Hightstown, NJ, DATE: January 8, 2016

The New Jersey “Five-Year Exemption and Abatement Law permits municipalities to adopt an Ordinance to grant, for periods of five (5) years, exemptions or abatements, or both, from taxation the construction and/or rehabilitation of certain structures within an area of the municipality delineated to be an “area in need of rehabilitation”.

The Mayor and Council of the Borough of Hightstown believe that the establishment of a program to grant exemptions from taxation relating to the rehabilitation of existing residential dwellings within the Borough, for periods of five (5) years, will constitute an effective tool to promote the rehabilitation of the Borough’s existing housing stock, and therefore the program will benefit the residents of the Borough.

The intended purpose of this ordinance is to promote the improvement and/or rehabilitation of existing residential dwellings within the Borough, which will promote long-term growth and redevelopment that will positively impact the character and quality of life of the citizens of the Borough. The entire Borough has been determined to be an area in need of rehabilitation or redevelopment pursuant to the “Local Redevelopment and Housing Law.”

An improvement shall mean a modernization, rehabilitation, renovation, alteration or repair, through construction, which produces a physical change in an existing dwelling that improves the safety, sanitation, decency or attractiveness of the dwelling as a place for human habitation, and which does not change its permitted use.

To participate in the program a form is submitted to the Borough Assessor. Every application shall be on a form prescribed by the Director of the Division of Taxation in the Department of Treasury, and provided for the use of claimants by the Borough, and is to be filed with the Assessor within thirty (30) days, including Saturdays and Sundays, following the completion of the improvement. Every application for exemption which is filed within the time specified shall be approved and allowed by the Assessor to the degree that the application is consistent with the provisions of the Borough code.

Mayor and Council believe that this program will provide an incentive to residents to improve their properties by benefiting the property owners performing the improvements.