COUTINHO BILL TO EXTEND COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT FEE MORATORIUM GETS FINAL LEGISLATIVE OK

(TRENTON) – 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 received final legislative approval on Wednesday.
The bill (A-4221) extends until July 1, 2013 the moratorium on the fee and requires the return of any monies paid during the period since July 1, 2010.
It was approved 34-0 by the Senate and 78-0 by the Assembly.
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 moratorium is about one thing – job creation,” Coutinho said. “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. Hopefully they have seen the light and at least support this moratorium.”