An ordinance that would give a five-year tax abatement for certain single family and multi-family dwellings was unanimously voted by council at the April 6th Mayor & Council meeting to be introduced for consideration to become municipal law without any discussion from the governing body. This ordinance does not apply to commercial retail properties.
The four-page document provides information on the terms and conditions of the abatement although it does not explicitly specify what constitutes a ‘multi-family dwelling’ or if apartment complexes are to be included in the abatement program.
What is defined – under section 3 – is that all dwellings that are at least 20 years old that successfully apply for the program shall be exempt from taxation of the first $25,000 in the borough’s tax assessor’s full and true value of improvements for a period of five years following completion of such improvements starting the first full tax year after improvements have been completed. NJSA 40A:21-3 (link) provides definitions for – among other things – improvements and multiple dwelling.
“Improvement” means 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 the 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 act.
“Multiple dwelling” means a building or structure meeting the definition of “multiple dwelling” set forth in the “Hotel and Multiple Dwelling Law,” P.L.1967, c. 76 (C.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.
Listed in Ordinance 2482 are the block and lot numbers of the Meridia @ Roselle Park apartment complex located at the site of the old DJ’s Limousine and Domani’s Restaurant/Yesterday’s. The development was approved by the Municipal Land Use Board (MLUB) and the governing body last year.
WHEREAS, on May 25, 2016, the Borough of Roselle Park designated Block 314, Lots 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 as an area in need of redevelopment under N.J.S.A. 40A:21-2, et seq.
Speaking with Borough Attorney Richard Huxford, he stated that this does not mean that those properties will be applying for the five- year abatement but that, legally, there has to be “An Area in Need of Redevelopment” listed in the ordinance to document that such an area exists in the municipality. This is needed in order to allow a municipality to offer a five-year abatement.
Mayor Carl Hokanson stated that the reason for this ordinance is to provide an incentive to homeowners (and possibly apartment landlords) to make significant improvements to their property.
Section 4 of the ordinance lays out the requirements to apply for an abatement:
- A general description of a project for which 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 abatement on the project and a description of the benefits to be realized by the applicant if a tax abatement is granted;
- A statement showing (1) the real property taxes currently being assessed at the project site, (2) estimated tax payments that would be made by the applicant on the project in the first full year following the termination of the tax agreement;
- If the project is a multi-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 or moderate income housing;
- Such other pertinent information as the governing body may require.
The ordinance is set to have a public hearing and vote by council at the April 20th Mayor & Council meeting starting a 7 o’clock in the evening. It will be held in council chambers of the Roselle Park Municipal Complex located at 110 East Westfield Avenue.
A copy of the ordinance is included below: