SENATE, No. 2408

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

215th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED DECEMBER 20, 2012

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  JOSEPH F. VITALE

District 19 (Middlesex)

Senator  FRED H. MADDEN, JR.

District 4 (Camden and Gloucester)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     “New Jersey Disaster Victims’ Bill of Rights”; authorizes $500 million emergency State bonds and appropriates money for municipal property tax relief program.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning victims of disasters, revising various parts of the statutory law, supplementing Title 46 of the Revised Statutes, Title 2A of the New Jersey Statutes, and P.L.2008, C.17 (C.43:21-39.1 et al.); authorizing the creation of a debt of the State of New Jersey by the issuance of emergency bonds of the State in the aggregate principal amount of $500,000,000 for the purpose of providing grants and zero-interest loans to municipalities for property tax relief; providing the ways and means to pay and discharge the principal of and interest on the bonds; and appropriating the bond proceeds.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    (New section)  This act shall be known and may be cited as the “New Jersey Disaster Victims’ Bill of Rights.”

 

     2.    (New section)  a.  As used in this act:

     “Disaster area” means any area of this State which has been proclaimed by the President of the United States, or the Governor of this State, or any official lawfully succeeding to their respective duties to be a disaster area within the meaning of applicable Federal or State law. 

     “Period of emergency” means a period terminating one year from the date an area was proclaimed to be a disaster area.

     “Residential mortgage” means “residential mortgage” as defined by section 3 of P.L.1995, c.244 (C.2A:50-55).

     “Residential mortgage debtor” or “debtor” means “residential mortgage debtor” as defined by section 3 of P.L.1995, c.244 (C.2A:50-55).

     “Residential mortgage lender” or “lender” means “residential mortgage lender” as defined by section 3 of P.L.1995, c.244 (C.2A:50-55).

     b.    Notwithstanding any law or contract right to the contrary, a residential mortgage lender that files and serves, pursuant to the “Fair Foreclosure Act,” P.L.1995, c.244 (C.2A:50-53 et al.), a notice of intention to foreclosure on a residential mortgage during a period of emergency, shall grant the debtor a six-month period of forbearance, pursuant to the process set forth in subsections c. and d. of this section, if the debtor’s real property that secures the residential mortgage is located in a disaster area and the property sustained damage that reduces the appraised value of the property by at least 25%, or that renders the property uninhabitable under the provisions of any applicable municipal code or ordinance or State law or regulation, as a result of the event that resulted in the proclamation of a disaster area.

     c.     Upon serving a notice of intention to foreclose pursuant to subsection b. of this section, the residential mortgage lender shall at the same time provide an additional notice to the debtor of the right to forbearance as provided for in this act. The notice of the right to forbearance shall include the following information:

     (1)   the applicable criteria, pursuant to this act, that determines  whether a right of forbearance applies;

     (2)   whether the mortgage being foreclosed upon may be eligible for a period of forbearance;

     (3)   that the debtor has the right to request the period of forbearance in writing no later than 30 days after receipt of the notice of intention to foreclose, provided that the request includes adequate documentation of the property damage sustained, including an appraisal, pursuant to subsection b. of this section; and

     (4)   the full address and other contact information to which the request for forbearance may be sent.

     d.    Upon receipt of a request from a debtor for a period of forbearance that is in compliance with the provisions of this act, the residential mortgage lender shall:

     (1)   restructure the residential mortgage debt to provide a new repayment schedule of minimum monthly principal and interest payments that the debtor shall make after the six-month period of forbearance expires. The repayment schedule shall: (a) include amounts sufficient to account for the payments not made by the debtor during the period of forbearance; (b) extend the maturity date of the mortgage and note by six months; and (c) provide for evenly distributed payments of principal and interest over the new term of the loan as provided for in subparagraph (b) of this paragraph.

     (2)   suspend all efforts, during the forbearance period, to advance any proceeding pursuant to the “Fair Foreclosure Act,” P.L.1995, c.244 (C.2A:50-53 et al.) or the Rules Governing the Courts of New Jersey in furtherance of the foreclosure action; and

     (3)   notify the court that a period of forbearance has been granted with the dates that the period will begin and end.

     e.     Nothing herein shall preclude the residential mortgage lender and debtor from participating in mediation or settlement discussions, including the Judiciary’s Foreclosure Mediation Program.

 

     3.    (New section)  Notwithstanding any law, rule, regulation, or duty to warn to the contrary, an individual shall not be liable for an injury to the person or property of a disaster remediation expert that occurs during the period of emergency on the individual’s property within the disaster area.  The immunity provided in this section shall not apply if the injury is the result of the individual’s gross negligence or willful misconduct.

     As used in this section, “disaster remediation expert” means an individual invited onto the property to perform surveys, repairs, or other disaster remediation activities, and shall include, but not be limited to, home improvement contractors, utility repair persons, and public adjusters.

 

     4.    R.S.43:21-7 is amended to read as follows:

     43:21-7. Contributions. Employers other than governmental entities, whose benefit financing provisions are set forth in section 4 of P.L.1971, c.346 (C.43:21-7.3), and those nonprofit organizations liable for payment in lieu of contributions on the basis set forth in section 3 of P.L.1971, c.346 (C.43:21-7.2), shall pay to the controller for the unemployment compensation fund, contributions as set forth in subsections (a), (b) and (c) hereof, and the provisions of subsections (d) and (e) shall be applicable to all employers, consistent with the provisions of the "unemployment compensation law" and the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law," P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21-25 et al.).

     (a)   Payment.

     (1)   Contributions shall accrue and become payable by each employer for each calendar year in which he is subject to this chapter (R.S.43:21-1 et seq.), with respect to having individuals in his employ during that calendar year, at the rates and on the basis hereinafter set forth. Such contributions shall become due and be paid by each employer to the controller for the fund, in accordance with such regulations as may be prescribed, and shall not be deducted, in whole or in part, from the remuneration of individuals in his employ.

     (2)   In the payment of any contributions, a fractional part of a cent shall be disregarded unless it amounts to $0.005 or more, in which case it shall be increased to $0.01.

     (b)   Rate of contributions. Each employer shall pay the following contributions:

     (1)   For the calendar year 1947, and each calendar year thereafter, 2 7/10% of wages paid by him during each such calendar year, except as otherwise prescribed by subsection (c) of this section.

     (2)   The "wages" of any individual, with respect to any one employer, as the term is used in this subsection (b) and in subsections (c), (d) and (e) of this section 7, shall include the first $4,800.00 paid during calendar year 1975, for services performed either within or without this State; provided that no contribution shall be required by this State with respect to services performed in another state if such other state imposes contribution liability with respect thereto. If an employer (hereinafter referred to as a successor employer) during any calendar year acquires substantially all the property used in a trade or business of another employer (hereinafter referred to as a predecessor), or used in a separate unit of a trade or business of a predecessor, and immediately after the acquisition employs in his trade or business an individual who immediately prior to the acquisition was employed in the trade or business of such predecessors, then, for the purpose of determining whether the successor employer has paid wages with respect to employment equal to the first $4,800.00 paid during calendar year 1975, any wages paid to such individual by such predecessor during such calendar year and prior to such acquisition shall be considered as having been paid by such successor employer.

     (3)   For calendar years beginning on and after January 1, 1976, the "wages" of any individual, as defined in the preceding paragraph (2) of this subsection (b), shall be established and promulgated by the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development on or before September 1 of the preceding year and shall be, 28 times the Statewide average weekly remuneration paid to workers by employers, as determined under R.S.43:21-3(c), raised to the next higher multiple of $100.00 if not already a multiple thereof, provided that if the amount of wages so determined for a calendar year is less than the amount similarly determined for the preceding year, the greater amount will be used; provided, further, that if the amount of such wages so determined does not equal or exceed the amount of wages as defined in subsection (b) of section 3306 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. s.3306(b)), the wages as determined in this paragraph in any calendar year shall be raised to equal the amount established under the "Federal Unemployment Tax Act," chapter 23 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. s.3301 et seq.), for that calendar year.

     (c)   Future rates based on benefit experience.

     (1)   A separate account for each employer shall be maintained and this shall be credited with all the contributions which he has paid on his own behalf on or before January 31 of any calendar year with respect to employment occurring in the preceding calendar year; provided, however, that if January 31 of any calendar year falls on a Saturday or Sunday, an employer's account shall be credited as of January 31 of such calendar year with all the contributions which he has paid on or before the next succeeding day which is not a Saturday or Sunday. But nothing in this chapter (R.S.43:21-1 et seq.) shall be construed to grant any employer or individuals in his service prior claims or rights to the amounts paid by him into the fund either on his own behalf or on behalf of such individuals. Benefits paid with respect to benefit years commencing on and after January 1, 1953, to any individual on or before December 31 of any calendar year with respect to unemployment in such calendar year and in preceding calendar years shall be charged against the account or accounts of the employer or employers in whose employment such individual established base weeks constituting the basis of such benefits, except that, with respect to benefit years commencing after January 4, 1998, an employer's account shall not be charged for benefits paid to a claimant if the claimant's employment by that employer was ended in any way which, pursuant to subsection (a), (b), (c), (f), (g) or (h) of R.S.43:21-5, would have disqualified the claimant for benefits if the claimant had applied for benefits at the time when that employment ended, and except that, with respect to benefit years commencing after September 1, 2012, an employer’s account shall not be charged for benefits paid to a claimant if the benefits are paid to an employee who is laid off in connection with a cessation or reduction of employer operations due to a disaster proclaimed by the President of the United States, or the Governor of this State, or any official lawfully succeeding to their respective duties.  Benefits paid under a given benefit determination shall be charged against the account of the employer to whom such determination relates. When each benefit payment is made, notification shall be promptly provided to each employer included in the unemployment insurance monetary calculation of benefits. Such notification shall identify the employer against whose account the amount of such payment is being charged, shall show at least the name and social security account number of the claimant and shall specify the period of unemployment to which said benefit payment applies.

     An annual summary statement of unemployment benefits charged to the employer's account shall be provided.

     (2)   Regulations may be prescribed for the establishment, maintenance, and dissolution of joint accounts by two or more employers, and shall, in accordance with such regulations and upon application by two or more employers to establish such an account, or to merge their several individual accounts in a joint account, maintain such joint account as if it constituted a single employer's account.

     (3)   No employer's rate shall be lower than 5.4% unless assignment of such lower rate is consistent with the conditions applicable to additional credit allowance for such year under section 3303(a)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. s.3303(a)(1)), any other provision of this section to the contrary notwithstanding.

     (4)   Employer Reserve Ratio. (A) Each employer's rate shall be 2 8/10%, except as otherwise provided in the following provisions. No employer's rate for the 12 months commencing July 1 of any calendar year shall be other than 2 8/10%, unless as of the preceding January 31 such employer shall have paid contributions with respect to wages paid in each of the three calendar years immediately preceding such year, in which case such employer's rate for the 12 months commencing July 1 of any calendar year shall be determined on the basis of his record up to the beginning of such calendar year. If, at the beginning of such calendar year, the total of all his contributions, paid on his own behalf, for all past years exceeds the total benefits charged to his account for all such years, his contribution rate shall be:

     (1)   2 5/10%, if such excess equals or exceeds 4%, but less than 5%, of his average annual payroll (as defined in paragraph (2), subsection (a) of R.S.43:21-19);

     (2)   2 2/10%, if such excess equals or exceeds 5%, but is less than 6%, of his average annual payroll;

     (3)   1 9/10%, if such excess equals or exceeds 6%, but is less than 7%, of his average annual payroll;

     (4)   1 6/10%, if such excess equals or exceeds 7%, but is less than 8%, of his average annual payroll;

     (5)   1 3/10%, if such excess equals or exceeds 8%, but is less than 9%, of his average annual payroll;

     (6)   1%, if such excess equals or exceeds 9%, but is less than 10%, of his average annual payroll;

     (7)   7/10 of 1%, if such excess equals or exceeds 10%, but is less than 11%, of his average annual payroll;

     (8)   4/10 of 1%, if such excess equals or exceeds 11% of his average annual payroll.

     (B)  If the total of an employer's contributions, paid on his own behalf, for all past periods for the purposes of this paragraph (4), is less than the total benefits charged against his account during the same period, his rate shall be:

     (1)   4%, if such excess is less than 10% of his average annual payroll;

     (2)   4 3/10%, if such excess equals or exceeds 10%, but is less than 20%, of his average annual payroll;

     (3)   4 6/10%, if such excess equals or exceeds 20% of his average annual payroll.

     (C)  Specially assigned rates.

     (i)    If no contributions were paid on wages for employment in any calendar year used in determining the average annual payroll of an employer eligible for an assigned rate under this paragraph (4), the employer's rate shall be specially assigned as follows:

     if the reserve balance in its account is positive, its assigned rate shall be the highest rate in effect for positive balance accounts for that period, or 5.4%, whichever is higher, and

     if the reserve balance in its account is negative, its assigned rate shall be the highest rate in effect for deficit accounts for that period.

     (ii)   If, following the purchase of a corporation with little or no activity, known as a corporate shell, the resulting employing unit operates a new or different business activity, the employing unit shall be assigned a new employer rate.

     (iii)   Entities operating under common ownership, management or control, when the operation of the entities is not identifiable, distinguishable and severable, shall be considered a single employer for the purposes of this chapter (R.S.43:21-1 et seq.).

     (D)  The contribution rates prescribed by subparagraphs (A) and (B) of this paragraph (4) shall be increased or decreased in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (5) of this subsection (c) for experience rating periods through June 30, 1986.

     (5) (A) Unemployment Trust Fund Reserve Ratio. If on March 31 of any calendar year the balance in the unemployment trust fund equals or exceeds 4% but is less than 7% of the total taxable wages reported to the controller as of that date in respect to employment during the preceding calendar year, the contribution rate, effective July 1 following, of each employer eligible for a contribution rate calculation based upon benefit experience, shall be increased by 3/10 of 1% over the contribution rate otherwise established under the provisions of paragraph (3) or (4) of this subsection. If on March 31 of any calendar year the balance of the unemployment trust fund exceeds 2 1/2% but is less than 4% of the total taxable wages reported to the controller as of that date in respect to employment during the preceding calendar year, the contribution rate, effective July 1 following, of each employer eligible for a contribution rate calculation based upon benefit experience, shall be increased by 6/10 of 1% over the contribution rate otherwise established under the provisions of paragraph (3) or (4) of this subsection.

     If on March 31 of any calendar year the balance of the unemployment trust fund is less than 2 1/2% of the total taxable wages reported to the controller as of that date in respect to employment during the preceding calendar year, the contribution rate, effective July 1 following, of each employer: (1) eligible for a contribution rate calculation based upon benefit experience, shall be increased by (i) 6/10 of 1% over the contribution rate otherwise established under the provisions of paragraph (3), (4)(A) or (4)(B) of this subsection, and (ii) an additional amount equal to 20% of the total rate established herein, provided, however, that the final contribution rate for each employer shall be computed to the nearest multiple of 1/10% if not already a multiple thereof; (2) not eligible for a contribution rate calculation based upon benefit experience, shall be increased by 6/10 of 1% over the contribution rate otherwise established under the provisions of paragraph (4) of this subsection. For the period commencing July 1, 1984 and ending June 30, 1986, the contribution rate for each employer liable to pay contributions under R.S.43:21-7 shall be increased by a factor of 10% computed to the nearest multiple of 1/10% if not already a multiple thereof.

     (B)  If on March 31 of any calendar year the balance in the unemployment trust fund equals or exceeds 10% but is less than 12 1/2% of the total taxable wages reported to the controller as of that date in respect to employment during the preceding calendar year, the contribution rate, effective July 1 following, of each employer eligible for a contribution rate calculation based upon benefit experience, shall be reduced by 3/10 of 1% under the contribution rate otherwise established under the provisions of paragraphs (3) and (4) of this subsection; provided that in no event shall the contribution rate of any employer be reduced to less than 4/10 of 1%. If on March 31 of any calendar year the balance in the unemployment trust fund equals or exceeds 12 1/2% of the total taxable wages reported to the controller as of that date in respect to employment during the preceding calendar year, the contribution rate, effective July 1 following, of each employer eligible for a contribution rate calculation based upon benefit experience, shall be reduced by 6/10 of 1% if his account for all past periods reflects an excess of contributions paid over total benefits charged of 3% or more of his average annual payroll, otherwise by 3/10 of 1% under the contribution rate otherwise established under the provisions of paragraphs (3) and (4) of this subsection; provided that in no event shall the contribution rate of any employer be reduced to less than 4/10 of 1%.

     (C)  The "balance" in the unemployment trust fund, as the term is used in subparagraphs (A) and (B) above, shall not include moneys credited to the State's account under section 903 of the Social Security Act, as amended (42 U.S.C. s.1103), during any period in which such moneys are appropriated for the payment of expenses incurred in the administration of the "unemployment compensation law."

     (D)  Prior to July 1 of each calendar year the controller shall determine the Unemployment Trust Fund Reserve Ratio, which shall be calculated by dividing the balance of the unemployment trust fund as of the prior March 31 by total taxable wages reported to the controller by all employers as of March 31 with respect to their employment during the last calendar year.

     (E)   (i) (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1997, c.263).

     (ii)   (Deleted by amendment, P.L.2001, c.152).

     (iii)   (Deleted by amendment, P.L.2003, c.107).

     (iv)  (Deleted by amendment, P.L.2004, c.45).

     (v)   (Deleted by amendment, P.L.2008, c.17).

     (vi)  With respect to experience rating years beginning on or after July 1, 2004, and before July 1, 2011, the new employer rate or the unemployment experience rate of an employer under this section shall be the rate which appears in the column headed by the Unemployment Trust Fund Reserve Ratio as of the applicable calculation date and on the line with the Employer Reserve Ratio, as defined in paragraph (4) of this subsection (R.S.43:21-7 (c)(4)), as set forth in the following table:


EXPERIENCE RATING TAX TABLE

Fund Reserve Ratio1

                                                1.40%  1.00%  0.75%  0.50%  0.49%

Employer                                  and       to         to         to         and

Reserve                                    Over    1.39%  0.99%  0.74%  Under

Ratio2                                      A         B          C         D         E

Positive Reserve Ratio:

17% and over                           0.3       0.4       0.5       0.6       1.2

16.00% to 16.99%                   0.4       0.5       0.6       0.6       1.2

15.00% to 15.99%                   0.4       0.6       0.7       0.7       1.2

14.00% to 14.99%                   0.5       0.6       0.7       0.8       1.2

13.00% to 13.99%                   0.6       0.7       0.8       0.9       1.2

12.00% to 12.99%                   0.6       0.8       0.9       1.0       1.2

11.00% to 11.99%                   0.7       0.8       1.0       1.1       1.2

10.00% to 10.99%                   0.9       1.1       1.3       1.5       1.6

9.00% to 9.99%                       1.0       1.3       1.6       1.7       1.9

8.00% to 8.99%                       1.3       1.6       1.9       2.1       2.3

7.00% to 7.99%                       1.4       1.8       2.2       2.4       2.6

6.00% to 6.99%                       1.7       2.1       2.5       2.8       3.0

5.00% to 5.99%                       1.9       2.4       2.8       3.1       3.4

4.00% to 4.99%                       2.0       2.6       3.1       3.4       3.7

3.00% to 3.99%                       2.1       2.7       3.2       3.6       3.9

2.00% to 2.99%                       2.2       2.8       3.3       3.7       4.0

1.00% to 1.99%                       2.3       2.9       3.4       3.8       4.1

0.00% to 0.99%                       2.4       3.0       3.6       4.0       4.3

Deficit Reserve Ratio:

-0.00% to -2.99%                    3.4       4.3       5.1       5.6       6.1

-3.00% to -5.99%                    3.4       4.3       5.1       5.7       6.2

-6.00% to -8.99%                    3.5       4.4       5.2       5.8       6.3

-9.00% to-11.99%                   3.5       4.5       5.3       5.9       6.4

-12.00% to-14.99%                 3.6       4.6       5.4       6.0       6.5

-15.00% to-19.99%                 3.6       4.6       5.5       6.1       6.6

-20.00% to-24.99%                 3.7       4.7       5.6       6.2       6.7

-25.00% to-29.99%                 3.7       4.8       5.6       6.3       6.8

-30.00% to-34.99%                 3.8       4.8       5.7       6.3       6.9

-35.00% and under                  5.4       5.4       5.8       6.4       7.0

New Employer Rate                 2.8       2.8       2.8       3.1       3.4

     1Fund balance as of March 31 as a percentage of taxable wages in the prior calendar year.

     2Employer Reserve Ratio (Contributions minus benefits as a percentage of employer's taxable wages).

     (vii) With respect to experience rating years beginning on or after July 1, 2011, the new employer rate or the unemployment experience rate of an employer under this section shall be the rate which appears in the column headed by the Unemployment Trust Fund Reserve Ratio as of the applicable calculation date and on the line with the Employer Reserve Ratio, as defined in paragraph (4) of this subsection (R.S.43:21-7 (c)(4)), as set forth in the following table:

EXPERIENCE RATING TAX TABLE

Fund Reserve Ratio1

                                                3.50%  3.00%  2.5%    2.0%    1.99%

Employer                                  and       to         to         to         and

Reserve                                    Over    3.49%  2.99%  2.49%  Under

Ratio2                                      A         B          C         D         E

Positive Reserve Ratio:

17% and over                           0.3       0.4       0.5       0.6       1.2

16.00% to 16.99%                   0.4       0.5       0.6       0.6       1.2

15.00% to 15.99%                   0.4       0.6       0.7       0.7       1.2

14.00% to 14.99%                   0.5       0.6       0.7       0.8       1.2

13.00% to 13.99%                   0.6       0.7       0.8       0.9       1.2

12.00% to 12.99%                   0.6       0.8       0.9       1.0       1.2

11.00% to 11.99%                   0.7       0.8       1.0       1.1       1.2

10.00% to 10.99%                   0.9       1.1       1.3       1.5       1.6

9.00% to 9.99%                       1.0       1.3       1.6       1.7       1.9

8.00% to 8.99%                       1.3       1.6       1.9       2.1       2.3

7.00% to 7.99%                       1.4       1.8       2.2       2.4       2.6

6.00% to 6.99%                       1.7       2.1       2.5       2.8       3.0

5.00% to 5.99%                       1.9       2.4       2.8       3.1       3.4

4.00% to 4.99%                       2.0       2.6       3.1       3.4       3.7

3.00% to 3.99%                       2.1       2.7       3.2       3.6       3.9

2.00% to 2.99%                       2.2       2.8       3.3       3.7       4.0

1.00% to 1.99%                       2.3       2.9       3.4       3.8       4.1

0.00% to 0.99%                       2.4       3.0       3.6       4.0       4.3

Deficit Reserve Ratio:

-0.00% to -2.99%                    3.4       4.3       5.1       5.6       6.1

-3.00% to -5.99%                    3.4       4.3       5.1       5.7       6.2

-6.00% to -8.99%                    3.5       4.4       5.2       5.8       6.3

-9.00% to-11.99%                   3.5       4.5       5.3       5.9       6.4

-12.00% to-14.99%                 3.6       4.6       5.4       6.0       6.5

-15.00% to-19.99%                 3.6       4.6       5.5       6.1       6.6

-20.00% to-24.99%                 3.7       4.7       5.6       6.2       6.7

-25.00% to-29.99%                 3.7       4.8       5.6       6.3       6.8

-30.00% to-34.99%                 3.8       4.8       5.7       6.3       6.9

-35.00% and under                  5.4       5.4       5.8       6.4       7.0

New Employer Rate                 2.8       2.8       2.8       3.1       3.4

     1Fund balance as of March 31 as a percentage of taxable wages in the prior calendar year.

     2Employer Reserve Ratio (Contributions minus benefits as a percentage of employer's taxable wages).

     (F) (i) (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1997, c.263).

     (ii)   (Deleted by amendment, P.L.2008, c.17).

     (iii)   With respect to experience rating years beginning on or after July 1, 2004 and before July 1, 2011, if the fund reserve ratio, based on the fund balance as of the prior March 31, is less than 0.50%, the contribution rate for each employer liable to pay contributions, as computed under subparagraph (E) of this paragraph (5), shall be increased by a factor of 10% computed to the nearest multiple of 1/10% if not already a multiple thereof.

     (iv)  With respect to experience rating years beginning on or after July 1, 2011, if the fund reserve ratio, based on the fund balance as of the prior March 31, is less than 1.0%, the contribution rate for each employer liable to pay contributions, as computed under subparagraph (E) of this paragraph (5), shall be increased by a factor of 10% computed to the nearest multiple of 1/10% if not already a multiple thereof.

     (G)  On or after January 1, 1993, notwithstanding any other provisions of this paragraph (5), the contribution rate for each employer liable to pay contributions, as computed under subparagraph (E) of this paragraph (5), shall be decreased by 0.1%, except that, during any experience rating year starting before January 1, 1998 in which the fund reserve ratio is equal to or greater than 7.00% or during any experience rating year starting on or after January 1, 1998, in which the fund reserve ratio is equal to or greater than 3.5%, there shall be no decrease pursuant to this subparagraph (G) in the contribution of any employer who has a deficit reserve ratio of negative 35.00% or under.

     (H)  On and after January 1, 1998 until December 31, 2000 and on or after January 1, 2002 until June 30, 2006, the contribution rate for each employer liable to pay contributions, as computed under subparagraph (E) of this paragraph (5), shall be decreased by a factor, as set out below, computed to the nearest multiple of 1/10%, except that, if an employer has a deficit reserve ratio of negative 35.0% or under, the employer's rate of contribution shall not be reduced pursuant to this subparagraph (H) to less than 5.4%:

     From January 1, 1998 until December 31, 1998, a factor of 12%;

     From January 1, 1999 until December 31, 1999, a factor of 10%;

     From January 1, 2000 until December 31, 2000, a factor of 7%;

     From January 1, 2002 until March 31, 2002, a factor of 36%;

     From April 1, 2002 until June 30, 2002, a factor of 85%;

     From July 1, 2002 until June 30, 2003, a factor of 15%;

     From July 1, 2003 until June 30, 2004, a factor of 15%;

     From July 1, 2004 until June 30, 2005, a factor of 7%;

     From July 1, 2005 until December 31, 2005, a factor of 16%; and

     From January 1, 2006 until June 30, 2006, a factor of 34%.

     The amount of the reduction in the employer contributions stipulated by this subparagraph (H) shall be in addition to the amount of the reduction in the employer contributions stipulated by subparagraph (G) of this paragraph (5), except that the rate of contribution of an employer who has a deficit reserve ratio of negative 35.0% or under shall not be reduced pursuant to this subparagraph (H) to less than 5.4% and the rate of contribution of any other employer shall not be reduced to less than 0.0%.

     (I)    (Deleted by amendment, P.L.2008, c.17).

     (J)   On or after July 1, 2001, notwithstanding any other provisions of this paragraph (5), the contribution rate for each employer liable to pay contributions, as computed under subparagraph (E) of this paragraph (5), shall be decreased by 0.0175%, except that, during any experience rating year starting on or after July 1, 2001, in which the fund reserve ratio is equal to or greater than 3.5%, there shall be no decrease pursuant to this subparagraph (J) in the contribution of any employer who has a deficit reserve ratio of negative 35.00% or under. The amount of the reduction in the employer contributions stipulated by this subparagraph (J) shall be in addition to the amount of the reduction in the employer contributions stipulated by subparagraphs (G) and (H) of this paragraph (5), except that the rate of contribution of an employer who has a deficit reserve ratio of negative 35.0% or under shall not be reduced pursuant to this subparagraph (J) to less than 5.4% and the rate of contribution of any other employer shall not be reduced to less than 0.0%.

     (K)  With respect to experience rating years beginning on or after July 1, 2009, if the fund reserve ratio, based on the fund balance as of the prior March 31, is:

     (i)    Equal to or greater than 5.00% but less than 7.5%, the contribution rate for each employer liable to pay contributions, as computed under subparagraph (E) of this paragraph (5), shall be reduced by a factor of 25% computed to the nearest multiple of 1/10% if not already a multiple thereof except that there shall be no decrease pursuant to this subparagraph (K) in the contribution of any employer who has a deficit reserve ratio of 35.00% or under;

     (ii)   Equal to or greater than 7.5%, the contribution rate for each employer liable to pay contributions, as computed under subparagraph (E) of this paragraph (5), shall be reduced by a factor of 50% computed to the nearest multiple of 1/10% if not already a multiple thereof except that there shall be no decrease pursuant to this subparagraph (K) in the contribution of any employer who has a deficit reserve ratio of 35.00% or under.

     (L)   Notwithstanding any other provision of this paragraph (5) and notwithstanding the actual fund reserve ratio, the contribution rate for employers liable to pay contributions, as computed under subparagraph (E) of this paragraph (5), shall be, for fiscal year 2011, the rates set by column "C" of the table in that subparagraph.

     (M) Notwithstanding any other provision of this paragraph (5) and notwithstanding the actual fund reserve ratio, the contribution rate for employers liable to pay contributions, as computed under subparagraph (E) of this paragraph (5), shall be, for fiscal year 2012, the rates set by column "D" of the table in that subparagraph.

     (N)  Notwithstanding any other provision of this paragraph (5) and notwithstanding the actual fund reserve ratio, the contribution rate for employers liable to pay contributions, as computed under subparagraph (E) of this paragraph (5), shall be, for fiscal year 2013, the rates set by column "E" of the table in that subparagraph.

     (6)   Additional contributions.

     Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any employer who has been assigned a contribution rate pursuant to subsection (c) of this section for the year commencing July 1, 1948, and for any year commencing July 1 thereafter, may voluntarily make payment of additional contributions, and upon such payment shall receive a recomputation of the experience rate applicable to such employer, including in the calculation the additional contribution so made, except that, following a transfer as described under R.S.43:21-7(c)(7)(D), neither the predecessor nor successor in interest shall be eligible to make a voluntary payment of additional contributions during the year the transfer occurs and the next full calendar year. Any such additional contribution shall be made during the 30-day period following the notification to the employer of his contribution rate as prescribed in this section, unless, for good cause, the time for payment has been extended by the controller for not to exceed an additional 60 days; provided that in no event may such payments which are made later than 120 days after the beginning of the year for which such rates are effective be considered in determining the experience rate for the year in which the payment is made. Any employer receiving any extended period of time within which to make such additional payment and failing to make such payment timely shall be, in addition to the required amount of additional payment, liable for a penalty of 5% thereof or $5.00, whichever is greater, not to exceed $50.00. Any adjustment under this subsection shall be made only in the form of credits against accrued or future contributions.

     (7)   Transfers.

     (A)  Upon the transfer of the organization, trade or business, or substantially all the assets of an employer to a successor in interest, whether by merger, consolidation, sale, transfer, descent or otherwise, the controller shall transfer the employment experience of the predecessor employer to the successor in interest, including credit for past years, contributions paid, annual payrolls, benefit charges, et cetera, applicable to such predecessor employer, pursuant to regulation, if it is determined that the employment experience of the predecessor employer with respect to the organization, trade, assets or business which has been transferred may be considered indicative of the future employment experience of the successor in interest. The successor in interest may, within four months of the date of such transfer of the organization, trade, assets or business, or thereafter upon good cause shown, request a reconsideration of the transfer of employment experience of the predecessor employer. The request for reconsideration shall demonstrate, to the satisfaction of the controller, that the employment experience of the predecessor is not indicative of the future employment experience of the successor.

     (B)  An employer who transfers part of his or its organization, trade, assets or business to a successor in interest, whether by merger, consolidation, sale, transfer, descent or otherwise, may jointly make application with such successor in interest for transfer of that portion of the employment experience of the predecessor employer relating to the portion of the organization, trade, assets or business transferred to the successor in interest, including credit for past years, contributions paid, annual payrolls, benefit charges, et cetera, applicable to such predecessor employer. The transfer of employment experience may be allowed pursuant to regulation only if it is found that the employment experience of the predecessor employer with respect to the portion of the organization, trade, assets or business which has been transferred may be considered indicative of the future employment experience of the successor in interest. Credit shall be given to the successor in interest only for the years during which contributions were paid by the predecessor employer with respect to that part of the organization, trade, assets or business transferred.

     (C)  A transfer of the employment experience in whole or in part having become final, the predecessor employer thereafter shall not be entitled to consideration for an adjusted rate based upon his or its experience or the part thereof, as the case may be, which has thus been transferred. A successor in interest to whom employment experience or a part thereof is transferred pursuant to this subsection shall, as of the date of the transfer of the organization, trade, assets or business, or part thereof, immediately become an employer if not theretofore an employer subject to this chapter (R.S.43:21-1 et seq.).

     (D)  If an employer transfers in whole or in part his or its organization, trade, assets or business to a successor in interest, whether by merger, consolidation, sale, transfer, descent or otherwise and both the employer and successor in interest are at the time of the transfer under common ownership, management or control, then the employment experience attributable to the transferred business shall also be transferred to and combined with the employment experience of the successor in interest. The transfer of the employment experience is mandatory and not subject to appeal or protest.

     (E)   The transfer of part of an employer's employment experience to a successor in interest shall become effective as of the first day of the calendar quarter following the acquisition by the successor in interest. As of the effective date, the successor in interest shall have its employer rate recalculated by merging its existing employment experience, if any, with the employment experience acquired. If the successor in interest is not an employer as of the date of acquisition, it shall be assigned the new employer rate until the effective date of the transfer of employment experience.

     (F)   Upon the transfer in whole or in part of the organization, trade, assets or business to a successor in interest, the employment experience shall not be transferred if the successor in interest is not an employer at the time of the acquisition and the controller finds that the successor in interest acquired the business solely or primarily for the purpose of obtaining a lower rate of contributions.

     (d)   Contributions of workers to the unemployment compensation fund and the State disability benefits fund.

     (1)   (A) For periods after January 1, 1975, each worker shall contribute to the fund 1% of his wages with respect to his employment with an employer, which occurs on and after January 1, 1975, after such employer has satisfied the condition set forth in subsection (h) of R.S.43:21-19 with respect to becoming an employer; provided, however, that such contributions shall be at the rate of 1/2 of 1% of wages paid with respect to employment while the worker is in the employ of the State of New Jersey, or any governmental entity or instrumentality which is an employer as defined under R.S.43:21-19(h)(5), or is covered by an approved private plan under the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law" or while the worker is exempt from the provisions of the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law" under section 7 of that law, P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21-31).

     (B)  Effective January 1, 1978 there shall be no contributions by workers in the employ of any governmental or nongovernmental employer electing or required to make payments in lieu of contributions unless the employer is covered by the State plan under the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law" (C.43:21-25 et al.), and in that case contributions shall be at the rate of 1/2 of 1%, except that commencing July 1, 1986, workers in the employ of any nongovernmental employer electing or required to make payments in lieu of contributions shall be required to make contributions to the fund at the same rate prescribed for workers of other nongovernmental employers.

     (C) (i) Notwithstanding the above provisions of this paragraph (1), during the period starting July 1, 1986 and ending December 31, 1992, each worker shall contribute to the fund 1.125% of wages paid with respect to his employment with a governmental employer electing or required to pay contributions or nongovernmental employer, including a nonprofit organization which is an employer as defined under R.S.43:21-19(h)(6), regardless of whether that nonprofit organization elects or is required to finance its benefit costs with contributions to the fund or by payments in lieu of contributions, after that employer has satisfied the conditions set forth in subsection R.S.43:21-19(h) with respect to becoming an employer. Contributions, however, shall be at the rate of 0.625% while the worker is covered by an approved private plan under the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law" or while the worker is exempt under section 7 of that law, P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21-31) or any other provision of that law; provided that such contributions shall be at the rate of 0.625% of wages paid with respect to employment with the State of New Jersey or any other governmental entity or instrumentality electing or required to make payments in lieu of contributions and which is covered by the State plan under the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law," except that, while the worker is exempt from the provisions of the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law" under section 7 of that law, P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21-31) or any other provision of that law, or is covered for disability benefits by an approved private plan of the employer, the contributions to the fund shall be 0.125%.

     (ii)   (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1995, c.422.)

     (D)  Notwithstanding any other provisions of this paragraph (1), during the period starting January 1, 1993 and ending June 30, 1994, each worker shall contribute to the unemployment compensation fund 0.5% of wages paid with respect to the worker's employment with a governmental employer electing or required to pay contributions or nongovernmental employer, including a nonprofit organization which is an employer as defined under paragraph (6) of subsection (h) of R.S.43:21-19, regardless of whether that nonprofit organization elects or is required to finance its benefit costs with contributions to the fund or by payments in lieu of contributions, after that employer has satisfied the conditions set forth in subsection (h) of R.S.43:21-19 with respect to becoming an employer. No contributions, however, shall be made by the worker while the worker is covered by an approved private plan under the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law," P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21-25 et al.) or while the worker is exempt under section 7 of P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21-31) or any other provision of that law; provided that the contributions shall be at the rate of 0.50% of wages paid with respect to employment with the State of New Jersey or any other governmental entity or instrumentality electing or required to make payments in lieu of contributions and which is covered by the State plan under the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law," except that, while the worker is exempt from the provisions of the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law" under section 7 of that law, P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21-31) or any other provision of that law, or is covered for disability benefits by an approved private plan of the employer, no contributions shall be made to the fund.

     Each worker shall, starting on January 1, 1996 and ending March 31, 1996, contribute to the unemployment compensation fund 0.60% of wages paid with respect to the worker's employment with a governmental employer electing or required to pay contributions or nongovernmental employer, including a nonprofit organization which is an employer as defined under paragraph (6) of subsection (h) of R.S.43:21-19, regardless of whether that nonprofit organization elects or is required to finance its benefit costs with contributions to the fund or by payments in lieu of contributions, after that employer has satisfied the conditions set forth in subsection (h) of R.S.43:21-19 with respect to becoming an employer, provided that the contributions shall be at the rate of 0.10% of wages paid with respect to employment with the State of New Jersey or any other governmental entity or instrumentality electing or required to make payments in lieu of contributions.

     Each worker shall, starting on January 1, 1998 and ending December 31, 1998, contribute to the unemployment compensation fund 0.10% of wages paid with respect to the worker's employment with a governmental employer electing or required to pay contributions or nongovernmental employer, including a nonprofit organization which is an employer as defined under paragraph (6) of subsection (h) of R.S.43:21-19, regardless of whether that nonprofit organization elects or is required to finance its benefit costs with contributions to the fund or by payments in lieu of contributions, after that employer has satisfied the conditions set forth in subsection (h) of R.S.43:21-19 with respect to becoming an employer, provided that the contributions shall be at the rate of 0.10% of wages paid with respect to employment with the State of New Jersey or any other governmental entity or instrumentality electing or required to make payments in lieu of contributions.

     Each worker shall, starting on January 1, 1999 until December 31, 1999, contribute to the unemployment compensation fund 0.15% of wages paid with respect to the worker's employment with a governmental employer electing or required to pay contributions or nongovernmental employer, including a nonprofit organization which is an employer as defined under paragraph (6) of subsection (h) of R.S.43:21-19, regardless of whether that nonprofit organization elects or is required to finance its benefit costs with contributions to the fund or by payments in lieu of contributions, after that employer has satisfied the conditions set forth in subsection (h) of R.S.43:21-19 with respect to becoming an employer, provided that the contributions shall be at the rate of 0.10% of wages paid with respect to employment with the State of New Jersey or any other governmental entity or instrumentality electing or required to make payments in lieu of contributions.

     Each worker shall, starting on January 1, 2000 until December 31, 2001, contribute to the unemployment compensation fund 0.20% of wages paid with respect to the worker's employment with a governmental employer electing or required to pay contributions or nongovernmental employer, including a nonprofit organization which is an employer as defined under paragraph (6) of subsection (h) of R.S.43:21-19, regardless of whether that nonprofit organization elects or is required to finance its benefit costs with contributions to the fund or by payments in lieu of contributions, after that employer has satisfied the conditions set forth in subsection (h) of R.S.43:21-19 with respect to becoming an employer, provided that the contributions shall be at the rate of 0.10% of wages paid with respect to employment with the State of New Jersey or any other governmental entity or instrumentality electing or required to make payments in lieu of contributions.

     Each worker shall, starting on January 1, 2002 until June 30, 2004, contribute to the unemployment compensation fund 0.1825% of wages paid with respect to the worker's employment with a governmental employer electing or required to pay contributions or a nongovernmental employer, including a nonprofit organization which is an employer as defined under paragraph (6) of subsection (h) of R.S.43:21-19, regardless of whether that nonprofit organization elects or is required to finance its benefit costs with contributions to the fund or by payments in lieu of contributions, after that employer has satisfied the conditions set forth in subsection (h) of R.S.43:21-19 with respect to becoming an employer, provided that the contributions shall be at the rate of 0.0825% of wages paid with respect to employment with the State of New Jersey or any other governmental entity or instrumentality electing or required to make payments in lieu of contributions.

     Each worker shall, starting on and after July 1, 2004, contribute to the unemployment compensation fund 0.3825% of wages paid with respect to the worker's employment with a governmental employer electing or required to pay contributions or nongovernmental employer, including a nonprofit organization which is an employer as defined under paragraph (6) of subsection (h) of R.S.43:21-19, regardless of whether that nonprofit organization elects or is required to finance its benefit costs with contributions to the fund or by payments in lieu of contributions, after that employer has satisfied the conditions set forth in subsection (h) of R.S.43:21-19 with respect to becoming an employer, provided that the contributions shall be at the rate of 0.0825% of wages paid with respect to employment with the State of New Jersey or any other governmental entity or instrumentality electing or required to make payments in lieu of contributions.

     (E)   Each employer shall, notwithstanding any provision of law in this State to the contrary, withhold in trust the amount of his workers' contributions from their wages at the time such wages are paid, shall show such deduction on his payroll records, shall furnish such evidence thereof to his workers as the division or controller may prescribe, and shall transmit all such contributions, in addition to his own contributions, to the office of the controller in such manner and at such times as may be prescribed. If any employer fails to deduct the contributions of any of his workers at the time their wages are paid, or fails to make a deduction therefor at the time wages are paid for the next succeeding payroll period, he alone shall thereafter be liable for such contributions, and for the purpose of R.S.43:21-14, such contributions shall be treated as employer's contributions required from him.

     (F)   As used in this chapter (R.S.43:21-1 et seq.), except when the context clearly requires otherwise, the term "contributions" shall include the contributions of workers pursuant to this section.

     (G)  (i) Each worker shall, starting on July 1, 1994 and ending on December 31, 2011, contribute to the State disability benefits fund an amount equal to 0.50% of wages paid with respect to the worker's employment with a government employer electing or required to pay contributions to the State disability benefits fund or nongovernmental employer, including a nonprofit organization which is an employer as defined under paragraph (6) of subsection (h) of R.S.43:21-19, unless the employer is covered by an approved private disability plan or is exempt from the provisions of the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law," P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21-25 et al.) under section 7 of that law (C.43:21-31) or any other provision of that law.  Each worker, with respect to the worker's employment with a government employer electing or required to pay contributions to the State disability benefits fund or nongovernmental employer, including a nonprofit organization which is an employer as defined under paragraph (6) of subsection (h) of R.S.43:21-19, unless the employer is covered by an approved private disability plan or is exempt from the provisions of the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law," P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21-25 et al.) under section 7 of that law (C.43:21-31) or any other provision of that law, shall, for calendar year 2012 and each subsequent calendar year, make contributions to the State disability benefits fund at the annual rate of contribution necessary to obtain a total amount of contributions, which, when added to employer contributions made to the State disability benefits fund pursuant to subsection (e) of this section, is equal to  120% of the benefits paid for periods of disability, excluding periods of family temporary disability, during the immediately preceding calendar year plus an amount equal to 100% of the cost of administration of the payment of those benefits during the immediately preceding calendar year, less the amount of net assets remaining in the State disability benefits fund, excluding net assets remaining in the "Family Temporary Disability Leave Account" of that fund, as of December 31 of the immediately preceding year.  The rates of employer contributions determined pursuant to subsection (e) of this section for any year shall be determined prior to the determination of the rate of employee contributions pursuant to this subparagraph (i) and any consideration of employee contributions in determining employer rates for any year shall be based on amounts of employee contributions made prior to the year to which the rate of employee contributions applies and shall not be based on any projection or estimate of the amount of employee contributions for the year to which that rate applies.

     (ii)   Each worker shall contribute to the State disability benefits fund, in addition to any amount contributed pursuant to subparagraph (i) of this paragraph (1)(G), an amount equal to, during calendar year 2009, 0.09%, and during calendar year 2010 0.12%, of wages paid with respect to the worker's employment with any covered employer, including a governmental employer which is an employer as defined under R.S.43:21-19(h)(5), unless the employer is covered by an approved private disability plan for benefits during periods of family temporary disability leave. The contributions made pursuant to this subparagraph (ii) to the State disability benefits fund shall be deposited into an account of that fund reserved for the payment of benefits during periods of family temporary disability leave as defined in section 3 of the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law," P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21-27) and for the administration of those payments and shall not be used for any other purpose. This account shall be known as the "Family Temporary Disability Leave Account." For calendar year 2011 and each subsequent calendar year, the annual rate of contribution to be paid by workers pursuant to this subparagraph (ii) shall be the rate necessary to obtain a total amount of contributions equal to 125% of the benefits paid for periods of family temporary disability leave during the immediately preceding calendar year plus an amount equal to 100% of the cost of administration of the payment of those benefits during the immediately preceding calendar year, less the amount of net assets remaining in the account as of December 31 of the immediately preceding year. Necessary administrative costs shall include the cost of an outreach program to inform employees of the availability of the benefits and the cost of issuing the reports required or permitted pursuant to section 13 of P.L.2008, c.17 (C.43:21-39.4). No monies, other than the funds in the "Family Temporary Disability Leave Account," shall be used for the payment of benefits during periods of family temporary disability leave or for the administration of those payments, with the sole exception that, during calendar years 2008 and 2009, a total amount not exceeding $25 million may be transferred to that account from the revenues received in the State disability benefits fund pursuant to subparagraph (i) of this paragraph (1)(G) and be expended for those payments and their administration, including the administration of the collection of contributions made pursuant to this subparagraph (ii) and any other necessary administrative costs. Any amount transferred to the account pursuant to this subparagraph (ii) shall be repaid during a period beginning not later than January 1, 2011 and ending not later than December 31, 2015. No monies, other than the funds in the "Family Temporary Disability Leave Account," shall be used under any circumstances after December 31, 2009, for the payment of benefits during periods of family temporary disability leave or for the administration of those payments, including for the administration of the collection of contributions made pursuant to this subparagraph (ii).

     (2)   (A) (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1984, c.24.)

     (B)  (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1984, c.24.)

     (C)  (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1994, c.112.)

     (D)  (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1994, c.112.)

     (E)   (i) (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1994, c.112.)

     (ii)   (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1996, c.28.)

     (iii)   (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1994, c.112.)

     (3)   (A) If an employee receives wages from more than one employer during any calendar year, and either the sum of his contributions deposited in and credited to the State disability benefits fund plus the amount of his contributions, if any, required towards the costs of benefits under one or more approved private plans under the provisions of section 9 of the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law" (C.43:21-33) and deducted from his wages, or the sum of such latter contributions, if the employee is covered during such calendar year only by two or more private plans, exceeds an amount equal to 1/2 of 1% of the "wages" determined in accordance with the provisions of R.S.43:21-7(b)(3) during the calendar years beginning on or after January 1, 1976 or, during calendar year 2012 or any subsequent calendar year, the total amount of his contributions for the year exceeds the amount set by the annual rate of contribution determined by the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development pursuant to subparagraph (i) of paragraph (1)(G) of this subsection (d), the employee shall be entitled to a refund of the excess if he makes a claim to the controller within two years after the end of the calendar year in which the wages are received with respect to which the refund is claimed and establishes his right to such refund. Such refund shall be made by the controller from the State disability benefits fund. No interest shall be allowed or paid with respect to any such refund. The controller shall, in accordance with prescribed regulations, determine the portion of the aggregate amount of such refunds made during any calendar year which is applicable to private plans for which deductions were made under section 9 of the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law" (C.43:21-33) such determination to be based upon the ratio of the amount of such wages exempt from contributions to such fund, as provided in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) of this subsection with respect to coverage under private plans, to the total wages so exempt plus the amount of such wages subject to contributions to the disability benefits fund, as provided in subparagraph (G) of paragraph (1) of this subsection. The controller shall, in accordance with prescribed regulations, prorate the amount so determined among the applicable private plans in the proportion that the wages covered by each plan bear to the total private plan wages involved in such refunds, and shall assess against and recover from the employer, or the insurer if the insurer has indemnified the employer with respect thereto, the amount so prorated. The provisions of R.S.43:21-14 with respect to collection of employer contributions shall apply to such assessments. The amount so recovered by the controller shall be paid into the State disability benefits fund.

     (B)  If an employee receives wages from more than one employer during any calendar year, and the sum of his contributions deposited in the "Family Temporary Disability Leave Account" of the State disability benefits fund plus the amount of his contributions, if any, required towards the costs of family temporary disability leave benefits under one or more approved private plans under the provisions of the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law" (C.43:21-25 et al.) and deducted from his wages, exceeds an amount equal to, during calendar year 2009, 0.09% of the "wages" determined in accordance with the provisions of R.S.43:21-7(b)(3), or during calendar year 2010, 0.12% of those wages, or, during calendar year 2011 or any subsequent calendar year, the percentage of those wages set by the annual rate of contribution determined by the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development pursuant to subparagraph (ii) of paragraph (1)(G) of this subsection (d), the employee shall be entitled to a refund of the excess if he makes a claim to the controller within two years after the end of the calendar year in which the wages are received with respect to which the refund is claimed and establishes his right to the refund. The refund shall be made by the controller from the "Family Temporary Disability Leave Account" of the State disability benefits fund. No interest shall be allowed or paid with respect to any such refund. The controller shall, in accordance with prescribed regulations, determine the portion of the aggregate amount of the refunds made during any calendar year which is applicable to private plans for which deductions were made under section 9 of the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law" (C.43:21-33), with that determination based upon the ratio of the amount of such wages exempt from contributions to the fund, as provided in paragraph (1)(B) of this subsection (d) with respect to coverage under private plans, to the total wages so exempt plus the amount of such wages subject to contributions to the "Family Temporary Disability Leave Account" of the State disability benefits fund, as provided in subparagraph (ii) of paragraph (1)(G) of this subsection (d). The controller shall, in accordance with prescribed regulations, prorate the amount so determined among the applicable private plans in the proportion that the wages covered by each plan bear to the total private plan wages involved in such refunds, and shall assess against and recover from the employer, or the insurer if the insurer has indemnified the employer with respect thereto, the prorated amount. The provisions of R.S.43:21-14 with respect to collection of employer contributions shall apply to such assessments. The amount so recovered by the controller shall be paid into the "Family Temporary Disability Leave Account" of the State disability benefits fund.

     (4)   If an individual does not receive any wages from the employing unit which for the purposes of this chapter (R.S.43:21-1 et seq.) is treated as his employer, or receives his wages from some other employing unit, such employer shall nevertheless be liable for such individual's contributions in the first instance; and after payment thereof such employer may deduct the amount of such contributions from any sums payable by him to such employing unit, or may recover the amount of such contributions from such employing unit, or, in the absence of such an employing unit, from such individual, in a civil action; provided proceedings therefor are instituted within three months after the date on which such contributions are payable. General rules shall be prescribed whereby such an employing unit may recover the amount of such contributions from such individuals in the same manner as if it were the employer.

     (5)   Every employer who has elected to become an employer subject to this chapter (R.S.43:21-1 et seq.), or to cease to be an employer subject to this chapter (R.S.43:21-1 et seq.), pursuant to the provisions of R.S.43:21-8, shall post and maintain printed notices of such election on his premises, of such design, in such numbers, and at such places as the director may determine to be necessary to give notice thereof to persons in his service.

     (6)   Contributions by workers, payable to the controller as herein provided, shall be exempt from garnishment, attachment, execution, or any other remedy for the collection of debts.

     (e)   Contributions by employers to the State disability benefits fund.

     (1)   Except as hereinafter provided, each employer shall, in addition to the contributions required by subsections (a), (b), and (c) of this section, contribute 1/2 of 1% of the wages paid by such employer to workers with respect to employment unless he is not a covered employer as defined in subsection (a) of section 3 of the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law" (C.43:21-27 (a)), except that the rate for the State of New Jersey shall be 1/10 of 1% for the calendar year 1980 and for the first six months of 1981. Prior to July 1, 1981 and prior to July 1 each year thereafter, the controller shall review the experience accumulated in the account of the State of New Jersey and establish a rate for the next following fiscal year which, in combination with worker contributions, will produce sufficient revenue to keep the account in balance; except that the rate so established shall not be less than 1/10 of 1%. Such contributions shall become due and be paid by the employer to the controller for the State disability benefits fund as established by law, in accordance with such regulations as may be prescribed, and shall not be deducted, in whole or in part, from the remuneration of individuals in his employ. In the payment of any contributions, a fractional part of a cent shall be disregarded unless it amounts to $0.005 or more, in which case it shall be increased to $0.01.

     (2)   During the continuance of coverage of a worker by an approved private plan of disability benefits under the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law," the employer shall be exempt from the contributions required by paragraph (1) above with respect to wages paid to such worker.

     (3) (A) The rates of contribution as specified in paragraph (1) above shall be subject to modification as provided herein with respect to employer contributions due on and after July 1, 1951.

     (B)  A separate disability benefits account shall be maintained for each employer required to contribute to the State disability benefits fund and such account shall be credited with contributions deposited in and credited to such fund with respect to employment occurring on and after January 1, 1949. Each employer's account shall be credited with all contributions paid on or before January 31 of any calendar year on his own behalf and on behalf of individuals in his service with respect to employment occurring in preceding calendar years; provided, however, that if January 31 of any calendar year falls on a Saturday or Sunday an employer's account shall be credited as of January 31 of such calendar year with all the contributions which he has paid on or before the next succeeding day which is not a Saturday or Sunday. But nothing in this act shall be construed to grant any employer or individuals in his service prior claims or rights to the amounts paid by him to the fund either on his own behalf or on behalf of such individuals. Benefits paid to any covered individual in accordance with Article III of the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law" on or before December 31 of any calendar year with respect to disability in such calendar year and in preceding calendar years shall be charged against the account of the employer by whom such individual was employed at the commencement of such disability or by whom he was last employed, if out of employment.

     (C)  The controller may prescribe regulations for the establishment, maintenance, and dissolution of joint accounts by two or more employers, and shall, in accordance with such regulations and upon application by two or more employers to establish such an account, or to merge their several individual accounts in a joint account, maintain such joint account as if it constituted a single employer's account.

     (D)  Prior to July 1 of each calendar year, the controller shall make a preliminary determination of the rate of contribution for the 12 months commencing on such July 1 for each employer subject to the contribution requirements of this subsection (e).

     (1)   Such preliminary rate shall be 1/2 of 1% unless on the preceding January 31 of such year such employer shall have been a covered employer who has paid contributions to the State disability benefits fund with respect to employment in the three calendar years immediately preceding such year.

     (2)   If the minimum requirements in subparagraph (D) (1) above have been fulfilled and the credited contributions exceed the benefits charged by more than $500.00, such preliminary rate shall be as follows:

     (i)    2/10 of 1% if such excess over $500.00 exceeds 1% but is less than 1 1/4% of his average annual payroll as defined in this chapter (R.S.43:21-1 et seq.);

     (ii)   15/100 of 1% if such excess over $500.00 equals or exceeds 1 1/4% but is less than 1 1/2% of his average annual payroll;

     (iii)   1/10 of 1% if such excess over $500.00 equals or exceeds 1 1/2% of his average annual payroll.

     (3)   If the minimum requirements in subparagraph (D) (1) above have been fulfilled and the contributions credited exceed the benefits charged but by not more than $500.00 plus 1% of his average annual payroll, or if the benefits charged exceed the contributions credited but by not more than $500.00, the preliminary rate shall be 1/4 of 1%.

     (4)   If the minimum requirements in subparagraph (D) (1) above have been fulfilled and the benefits charged exceed the contributions credited by more than $500.00, such preliminary rate shall be as follows:

     (i)    35/100 of 1% if such excess over $500.00 is less than 1/4 of 1% of his average annual payroll;

     (ii)   45/100 of 1% if such excess over $500.00 equals or exceeds 1/4 of 1% but is less than 1/2 of 1% of his average annual payroll;

     (iii) 55/100 of 1% if such excess over $500.00 equals or exceeds 1/2 of 1% but is less than 3/4 of 1% of his average annual payroll;

     (iv)  65/100 of 1% if such excess over $500.00 equals or exceeds 3/4 of 1% but is less than 1% of his average annual payroll;

     (v)   75/100 of 1% if such excess over $500.00 equals or exceeds 1% of his average annual payroll.

     (5)   Determination of the preliminary rate as specified in subparagraphs (D)(2), (3) and (4) above shall be subject, however, to the condition that it shall in no event be decreased by more than 1/10 of 1% of wages or increased by more than 2/10 of 1% of wages from the preliminary rate determined for the preceding year in accordance with subparagraph (D) (1), (2), (3) or (4), whichever shall have been applicable.

     (E)   (1) Prior to July 1 of each calendar year the controller shall determine the amount of the State disability benefits fund as of December 31 of the preceding calendar year, increased by the contributions paid thereto during January of the current calendar year with respect to employment occurring in the preceding calendar year. If such amount exceeds the net amount withdrawn from the unemployment trust fund pursuant to section 23 of the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law," P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21-47) plus the amount at the end of such preceding calendar year of the unemployment disability account as defined in section 22 of said law (C.43:21-46), such excess shall be expressed as a percentage of the wages on which contributions were paid to the State disability benefits fund on or before January 31 with respect to employment in the preceding calendar year.

     (2)   The controller shall then make a final determination of the rates of contribution for the 12 months commencing July 1 of such year for employers whose preliminary rates are determined as provided in subparagraph (D) hereof, as follows:

     (i)    If the percentage determined in accordance with subparagraph (E)(1) of this paragraph equals or exceeds 1 1/4%, the final employer rates shall be the preliminary rates determined as provided in subparagraph (D) hereof, except that if the employer's preliminary rate is determined as provided in subparagraph (D)(2) or subparagraph (D)(3) hereof, the final employer rate shall be the preliminary employer rate decreased by such percentage of excess taken to the nearest 5/100 of 1%, but in no case shall such final rate be less than 1/10 of 1%.

     (ii)   If the percentage determined in accordance with subparagraph (E)(1) of this paragraph equals or exceeds 3/4 of 1% and is less than 1 1/4 of 1%, the final employer rates shall be the preliminary employer rates.

     (iii)   If the percentage determined in accordance with subparagraph (E)(1) of this paragraph is less than 3/4 of 1%, but in excess of 1/4 of 1%, the final employer rates shall be the preliminary employer rates determined as provided in subparagraph (D) hereof increased by the difference between 3/4 of 1% and such percentage taken to the nearest 5/100 of 1%; provided, however, that no such final rate shall be more than 1/4 of 1% in the case of an employer whose preliminary rate is determined as provided in subparagraph (D)(2) hereof, more than 1/2 of 1% in the case of an employer whose preliminary rate is determined as provided in subparagraph (D)(1) and subparagraph (D)(3) hereof, nor more than 3/4 of 1% in the case of an employer whose preliminary rate is determined as provided in subparagraph (D)(4) hereof.

     (iv)  If the amount of the State disability benefits fund determined as provided in subparagraph (E)(1) of this paragraph is equal to or less than 1/4 of 1%, then the final rate shall be 2/5 of 1% in the case of an employer whose preliminary rate is determined as provided in subparagraph (D)(2) hereof, 7/10 of 1% in the case of an employer whose preliminary rate is determined as provided in subparagraph (D)(1) and subparagraph (D)(3) hereof, and 1.1% in the case of an employer whose preliminary rate is determined as provided in subparagraph (D)(4) hereof. Notwithstanding any other provision of law or any determination made by the controller with respect to any 12-month period commencing on July 1, 1970, the final rates for all employers for the period beginning January 1, 1971, shall be as set forth herein.

     (F)   Notwithstanding any other provisions of this subsection (e), the rate of contribution paid to the State disability benefits fund by each covered employer as defined in paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of section 3 of P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21-27), shall be determined as if:

     (i)    No disability benefits have been paid with respect to periods of family temporary disability leave;

     (ii)   No worker paid any contributions to the State disability benefits fund pursuant to paragraph (1)(G)(ii) of subsection (d) of this section; and

     (iii)   No amounts were transferred from the State disability benefits fund to the "Family Temporary Disability Leave Account" pursuant to paragraph (1)(G)(ii) of subsection (d) of this section.

     (G)  Notwithstanding any other provisions of this subsection (e), disability benefits paid to an employee of an employer shall not be charged to the disability benefits account maintained for the employer pursuant to this subsection (e) if:

     (i)    The benefits are paid for a disability caused by an injury or illness incurred by the employee in connection with a disaster proclaimed by the President of the United States, or the Governor of this State, or any official lawfully succeeding to their respective duties; and

     (ii)   The employer permits the employee to return to work when the employee recovers from the disability and becomes able to work.

(cf: P.L.2011, c.88, s.1)

 

     5.    (New section) For any time after the effective date of P.L.    , c.     (C.     ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), a covered individual may use, in the manner provided by this section, up to 10 days of family temporary disability benefits in connection with a disaster declared by the President of the United States, or the Governor of this State, or any official lawfully succeeding to their respective duties.

     Benefits paid pursuant to this section may be used as needed for activities of the covered individual to restore the normal functioning of the household of the covered individual made necessary by the disaster, including necessary activities in connection with repairs or clean up of the residence of the covered individual.  The Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development shall establish standards for sufficient documentation of the need of the activities of covered individuals to restore the normal functioning of their household, which shall include any documentation of government disaster assistance.

     The benefits may be taken on an intermittent basis; and shall be in addition to, and shall not be paid with respect to the same period of time as:

     (1)   Any family temporary disability benefits taken to care for a family member with a serious health condition, including a serious health condition caused by, or occurring in connection with, the disaster;

     (2)   Any temporary disability benefits provided to the covered individual during the individual’s own disability, including a disability caused by, or occurring in connection with, the disaster; or

     (3)   Any unemployment benefits paid to the covered inidividual, including unemployment caused by, or occurring in connection with, the disaster.

 

     6.    N.J.S.40A:4-41 is amended to read as follows:

     40A:4-41.   a.  For the purpose of determining the amount of the appropriation for "reserve for uncollected taxes" required to be included in each annual budget where less than 100% of current tax collections may be and are anticipated, anticipated cash receipts shall be as set forth in the budget of the current year, and in accordance with the limitations of statute for anticipated revenue from, surplus appropriated, miscellaneous revenues and receipts from delinquent taxes.

     b.    Receipts from the collection of taxes levied or to be levied in the municipality, or in the case of a county for general county purposes and payable in the fiscal year shall be anticipated in an amount which is not in excess of the percentage of taxes levied and payable during the next preceding fiscal year which was received in cash by the last day of the preceding fiscal year.

     c.     (1) For any municipality in which tax appeal judgments have been awarded to property owners from action of the county tax board pursuant to R.S.54:3-21 et seq., or the State tax court pursuant to R.S.54:48-1 et seq. in the preceding fiscal year, the governing body of the municipality may elect to determine the reserve for uncollected taxes by using the average of the percentages of taxes levied which were received in cash by the last day of each of the three preceding fiscal years.  Election of this choice shall be made by resolution, approved by a majority vote of the full membership of the governing body prior to the introduction of the annual budget pursuant to N.J.S.40A:4-5.

     (2)   If tax appeal judgments of the county tax board pursuant to R.S.54:3-21 et seq., or the State tax court pursuant to R.S.54:48-1 et seq., result in tax reductions for the previous fiscal year, the governing body of the municipality may elect to calculate the current year reserve for uncollected taxes by reducing the certified tax levy of the prior year by the amount of the tax levy adjustments resulting from those judgments.  Election of this choice shall be made by resolution, approved by a majority vote of the full membership of the governing body prior to the introduction of the annual budget pursuant to N.J.S.40A:4-5.

     d.    The director may promulgate rules and regulations to permit a three-year average to be used to determine the amount required for the reserve for uncollected taxes for municipalities to which subsection c. of this section is not applicable.

     e.     Notwithstanding the requirements of this section, the director shall permit a municipality that is severely impacted by a disaster proclaimed by the President of the United States, or the Governor of this State, or any official lawfully succeeding to their respective duties to determine its reserve for uncollected taxes for its next adopted budget to be the same amount appropriated as a reserve for uncollected taxes in its budget adopted in the year that the disaster occurs.  A municipality located within the disaster area, as defined in section 2 of P.L.   , c.   (C.   ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), shall be deemed to be "severely impacted" for the purposes of this subsection.  A municipality outside of the disaster area may apply to the director for a determination that it was severely impacted so as to qualify it for the relief provided pursuant to this subsection.

(cf: P.L.2010, c.56, s.1)

 

     7.    R.S.54:3-21 is amended to read as follows:

     54:3-21.  a.  Except as provided in subsection b. of this section a taxpayer feeling aggrieved by the assessed valuation of the taxpayer's property, or feeling discriminated against by the assessed valuation of other property in the county, or a taxing district which may feel discriminated against by the assessed valuation of property in the taxing district, or by the assessed valuation of property in another taxing district in the county, may on or before April 1, or 45 days from the date the bulk mailing of notification of assessment is completed in the taxing district, whichever is later, appeal to the county board of taxation by filing with it a petition of appeal; provided, however, that any such taxpayer or taxing district may on or before April 1, or 45 days from the date the bulk mailing of notification of assessment is completed in the taxing district, whichever is later, file a complaint directly with the Tax Court, if the assessed valuation of the property subject to the appeal exceeds $1,000,000.  In a taxing district where a municipal-wide revaluation or municipal-wide reassessment has been implemented, a taxpayer or a taxing district may appeal before or on May 1 to the county board of taxation by filing with it a petition of appeal or, if the assessed valuation of the property subject to the appeal exceeds $1,000,000, by filing a complaint directly with the State Tax Court.  Within ten days of the completion of the bulk mailing of notification of assessment, the assessor of the taxing district shall file with the county board of taxation a certification setting forth the date on which the bulk mailing was completed.  If a county board of taxation completes the bulk mailing of notification of assessment, the tax administrator of the county board of taxation shall within ten days of the completion of the bulk mailing prepare and keep on file a certification setting forth the date on which the bulk mailing was completed.  A taxpayer shall have 45 days to file an appeal upon the issuance of a notification of a change in assessment.  An appeal to the Tax Court by one party in a case in which the Tax Court has jurisdiction shall establish jurisdiction over the entire matter in the Tax Court.  All appeals to the Tax Court hereunder shall be in accordance with the provisions of the State Uniform Tax Procedure Law, R.S.54:48-1 et seq.

     If a petition of appeal or a complaint is filed on April 1 or during the 19 days next preceding April 1, a taxpayer or a taxing district shall have 20 days from the date of service of the petition or complaint to file a cross-petition of appeal with a county board of taxation or a counterclaim with the Tax Court, as appropriate.

     b.    No taxpayer or taxing district shall be entitled to appeal either an assessment or an exemption or both that is based on a financial agreement subject to the provisions of the "Long Term Tax Exemption Law" under the appeals process set forth in subsection a. of this section.

     c.     Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, a residential property owner who gives the municipal assessor notice of property damage, pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1945, c.260 (C.54:4-35.1), caused by a disaster proclaimed by the President of the United States, or the Governor of this State, or any official lawfully succeeding to their respective duties, shall be entitled to immediately appeal the revised assessment.  The appeal shall be given priority by the county board of taxation and be heard within 60 days of the filing of the appeal.

(cf: P.L.2009, c.251, s.1)

 

     8.    R.S.54:4-66 is amended to read as follows:

     54:4-66. a. Taxes for municipalities operating under the calendar fiscal year shall be payable the first installment as hereinafter provided on February 1, the second installment on May 1, the third installment on August 1 and the fourth installment on November 1, after which dates if unpaid, they shall become delinquent and remain delinquent until such time as all unpaid taxes, including taxes and other liens subsequently due and unpaid, together with interest have been fully paid and satisfied;

     b.    From and after the respective dates hereinbefore provided for taxes to become delinquent, the taxpayer or property assessed shall be subject to the interest and penalties hereinafter prescribed;

     c.     The dates hereinbefore provided for payment of the first and second installments of taxes being before the true amount of the tax will have been determined, the amount to be payable as each of the first two installments shall be one-quarter of the total tax finally levied against the same property or taxpayer for the preceding year or, if directed to do so for the tax year by resolution of the municipal governing body, one-half of the tax levied for the second half of the preceding tax year, as appropriate; and the amount to be payable for the third and fourth installments shall be the full tax as levied for the current year, less the amount charged as the first and second installments; the amount thus found to be payable as the last two installments shall be divided equally for and as each installment. An appropriate adjustment by way of discount shall be made, if it shall appear that the total of the first and second installments exceeded one-half of the total tax as levied for the year;

     d.    (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1994, c.72).

     e.     Taxes may be received and credited as payments at any time, even prior to the dates hereinbefore fixed for payment, from the property owners, their agents or lien holders; however, no interest shall accrue until the delinquency date.  Up to and including the payment date for each quarter, priority of payment shall be given to the property owner when third party tax liens exist against the property.

     f.     With respect to residential properties that suffer substantial damage caused by a disaster proclaimed by the President of the United States, or the Governor of this State, or any official lawfully succeeding to their duties, a municipality affected by the disaster may adopt a resolution providing that the property taxes due and payable on those properties for the quarter in which the disaster occurs shall not be deemed delinquent until the tenth day of the month in which the taxes are due and payable for the second next following quarter.  Further, the resolution may provide that property taxes due and payable for those properties for the quarter next following the quarter in which the disaster occurs shall not be deemed delinquent until the tenth day of the month in which the taxes are due and payable for the second next following quarter.  Property taxes remaining delinquent on those properties after the extended delinquency date shall accrue interest and penalties as of the first day of the month that taxes are due and payable for the quarter in which the extended delinquency date occurs.  For the purposes of this section, "substantial damage" means damage to a residential structure that reduces its assessed value by 25 percent or more.

(cf: P.L.1997, c.99, s.2)

 

     9.    (New section)  a.  Pursuant to subsection e. of paragraph 3 of Article VIII, Section II of the New Jersey Constitution, regarding the creation of debt by the State to meet an emergency caused by disaster or act of God, bonds of the State of New Jersey are authorized to be issued in the aggregate principal amount of $500,000,000 for the purpose of providing State grants and loans to municipalities to finance property taxes deferred pursuant to subsection f. of R.S.54:4-66 or uncollectable due to property assessment devaluation, pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1945, c.260 (C.54:4-35.1), caused by a disaster proclaimed by the President of the United States, or the Governor of this State, or any official lawfully succeeding to their respective duties.

     b.    The Department of Community Affairs shall establish and administer a State grant and zero-interest loan program authorized pursuant to this section for the purposes specified in subsection a. of this section.  The program shall be conducted in accordance with criteria for existing programs established under previous State general obligation bond acts, legislative initiatives, or federal aid guidelines.  The department shall notify every municipality of the availability of, and the criteria for qualifying, applying, and obtaining grants and zero-interest loans under the program.

     c.     The bonds authorized under this section shall be serial bonds, term bonds, or a combination thereof, and shall be known as  "Emergency Municipal Tax Replacement Bonds."  They shall be issued from time to time as the issuing officials herein named shall determine and may be issued in coupon form, fully-registered form, or book-entry form.  The bonds may be subject to redemption prior to maturity and shall mature and be paid not later than 35 years from the respective dates of their issuance.

     d.    The Governor, the State Treasurer, and the Director of the Division of Budget and Accounting in the Department of the Treasury, or any two of these officials, herein referred to as "the issuing officials," are authorized to carry out the provisions of this section relating to the issuance of bonds, and shall determine all matters in connection therewith, subject to the provisions of this section.  If an issuing official is absent from the State or incapable of acting for any reason, the powers and duties of that issuing official shall be exercised and performed by the person authorized by law to act in an official capacity in the place of that issuing official.

     e.     Bonds issued in accordance with the provisions of this section shall be a direct obligation of the State of New Jersey, and the faith and credit of the State are pledged for the payment of the interest and redemption premium thereon, if any, when due, and for the payment of the principal thereof at maturity or earlier redemption date.  The principal of and interest on the bonds shall be exempt from taxation by the State or by any county, municipality, or other taxing district of the State.

     f.     The bonds issued pursuant to this section shall be signed in the name of the State by means of the manual or facsimile signature of the Governor under the Great Seal of the State, which seal may be by facsimile or by way of any other form of reproduction on the bonds, and attested by the manual or facsimile signature of the Secretary of State, or an Assistant Secretary of State, and shall be countersigned by the facsimile signature of the Director of the Division of Budget and Accounting in the Department of the Treasury and may be manually authenticated by an authenticating agent or bond registrar, as the issuing official shall determine.  Interest coupons, if any, attached to the bonds shall be signed by the facsimile signature of the Director of the Division of Budget and Accounting in the Department of the Treasury.  The bonds may be issued notwithstanding that an official signing them or whose manual or facsimile signature appears on the bonds or coupons has ceased to hold office at the time of issuance, or at the time of the delivery of the bonds to the purchaser thereof.

     g.     (1) The bonds issued pursuant to this section shall recite that they are issued for the purposes set forth in subsection a. of this section and that they are issued pursuant to this section.  This recital shall be conclusive evidence of the authority of the State to issue the bonds and their validity.  Any bonds containing this recital shall, in any suit, action, or proceeding involving their validity, be conclusively deemed to be fully authorized by this section and to have been issued, sold, executed, and delivered in conformity herewith and with all other provisions of laws applicable hereto, and shall be incontestable for any cause.

     (2)   The bonds shall be issued in those denominations and in the form or forms, whether coupon, fully-registered, or book-entry, and with or without provisions for interchangeability thereof, as may be determined by the issuing officials.

     h.     When the bonds are issued from time to time, the bonds of each issue shall constitute a separate series to be designated by the issuing officials.  Each series of bonds shall bear such rate or rates of interest as may be determined by the issuing officials, which interest shall be payable semiannually; except that the first and last interest periods may be longer or shorter, in order that intervening semiannual payments may be at convenient dates.

     i.      The bonds shall be issued and sold at the price or prices and under the terms, conditions, and regulations as the issuing officials may prescribe, after notice of the sale, published at least once in at least three newspapers published in this State, and at least once in a publication carrying municipal bond notices and devoted primarily to financial news, published in this State or in the city of New York, the first notice to appear at least five days prior to the day of bidding.  The notice of sale may contain a provision to the effect that any bid in pursuance thereof may be rejected.  In the event of rejection or failure to receive any acceptable bid, the issuing officials, at any time within 60 days following the date of the advertised sale, may sell the bonds at a private sale at such price or prices under the terms and conditions as the issuing officials may prescribe.  The issuing officials may sell all or part of the bonds of any series as issued to any State fund or to the federal government or any agency thereof, at a private sale, without advertisement.

     j.     Until permanent bonds are prepared, the issuing officials may issue temporary bonds in the form and with those privileges as to their registration and exchange for permanent bonds as may be determined by the issuing officials.

     k.    The proceeds from the sale of bonds used to provide State grants or zero-interest loans to municipalities to replace deferred or uncollected property taxes shall be paid to the State Treasurer and be held by the State Treasurer in a separate non-lapsing revolving fund, and be deposited in such depositories as may be selected by the State Treasurer to the credit of the fund, which fund shall be known as the "Emergency Municipal Tax Replacement and Rate Relief Bond Fund," as established in subsection m. of this section.

     l.      Debt service on the bonds or refunding bonds issued or incurred pursuant to this section shall first be payable from revenues received from the gross income tax pursuant to the "New Jersey Gross Income Tax Act," P.L.1976, c.47 (C.54A:1-1 et seq.).

     m.    The "Emergency Municipal Tax Replacement and Rate Relief Bond Fund" (hereinafter referred to as the "fund") is established as a non-lapsing revolving special fund in the Department of Community Affairs.  The fund shall be administered by the department, and shall be the depository of all monies appropriated to the fund by the Legislature pursuant to section 10 of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) or any subsequent act for the purpose of making State grants or zero-interest loans to municipalities in furtherance of the purposes stated in subsection a. of this section.  Monies in the fund are specifically dedicated to making grants or zero-interest loans to municipalities to finance property taxes deferred pursuant to subsection f. of R.S.54:4-66 or uncollectable due to property assessment devaluation, pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1945, c.260 (C.54:4-35.1), caused by a disaster proclaimed by the President of the United States, or the Governor of this State, or any official lawfully succeeding to their respective duties.  Grants, contributions, donations, and reimbursements from federal aid programs as may be lawfully used for the purposes set forth in subsection a. of this section also may be held in the fund.  However, no monies in the fund shall be expended for those purposes, except as otherwise authorized by this section, without the specific appropriation thereof by the Legislature, but bonds may be issued as herein provided, notwithstanding that the Legislature shall not have then adopted an act making a specific appropriation of any of the monies.

     n.     At any time prior to the issuance and sale of bonds under this section, the State Treasurer is authorized to transfer from any available moneys in any fund of the treasury of the State to the credit of the “Emergency Municipal Tax Replacement and Rate Relief Bond Fund” those sums as the State Treasurer may deem necessary.  The sums so transferred shall be returned to the same fund of the treasury of the State by the State Treasurer from the proceeds of the sale of the first issue of bonds.

     o.    Pending their application to the purposes provided in this section, the monies in the fund may be invested and reinvested as are other trust funds in the custody of the State Treasurer, in the manner provided by law.  Net earnings received from the investment, reinvestment, or deposit of moneys in the fund shall be deposited into the fund and become part of that fund.

     p.    The interest rate on loans made to municipalities from the fund shall be zero.  All repayments of loans made from the fund shall be paid by the municipalities into the fund and shall be deposited into the fund in accordance with the terms of a written loan agreement.  The terms of any loan agreement between the department and a municipality shall be approved by the State Treasurer.

     q.    No State aid to which a municipality otherwise may be entitled shall be reduced or eliminated to offset any grant or loan assistance received pursuant to this section.

 

     10.  There is appropriated the sum of $500,000,000 from the "Emergency Municipal Tax Replacement and Rate Relief Bond Fund" to the Department of Community Affairs for the purposes of the program established pursuant to subsection c. of section 9 of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

 

     11.  This act shall take effect immediately except that section 10 shall remain inoperative until the sale of bonds pursuant to section 9 of this act.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill establishes the “New Jersey Disaster Victims’ Bill of Rights.”

     The bill provides a process to allow homeowners whose homes sustained significant damage in a disaster area and are at risk of foreclosure, to obtain a six-month forbearance period on their mortgage payments, under certain circumstances.

     The bill requires a residential mortgage lender that files and serves, pursuant to the “Fair Foreclosure Act,” P.L.1995, c.244 (C.2A:50-53 et al.), a notice of intention to foreclosure on a residential mortgage during a period of emergency, to grant the debtor a six-month period of forbearance if the debtor’s real property that secures the residential mortgage is located in a disaster area and the property sustained damage that reduces the appraised value of the property by at least 25%, or that renders the property uninhabitable under the provisions of any applicable municipal code or ordinance or State law or regulation, as a result of the event that resulted in the proclamation of a disaster area.  As defined in the bill, a “disaster area” means any area of the State which has been proclaimed by the President of the United States or the Governor of this State or any official lawfully succeeding to their respective duties to be a disaster area within the meaning of applicable Federal or State law.  A “period of emergency” is one year from the date an area was declared a disaster area.

     The bill sets up a process whereby a lender must include a notice of the right to forbearance with the filing of a notice of intention to foreclose, and a debtor has 30 days from the receipt of that notice to request forbearance. If the debtor qualifies for the forbearance, the lender must suspend any action on the foreclosure, and restructure the residential mortgage debt to provide a new repayment schedule of minimum monthly principal and interest payments that the debtor shall make after the six-month period of forbearance expires. The repayment schedule shall: (a) include amounts sufficient to account for the payments not made by the debtor during the period of forbearance; (b) extend the maturity date of the mortgage and note by six months; and (c) provide for evenly distributed payments of principal and interest over the new term of the loan as provided for by the six month extension of the maturity date.

     The bill grants immunity from liability to individuals for injury to the person or property of disaster remediation experts.  The immunity applies if the injury occurs during the period of emergency on the individual’s property within the disaster area, and is not the result of the individual’s gross negligence or willful misconduct.

     Under the bill, “disaster remediation expert” means an individual invited onto the property to perform repairs or other disaster remediation activities, and shall include, but not be limited to, home improvement contractors, utility repair persons, and public adjusters.

     The bill provides up to 10 days of paid family leave for use in connection with a disaster.  The benefits may be used as needed by an individual to restore the normal functioning of the household made necessary by the disaster, including necessary activities in connection with repairs or clean up of the residence of the individual. The Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development will establish standards for sufficient documentation of the need for an individual to restore the household, which will include any documentation of government disaster assistance.

     The bill amends R.S.43:21-7 to provide that an employer’s unemployment insurance (UI) tax account will not be charged for UI benefits if the benefits are paid to an employee who is laid off in connection with a disaster, and provide that an employer’s temporary disability insurance (TDI) benefits tax account will not be charged for TDI benefits if the benefits are paid for an injury or illness incurred in connection with a disaster; and the employer permits the employee to return to work when the employee recovers and becomes able to work.

     The bill amends R.S.40A:4-41 to permit a municipality significantly affected by a disaster, to use the same appropriation for its reserve for uncollected taxes in its next budget year as it used for the year in which the disaster occurs.  Without this provision, the failure to collect property taxes as a result of the disaster would require the municipality to substantially increase its appropriation for its reserve for uncollected taxes in the following budget year, according to formulas in the statute.  This would effectively penalize the municipality and its property taxpayers by unduly increasing property taxes to fund the required formulaic appropriation for the reserve.

     The bill also amends R.S.54:3-21 to provide that when a residential property owner notifies the municipal assessor of damage to a property caused by a disaster prior to January 10th, pursuant to the requirements of R.S.54:4-35.1, the property owner would be entitled to appeal any revised assessment immediately and the matter would have to be heard by the county board of taxation within 60 days of the filing of the appeal.

     The bill amends R.S.54:4-66 to allow municipalities affected by a disaster to adopt a resolution granting owners of substantially damaged residential property an additional six months to pay the property taxes for the quarter in which the disaster occurs, and the next following quarter, without interest or penalties. 

     Finally, in order to hold municipalities harmless from property tax collection deferrals and disaster caused ratable devaluation, the bill authorizes the State to issue $500 million in emergency bonds without public approval, pursuant to subsection e. of paragraph 3 of Article VIII, Section II of the New Jersey Constitution, regarding the creation of debt by the State to meet an emergency caused by disaster or act of God.  Qualifying municipalities would be able to receive zero-interest loans and grants through a program operated by the Department of Community Affairs.