Tax abatements for development projects have stirred up debate for years in New Jersey, especially as the use of payments in lieu of taxes has become commonplace in parts of the state such as Essex and Hudson Counties.
While some municipalities such as Jersey City have recently cut back on allowing new tax abatements, they are still regularly approved for developers in other cities such as Newark. Now, newly introduced legislation in North Bergen could potentially cause an increase in tax exemptions in the Hudson County township.
A proposed ordinance calls for authorizing five-year tax exemptions for commercial and industrial projects within North Bergen’s Urban Enterprise Zone. The ordinance was introduced by the North Bergen Board of Commissioners during its June 24 meeting.
A copy of the proposed ordinance, which was included in the minutes from the meeting, states that “in furtherance of its goals of benefiting the public health, safety and welfare, the Township has determined that, through the use of incentives, such as short-term tax exemptions, the redevelopment and/or rehabilitation of industrial and commercial properties can be accomplished through the efforts of private investment.”
The proposed ordinance added that “the net effect to the Township of North Bergen is to return to the tax roles debilitated and blighted area [sic] which will now, as a result of redevelopment, generate appropriate tax revenues for the economic benefit of the Township.”
New retail, commercial, recreational, office, research, and manufacturing facilities would all reportedly qualify, as would hotels and motels, if the Board of Commissioners determines that they would benefit the municipality. Each application would need to be approved through an ordinance in order for the tax exemption to come to fruition. An agreement involving payments in lieu of taxes would also be necessary for each project.
The Board of Commissioners is scheduled to consider the ordinance for final passage and adoption on Wednesday, July 15, according to a public notice from Township Clerk Erin Barillas.
Note to readers: The dates that matters are scheduled to be discussed by the North Bergen Board of Commissioners and other governing bodies are subject to change.