Assemblymen John Amodeo and Vince Polistina today said that a new commercial development fee included in an affordable housing bill signed into law last month will be another impediment for the region?s economy, including the tourism industry, and announced that they will be introducing legislation to protect economic development projects that were approved and started prior to the law?s effective date.
?At a time when our state economy is lagging behind neighboring states we should be promoting economic development projects, not imposing new fees on those projects,? said Amodeo, R-Atlantic. ?Not only does this fee discourage commercial projects in New Jersey, but it is being unfairly applied to developers who planned and gained approval for projects before the law took effect.?
An editorial in today?s Press of Atlantic City pointed out that some local officials in shore communities fear that efforts to attract economic development projects may be hindered by the new commercial development fee. The editorial also points out that many projects gained approval or were started before the law took effect July 17, but now will be hit with the fee because it will be applied before certificates of occupancy are issued.
?Under this unfair implementation of the new fee, some projects may end up costing hundreds of thousands of dollars more than the projected cost when applications were approved,? said Polistina, R-Atlantic. ?The only answer I have gotten from legislative leadership as to what recourse these projects have to recoup the unexpected costs is that they should ?sue the state? over the fee. That doesn?t seem to be a very cost-efficient or common sense approach.?
Amodeo and Polistina said the fee itself is a bad idea that should be repealed, but that to mitigate the unfair impact they will also introduce legislation to refund the fees paid by those who had their building permit in place before July 17th but had not received their certificate of occupancy.