P.L.1991, c.431 with final retroactive amendments effective August 5, 1992 consolidated, into one more flexible law, the various long term tax exemption laws under which municipalities may agree with private entities to undertake redevelopment projects in return for tax exemptions.
P.L.1991, c.441, effective for the first full tax year commencing after its January 18, 1992 enactment, consolidated the various five-year tax abatement and exemption laws into one, more standardized law to govern all tax abatements and exemption regardless of the type of structure.
Long Term Tax Exemption Law
Prior to 1993, which was the first full year of operation governed by the new Long Term Tax Exemption Law, under the provisions of N.J.S.A.40:55C-40, the “Urban Renewal Corporation and Association Law of 1961,” commonly known as the Fox-Lance Act, a qualified municipality (a municipality with “areas in need of rehabilitation”) could abate from 15 to 20 years the taxes on newly constructed industrial, commercial, cultural, or residential projects of a corporation, with profits in excess of the limited profits returned to the municipality, or from 30 to 35 years for condominium projects. Condominium projects were given 30 to 35 years in order to provide a realistic period for permanent financing. Also, prior to 1993 under the provisions of N.J.S.A.55:16-1 et seq., the “Limited-Dividend Nonprofit Housing Corporation or Association Law,” a qualified municipality could abate for up to 50 years the taxes on newly constructed housing. Further, under N.J.S.A.55:14I-1 et seq., a qualified municipality could abate for up to 50 years the taxes on newly constructed senior housing. Lastly, prior to 1993, under the provisions of N.J.S.A.40:55C-77, the “Urban Renewal Nonprofit Corporation Law of 1965,” basically the same types of properties and projects as the Fox-Lance Act could be abated for 20 to 25 years with all profits being returned to the municipality. In all cases under these property tax exemption laws in-lieu of tax payments were required.
Commencing in 1993 the provisions of N.J.S.A.40A:20-1 et seq. permitted a qualified municipality to abate the taxes on properties and projects in the same way the pre 1993 law did with the following notable exceptions:
A new, flexible in-lieu of tax formula was established with a phasing-in of payments in-lieu of taxes to occur under both the percent of gross rental formula and the percent of total project cost formula.
The formulas for computing payment in-lieu of taxes for both office projects and housing projects were changed. The minimum annual service charge for office buildings was reduced from 15 to 10 percent of the annual gross revenues of the project or units of the project. Municipalities retained the option of computing the payment in-lieu of taxes at no less than 2 percent of the total project cost or total project units cost. For housing projects the annual service charge was changed from a minimum of 15 percent to a maximum of 15 percent of annual gross revenue of the project or from a minimum 2 percent to a maximum 2 percent of the total …