment thereof, but shall not mean any building or part of a building, defined as (multiple dwelling) pursuant to the Hotel and Multiple Dwelling Law, P.L. 1967, c 76 (N.J.S.A. 55:13A-1, et seq.). A dwelling shall include, as they are separate conveyed to individual owners, individual residences within a cooperative, if purchased separately by the occupants thereof, and individual residences within a horizontal property regime or condominium, but shall not include general common elements or common elements of such horizontal property regime or condominium as defined pursuant to the Horizontal Property Act, P.L. 1963, c 168 (N.J.S.A. 46:8A-1, et seq.), or at the Condominium Act, P.L. 1969, c 157 (N.J.S.A. 46:8B-1, et seq.), or of a cooperative, if the residential units are owned separately.
- That portion of the Assessor's full and true value of any improvements, conversion alteration or construction not regarded as increasing the taxable value of a property pursuant to this chapter.
- 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.).
- 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, and which does not change its permitted use. In a case of a multiple dwelling, it includes only improvements which affect common areas or elements, or three or more dwelling units within the multiple dwelling. In the case of a multiple dwelling or 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 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 chapter.
- 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.), and means for the purpose of improvement or construction of the general common elements and common elements of condominium, cooperative, or horizontal property regime.
Exemption from taxation of improvements to dwellings. The municipality shall regard the first $25,000 in the assessor's full and true value of improvements made to each such dwelling unit primarily and directly affected by the improvements in any property more than 20 years old which shall not increase the value of such property for a period of five years, not withstanding that the value of the dwelling to which said improvements are made has increased, except pursuant to a written agreement between the owner of such property and the Township of West Deptford in accordance with the provisions of Section 147-6, and provided further that the payment of taxes with respect to the election of a five-year period of exemption shall be phased in accordance with Section 147-7C.
After the full fifth tax year, the value of such improvements shall be assessed and taxed at 100% of the taxes otherwise due for the sixth full tax year and each year thereafter. During the exemption period, the assessment of the property shall not be less than the assessment thereon existing immediately prior to the improvements, unless there is damage to the dwelling through the action of the element sufficient to warrant a reduction.
New residential dwellings. Exemptions from taxation of a newly constructed residential dwelling shall be allowed so that in determining the value of real property, the municipality shall allow exemptions from taxation in accordance with a written agreement pursuant to Section 147-6 of this chapter. In the event that a phased in taxation of the assessed value of new residential construction is agreed to in accordance with Section 147-7C, then, in such event, taxes shall be due as stated therein. The sixth full tax year following the granting of a tax exemption the property shall be taxed at 100% of the taxes otherwise due. During the exemption period, the assessment of the property shall be less than the assessment thereon existing immediately prior to the completion of the construction of the new dwelling unless there has been damage to the dwelling due to action of the elements sufficient to warrant a reduction.
Additional improvements completed during the period for which the improved property is subject to the previously granted exemption an amount less than the maximum deduction permissible shall be qualified for additional deduction privileges, under the terms and conditions, however, that in no tax year shall total deductions for any single property exceed $25,000.
An exemption from taxation of improvements to commercial or industrial structures shall be allowed so that in determining the value of real property, the municipality 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, not withstanding that the value of the property to which the improvements are made is increased thereby. During the exemption period, the assessment of 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 element sufficient to warrant a reduction.
Exemptions and/or abatements from taxation for construction of commercial or industrial structures shall be allowed as set forth in N.J.S.A. 40A:21-8 and in accordance with provisions of N.J.S.A. 40A:21-9 through 40A:21-12.
Applicants for tax exemption and abatement for construction of commercial or industrial structures shall provide the Township Committee with an application setting forth 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 description of the number, classes and types of employees to be employed at the project site within two years of completion of the project;
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 the tax agreement is granted;
Estimates of the cost of completing such projects;
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;
If the project is a commercial or industrial structure 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;
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 the type and of any rental lease or resale restrictions to apply to the dwelling's units respecting low- or moderate-income housing; and
Such other pertinent information as the governing body may require.
Upon adoption of an ordinance authorizing a tax agreement for a particular project the township may enter into a written agreement with the applicant for the exemption and abatement of local real property taxes. The agreement shall provide for the applicant to pay to the municipality in lieu of full property tax payments in amount annually to be commuted by one, but in no case a combination, of the following formulas:
Cost basis. The agreement may provide for the applicant to pay to the municipality in lieu of full property tax payments an amount equal to 20% 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 cost, if any, of land acquisition and land preparation, provisions 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 governing body by an independent and qualified architect, following the completion of the project.
Gross revenue basis. The agreement may provide to the applicant to pay to the municipality in lieu of full property tax payments an amount annually equal to 15% of the annual gross revenues from the project. For the purpose 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, 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 computed revenues that may establish a method of arbitration by which either the landlord or tenant may dispute the amounts of payment so included in the annual gross revenue.
Tax phase-in basis. The agreement may provide for the applicant to pay the municipality in lieu of full property tax payments an amount equal to a percentage of taxes otherwise due, according to the following schedule:
In the first full year after completion, no payment in lieu of taxes otherwise due.
In the second tax year, an amount not 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.
At the termination of an agreement for tax exemption or abatement authorized pursuant to this chapter, the project shall be subject to all applicable real estate taxes, as provided by state and local laws and regulations, provided that nothing herein shall be deemed to prohibit the project or improvement, a determination of an agreement authorized pursuant to this chapter, to qualify for and receiving the full benefits of any tax preference as provided by law.
All tax agreements entered into by the township pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:21-9 through 40A:21-12 shall be in effect for no more than five full tax years next following the date of completion of the project.
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 and abatement not been granted to 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 valuation of the municipality for determining equalization for county tax apportionment and school aid during the term of the tax agreements covering the properties, and at the termination of an agreement for property the reduced valuation procedure required under this section shall no longer apply.
Within 30 days after the execution of a tax agreement, a municipality shall forward a copy of the agreement to the Director of Division of Local Government Services in the Department of Community Affairs with the State of New Jersey.
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 and abatement had been granted. The township 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, or 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 and the abatement shall continue, and the agreement shall remain in effect.
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 through 40A:21-12, the amount of tax to be paid for the first full tax year following completion shall be based on the assessed valuation of the property for the previous year, plus any portion of the assessed valuation of the improvement, conversion or construction not allowed an exemption pursuant to this chapter. Subject to the provisions of this chapter the property shall continue to be treated in the appropriate manner for each of the five full tax years subsequent to the original determination by the Assessor.
No exemption or abatement shall be granted, or tax agreement entered into, pursuant to this chapter with respect to any property for which property taxes are delinquent or remain unpaid, or for which penalties for nonpayment of taxes are due.
No exemption or abatement shall be granted pursuant to this chapter except upon written application therefor filed with an approved by the Assessor of the taxing district wherein the improvement, conversion, alteration or construction is made. Every application shall be on a form prescribed by the municipality and provided for the use of claimants by the Township of West Deptford, and shall be filed with the assessor within 30 days, including Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, following the completion of the improvement, conversion, alteration or construction.
Every application for exemption, or exemption and abatement, within the Township of West Deptford which is filed within the time specified, shall be approved and allowed by the assessor to the agree that the application is consistent with the provisions of this chapter or tax agreement, provided by the improvement, conversion, alternation or construction for which the application is made qualifies as an improvement, a conversion, alteration or construction pursuant to the provisions of this chapter and a tax agreement, if any.
The granting of an exemption, or an exemption and abatement, or tax agreement shall be recorded and made a permanent part of the official tax records of the taxing district, which records shall contain a notice of the termination date thereof.
The exemption and abatement of real property taxes provided pursuant to this chapter shall apply to property taxes levied for municipal purposes, school purposes, county government purposes, and for purposes of funding any other property tax exemption or abatement.
The Township of West Deptford, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:21-20, shall include the notice in the mailing of annual property tax bills to each owner of a dwelling located in the area in which exemptions, or exemptions and abatements, may be allowed pursuant to this chapter during the first year following adoption of this chapter.
The Township of West Deptford shall report, on or before October of each year, to the Director of Division of Local Government Services in the Department of Community Affairs and to the Director of the Division of Taxation in the Department of the Treasury in the State of New Jersey the total amount of real property taxes exempted and the total amount abated within the township in the current tax year for each of the following:
Improvements of dwellings;
Construction of dwellings;
Improvements and conversions of multiple dwellings;
Improvements of commercial or industrial structures;
Construction of multiple dwellings under tax agreements; and
Construction of commercial or industrial structures under tax agreements.
In the case of Subsections A5 and A6 above, the report shall state instead the total amount of payments made in lieu of taxes according to each formula utilized by the township, and the difference between that total amount and the total amount of real property taxes which would have been paid on the project had the tax agreement not been in effect for the current tax year.
Ordinance numbers 79-22 and 81-21 and all other amendments thereto, be and the same are hereby repealed. However, no exemption or abatement granted pursuant to the foregoing ordinances shall be affected or terminated by virtue of this repeal, but shall remain in effect for the time and under the terms granted as if the ordinance authorizing the exemption or abatement had not been so repealed.