NEW JERSEY 101.5

Towns in New Jersey would have to actively monitor the qualifications of tax exempt properties under a bill Assemblyman Ron Dancer said he plans to introduce soon.

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The measure requires municipal auditors to review documentation of properties that have been granted a tax abatement or tax exemption and determine whether a property continues to be eligible.

“By identifying specific properties that no longer qualify, and assessing the appropriate taxes to those owners, we provide badly needed property tax relief to other property-owners,” said Dancer.

A recent audit by State Comptroller Matt Boxer uncovered several examples of properties whose owners didn’t pay anything despite the fact that they no longer met the tax-exempt threshold. Eleven properties specifically cited were no longer being used for tax-exempt purposes. They represented an annual void of more than $50,000 in tax revenue.

“We know significant losses are being incurred by municipalities that fail to re-examine the tax exempt status of certain properties,” said Dancer. “When that happens, it results in an unnecessary strain on taxpayers that continues year after year.”

Under the measure, the commissioner of Community Affairs would create procedures for properties to be reviewed by the auditors, and the list of properties selected for review will be prepared annually and made available to the public.