ASSEMBLY, No. 2244


with committee amendments






      The Assembly Local Government Committee reports favorably and with committee amendments Assembly Bill No. 2244.

      Assembly Bill No. 2244, as amended by the committee, would establish the State Municipal Property Tax Lien Fund in the Department of Commerce to purchase or take assignment of municipal tax liens. Municipalities would be able to convert their municipally held tax sale certificates into cash by either borrowing from the fund using the certificates as security, or selling the certificates to the fund outright individually or in bulk. The Economic Development Authority would be authorized to administer the fund, and be empowered to service liens, manage properties, foreclose liens, and own property for the benefit of the fund. The authority would also be authorized to contract with private vendors to service the liens and manage those properties.

      The amended bill specifies that monies in the fund are to be used for only three purposes: to purchase property tax liens held by a municipality, either individually or in bulk pursuant to P.L.1993, c.325 (C.54:5-113.4), to make subsequent tax payments to a municipality secured by property tax liens held by the fund, and to secure debt for redevelopment projects or economic development projects located in a municipality participating in the fund.

      The committee amended the bill to require municipalities to attach to any tax sale certificate sold, assigned or transferred to the fund, a moratorium statement indicating whether or not the property owner qualifies for a senior citizen, disabled or surviving spouse property tax deduction pursuant to P.L.1963, c.172 (C.54:4-8.40 et seq.). This amendment to the bill directs the fund not to foreclose on any property for which the moratorium statement indicates that the property is owned by a senior citizen, disabled or surviving spouse, until after the title to the property is conveyed to another owner.