Chapter 8.08
EXEMPTIONS AND DEFERRALS

Sections:

8.08.010    General purposes of exemptions.

8.08.020    Tax exemption and deferral application procedure.

8.08.030    Initial review of application.

8.08.040    Notice and hearing.

8.08.050    Annual assessments.

8.08.060    Review of exemptions.

8.08.070    Emergency waiver.

8.08.080    Transfer of ownership or change of use – Penalty.

8.08.090    Criteria.

8.08.100    Discretionary act of the borough.

8.08.010 General purposes of exemptions.

A. Private Economic Growth. Private economic growth, the addition of new jobs within the community, and enhancing the economic opportunities of the community are important current and long-term objectives of the community. The granting of property tax exemptions is one of the tools available under state law to secure these public objectives.

B. Educational, Recreational, Cultural and Social Opportunities. The depth and variety of educational, recreational, cultural and social opportunities are important current and long-term objectives of the community. The granting of property tax exemptions is one of the tools available under state law to secure these public objectives.

C. Deteriorated Property. Substantial rehabilitation, renovations, and other improvements of deteriorated properties are important current and long-term objectives of the community. The granting of property tax exemptions and deferrals is one of the tools available under state law to secure these public objectives.

D. The assembly may exempt certain property used for economic development purposes from real property taxes for a maximum of two years. The assembly may also defer payment of real property taxes on certain property used for economic development purposes for a maximum of five years.

E. The assembly may exempt certain deteriorated property from real property taxes for a maximum of 10 years. The assembly may also defer payment of real property taxes on certain deteriorated property for a maximum of five years.

F. The assembly’s discretionary authority to grant exemptions and defer taxes is subject to the limitations of this chapter and Chapter 8.12 FNSBC, and any applicable state or federal laws.

G. Applicability. Any tax exemption or deferral granted for real property under this chapter and Chapter 8.12 FNSBC shall only apply to the borough’s areawide assessments.

H. Assembly Latitude. The assembly may:

1. Require the owners of any property for which an exemption and/or deferral is requested to provide certain information;

2. Require owners of property to pay property taxes on a percentage of assessed valuation, a fixed property tax payment of any amount, or any other fraction of property taxes that would otherwise be due to the borough; and/or

3. Require the payment of initial application and annual review fees reasonably necessary to cover the costs of administration. (Ord. 2017-16 § 2, 2017; Ord. 2005-62 § 2, 2005; Ord. 2005-23 § 2, 2005. 2004 Code § 3.10.010.)

8.08.020 Tax exemption and deferral application procedure.

A. The borough will not consider the granting of any tax exemption or deferral under this chapter and Chapter 8.12 FNSBC unless the applicant submits a full and complete application, and provides such additional information as may be requested by the assembly. The borough assessor is hereby authorized and empowered to prepare a standard application form that, upon completion, will provide the assembly with adequate and sufficient information to determine whether any tax exemption or deferral should be granted. The accuracy of the information provided in the application shall be verified by oath of the applicant or an authorized officer of the applicant. Any misstatement of or error in fact may render the application null and void and may be cause for the revocation of any tax exemption or deferral adopted in reliance on such information.

B. Any entity requesting a tax exemption or deferral pursuant to this chapter and Chapter 8.12 FNSBC shall pay to the borough an initial application fee of $300.00, which shall be submitted at the same time the application form is submitted. In addition, any entity that has been granted a tax exemption or deferral under this chapter and Chapter 8.12 FNSBC shall pay an annual review fee in the amount of $150.00 at a date specified by the borough assessor.

C. If anyone knowingly makes any false representations in any submission to the borough related to an initial application for or review of a tax exemption or deferral under this chapter and Chapter 8.12 FNSBC, that person shall be punished by a fine of $1,000. (Ord. 2013-65 § 4, 2013; Ord. 2005-62 § 3, 2005; Ord. 2005-23 § 2, 2005. 2004 Code § 3.10.020.)

8.08.030 Initial review of application.

A. Upon receipt of the completed application form and the required fee, the borough assessor shall determine whether the application is properly completed and whether the applicant is eligible for an exemption or deferral under this chapter and Chapter 8.12 FNSBC. If the application is incomplete or the applicant is otherwise ineligible for exemption or deferral, the borough assessor shall promptly notify the applicant of the reasons for ineligibility or the need for any necessary amendment to the application.

B. After the assessor determines that the applicant is eligible for a tax exemption and/or deferral and the application is complete, the assessor shall submit a copy of the application to the borough clerk and shall provide a copy to the economic development commission giving it 21 days to provide a written recommendation to the assembly through the clerk. (Ord. 2005-62 § 4, 2005; Ord. 2005-23 § 2, 2005. 2004 Code § 3.10.030.)

8.08.040 Notice and hearing.

No tax exemption or deferral under this chapter and Chapter 8.12 FNSBC shall be granted by the assembly prior to a public hearing thereon. The borough clerk shall notify the applicant of the public hearing. (Ord. 2005-23 § 2, 2005. 2004 Code § 3.10.040.)

8.08.050 Annual assessments.

All property receiving a tax exemption or deferral under this chapter and Chapter 8.12 FNSBC shall be annually assessed by the borough assessor in the same manner as if it were not exempt. (Ord. 2005-23 § 2, 2005. 2004 Code § 3.10.050.)

8.08.060 Review of exemptions.

A. Any tax exemption or deferral granted under this chapter and Chapter 8.12 FNSBC shall be subject to annual review by the borough assessor to ensure that the ownership and use of the property and any other qualifying criteria for the tax exemption or deferral continue to exist. Information justifying the continued exemption or deferral shall be submitted annually to the borough assessor at the same time the review fee required under FNSBC 8.08.020(B) is due. If the borough assessor determines that the property no longer qualifies for an exemption or deferral under this chapter and Chapter 8.12 FNSBC, the assessor’s determination may be reversed by a majority vote of the assembly.

B. Upon the failure of any entity to fully and timely pay the taxes due as may be required by any borough ordinance or to provide reports or other information requested by the borough assessor and reasonably necessary for the implementation of this chapter and Chapter 8.12 FNSBC, the borough assessor shall immediately revoke and not renew any exemptions or deferrals under this chapter and Chapter 8.12 FNSBC to which such entity would otherwise be entitled and shall require immediate payment of the pro-rata share of taxes thereby due for any portion of the year remaining and any previously deferred taxes. (Ord. 2005-62 § 5, 2005; Ord. 2005-23 § 2, 2005. 2004 Code § 3.10.060.)

8.08.070 Emergency waiver.

The assembly reserves the right to grant or not to grant a tax exemption or deferral under circumstances beyond the scope of this chapter and Chapter 8.12 FNSBC or to waive any other requirement not mandated by state law. However, no such action or waiver shall be taken or made except upon a finding by the assembly that an extraordinary circumstance or emergency exists, and that such action or waiver is found and declared to be in the vital public interest. (Ord. 2005-23 § 2, 2005. 2004 Code § 3.10.070.)

8.08.080 Transfer of ownership or change of use – Penalty.

As of the date of any change in majority ownership, sale, or substantive change in use of any property subject to a tax exemption or deferral under this chapter and Chapter 8.12 FNSBC, the borough shall revoke such tax exemption or deferral and require immediate payment of the property taxes thereby due. Any property owner who fails to notify the borough assessor of any such change in ownership, use, or sale by the date of such change in ownership, use, or sale shall be subject to a fine of not more than $300.00 per day for each day thereafter. (Ord. 2005-62 § 6, 2005; Ord. 2005-23 § 2, 2005. 2004 Code § 3.10.080.)

8.08.090 Criteria.

Criteria for tax exemptions are set forth in Chapter 8.12 FNSBC, Criteria for Real Property Exemptions and Deferrals. (Ord. 2005-23 § 2, 2005. 2004 Code § 3.10.090.)

8.08.100 Discretionary act of the borough.

An applicant’s completion of the application process for a tax exemption or deferral shall not give rise to any right or claim against the borough for its failure to grant the exemption or deferral. The grant or denial of a tax exemption or deferral application under this chapter and Chapter 8.12 FNSBC is a discretionary act by the borough. (Ord. 2005-23 § 2, 2005. 2004 Code § 3.10.100.)