ROSELLE PARK, NJ - A five-year tax abatement ordinance for single family and multi-family homes was passed during the Roselle Park council meeting on Thursday night. The abatement ordinance is a tax reduction towards improvements of homes over 20 years old of up to $25,000.

“I discussed this with the chief financial officer and tax assessor two years ago,” said Mayor Carl Hokansan.

The ordinance was approved in a 5-0 vote with Councilwoman Charlene Storey abstaining from the vote. Once the abatement is approved by the Borough of Roselle Park, the homeowner will be exempt from taxation of the first $25,000 in the Tax Assessor’s full and true value of improvements for a period of five years following completion of the improvement. After five years, it is no longer exempt.

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“I think you should promote it every time you answer the phone,” said resident, Saul Qersdyn to the council. “I don’t think people understand the magnitude of how this is going to help the town.”

According to section 4 of the ordinance, to receive the abatement you must bring the municipal governing body the following:

  • An application with a general description of the project. 
  • A legal description of all real estate necessary for the project.
  • Plans and other documents to demonstrate the structure and design. 
  • A statement of the reasons for seeking tax abatement and a description of the benefits to be realized by the applicant if granted. 
  • A statement showing the real property taxes currently being assessed and estimated tax payments that would be made by the applicant in the first full year after the abatement.

Also, if the project is a multi-home, a description of the number and types of housing units to be provided, a description of the common elements or general common elements, and a statement of the proposed initial rentals or sales prices of the housing units according to type and of any rental lease or resale restrictions to apply to the housing units respecting low or moderate income housing, and such other pertinent information as the governing body may require. 

“ I can improve my house, it improves the community,” said Qersdyn.

In the meeting the council clarified that the abatement was not open to businesses, and apartment complexes. The limit of what is considered a multi-family home was stated as no more than four housing units. No tax abatement will be approved without resolution from the Borough Council.

“The potential idea of extending this to businesses would be a worthwhile opportunity,” said resident and former Mayor Joe DeIorio. “Especially with Roselle Park having so many mom and pop businesses.”

The council also unanimously passed an ordinance increasing the maximum salary caps, some doubling for several officials and employees including Chief Inspector, Tax Assessor, and Fire Official. Classified together, Construction Official/Building Sub-Code official/Building Inspector maximum salary cap was tripled to $120,000. This position was a part-time position but will now be a full-time position,

Joshua Rosario is reporting this story as part of the journalism program at Kean University.