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June 12, 2014

Re:      Telecommunications Business Personal Property Tax Survey

Dear Mayor:

Please help us to quantify the municipal revenue losses that have resulted, or that could result, from Verizon’s (or another local exchange telephone company’s) unilateral decision to exempt itself from the payment of Business Personal Property Taxes to your municipality.

REASON FOR REQUEST: Pursuant to R.S. 54:4-1, certain business entities, including local exchange telephone companies, are required to pay taxes on certain personal property. Verizon has interpreted a provision in that law to allow it to exempt itself from that requirement. In 2009 Verizon unilaterally claimed a Business Personal Property Tax (BPPT) exemption in five municipalities. In 2010, 28 municipalities were added to the list. In 2011, 31 more municipalities were told by Verizon that they would no longer receive their BPPT payments. In 2012, they were joined by 45 more. As a result, 109 municipalities entered 2013, knowing that they would need to balance their budgets without Verizon BPPT payments. We expect more and more municipalities to lose this funding in the coming years. A Tax Court case to resolve his issue has dragged on for five years, with no sign of imminent resolution. To end this problem now, companion bills were introduced, in order to provide better direction to the courts regarding the legislature’s intent to protect residential property taxpayers, when laws regarding State taxation of telecommunications providers were reformed in 1997.  We need to convince State policy makers to act on these bills. To do that, we need your help in order to quantify the problem.

Please ask your Chief Financial Officer to complete and return this, as soon as possible.

Telecommunications Business Personal Property Tax Survey

Name of municipality __________________________________

County __________________________

Your name and title ______________________________________

Does your town currently collect Business Personal Property Taxes from a local exchange telephone company?

YES ___                                 NO ___

If so, how much was collected in 2013? ________________

If not, when was the last time your town receive such payments? (Give the year) __________

How much was the payment for that last year? ___________

Please complete this survey on the League’s website at http://njlm-bpp-tax-survey.questionpro.com.  In the alternative, please return your completed survey to Jon Moran by fax 609-695-0151 or e-mail jmoran@njslom.com.

Thank you.

Very truly yours,

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director

 

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