COUTINHO BILL TO EXTEND BAN ON COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT FEE SIGNED INTO LAW

Legislation Assemblyman Albert Coutinho sponsored to extend for two years the moratorium on a commercial development tax kept alive last year by Gov. Chris Christie has been signed into law.

“This moratorium is about one thing – job creation,” Coutinho said (D-Essex/Union). “We did the right thing and tried last year to repeal this fee and make it easier for commercial developers in this difficult economy, but Republicans were opposed and the governor kept it alive, causing problems for job creation and economic development. Thankfully, they have seen the light and now support this moratorium.”

The new law (S-2974/A-4221) extends until July 1, 2013 the moratorium on a 2.5 percent commercial developer’s fee and requires the return of any monies paid during the period since July 1, 2010.

Coutinho and Democrats attempted to abolish the fee last year as part of comprehensive affordable housing reform legislation passed by the Legislature, but the bill was opposed by Republicans and vetoed by Christie.

This time around, the bill was approved 34-0 by the Senate and 78-0 by the Assembly in June.