Senator JEFF VAN DREW
District 1 (Cape May, Atlantic and Cumberland)
Increases compensation paid to persons displaced by eminent domain.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act concerning compensation paid to persons displaced by eminent domain and amending P.L.1971, c.362.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. Section 4 of P.L.1971, c.362 (C.20:4-4) is amended to read as follows:
4. a. If a taking agency acquires real property for public use, it shall make fair and reasonable relocation payments to displaced persons and businesses as required by this act, for:
(1) actual reasonable expenses in moving himself, his family, business, farm operation, or other personal property;
(2) actual direct losses of tangible personal property as a result of moving or discontinuing a business or farm operation, but not to exceed an amount equal to the reasonable expenses that would have been required to relocate such property, as determined by the taking agency; and
(3) actual reasonable expenses in searching for a replacement business or farm.
b. Any displaced person eligible for payments under subsection a. of this section who is displaced from a dwelling and who elects to accept the payments authorized by this subsection in lieu of the payments authorized by subsection a. of this section may receive a moving expense allowance, determined according to a schedule established by the taking agency, not to exceed [$300.00] $1,500, and a dislocation allowance of [$200.00] $1,000.
c. Any displaced person eligible for payments under subsection a. of this section who is displaced from his place of business or from his farm operation and who elects to accept the payment authorized by this subsection in lieu of the payment authorized by subsection a. of this section, may receive a fixed payment in an amount equal to the average annual net earnings of the business or farm operation, except that such payment shall not be less than [$2,500.00] $12,500 nor more than [$10,000.00] $50,000. In the case of a business no payment shall be made under this subsection unless the taking agency is satisfied that the business (1) cannot be relocated without a substantial loss of its existing patronage, and (2) is not a part of a commercial enterprise having at least one other establishment not being acquired by the taking agency, which is engaged in the same or similar business. For purposes of this subsection, the term "average annual net earnings," means 1/2 of any net earnings of the business or farm operation, before Federal, State, and local income taxes, during the 2 taxable years immediately preceding the taxable year in which such business or farm operation moves from the real property acquired for such project, or during such other period as such agency determines to be more equitable for establishing such earnings, and includes any compensation paid by the business or farm operation to the owner, his spouse, or his dependents during such period.
d. Any payment made to a displaced person pursuant to this section shall be made no later than 30 days following the submission of the request for reimbursement by the displaced person.
(cf: P.L.1971, c.362, s.4)
2. Section 5 of P.L.1971, c.362 (c.20:4-5) is amended to read as follows:
5. a. In addition to payments otherwise authorized by [this act] P.L.1971, c.362 (C.20:4-1 et seq.), the taking agency shall make an additional payment not in excess of [$15,000.00] $75,000 to any displaced person who is displaced from a dwelling actually owned and occupied by such displaced person for not less than 180 days prior to the initiation of negotiations for the acquisition of the property. Such additional payment shall include the following elements:
(1) The amount, if any, which when added to the acquisition cost of the dwelling acquired, equals the reasonable cost of a comparable replacement dwelling which is a decent, safe, and sanitary dwelling adequate to accommodate such displaced person, reasonably accessible to public services and places of employment and available on the private market. All determinations required to carry out this subparagraph shall be determined by regulations issued pursuant to section 10 of [this act] P.L.1971, c. 362 (C.20:4-10).
(2) The amount, if any, which will compensate such displaced person for any increased interest costs which such person is required to pay for financing the acquisition of any such comparable replacement dwelling. Such amount shall be paid only if the dwelling acquired was encumbered by a bona fide mortgage which was a valid lien on such dwelling for not less than 180 days prior to the initiation of negotiations for the acquisition of such dwelling. Such amount shall be equal to the excess in the aggregate interest and other debt service costs of that amount of the principal of the mortgage on the replacement dwelling which is equal to the unpaid balance of the mortgage on the acquired dwelling, over the remainder term of the mortgage on the acquired dwelling, reduced to discounted present value. The discount rate shall be determined by regulations issued pursuant to section 10 of [this act] P.L.1971, c. 362 (C.20:4-10).
(3) [Reasonable] All expenses incurred by such displaced person for evidence of title, recording fees, attorney’s fees, and other closing costs incident to the purchase of the replacement dwelling, but not including prepaid expenses.
(4) Penalty costs for prepayment of any mortgage entered into in good faith encumbering such real property if such mortgage is on record or has been filed for record as provided by law on the date of approval by taking agency of the location of such project.
(5) The pro rata portion of real property taxes payable during the calendar year in which the property was acquired which are allocable to the period of the year subsequent to the date of vesting of title in the taking agency, or the effective date of the possession of such real property by the taking agency, whichever is earlier.
b. The additional payment authorized by this section shall be made only to such a displaced person who purchases and occupies a replacement dwelling which is decent, safe, and sanitary not later than the end of the one year period beginning on the date on which he receives final payment of all costs of the acquired dwelling, or on the date on which he moves from the acquired dwelling, whichever is the later date.
c. Any payment made to a displaced person pursuant to this section shall be made no later than 30 days following the submission of the request for reimbursement by the displaced person.
(cf: P.L.1971, c.362, s.5)
3. This act shall take effect immediately.
This bill would amend the “Relocation Assistance Act” to increase the amount of money a taking agency must pay to a displaced homeowner whose residence is taken by way of eminent domain. The bill would increase the compensation provided to a displaced individual for moving expenses related to entering a new home. The bill also increases the amount of compensation for lost earnings to be paid to business owners who must relocate their business due to a taking through eminent domain. The bill requires that the taking agency compensate the displaced person for all closing cost related to the purchase of a new home such as attorney’s fees, title fees, and recording fees. Finally, the bill requires that the taking agency reimburse the displaced person no later than 30 days after the submission of the request for reimbursement by the displaced person.