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January 27, 2009

S-2485, Commercial Development Fee, Affordable Housing



Dear Mayor:

Yesterday, the Senate Economic Growth Committee considered, amended and approved S-2485, which implements an 18-month suspension on the collection of the 2.5% fee on non-residential (or commercial) development as a funding source for affordable housing.    

Based on the concerns raised by the League and local governments, Senator Raymond Lesniak, who is the prime sponsor of the bill and chair of the committee, agreed to amend the bill to also implement an 18-month suspension of the affordable housing obligation that is generated by commercial development subject to the fee. Further, the bill authorizes municipalities to seek an adjustment of their fair share obligation as a result of this suspension of the obligation, and directs COAH to adjust the obligation accordingly. Municipalities would then only be obligated to provide for this housing (that is, generated by commercial development during this 18-month period) if the state provided the funding.

League President Tim McDonough, Mayor of Hope Township, was joined by a panel of mayors, including Mayors David DelVecchio of Lambertville, Janice Mironov of East Windsor, Randy Brown of Evesham and Dennis Elwell of Secaucus, who all testified in support of the bill, as amended by the committee. We thank them for their efforts. We also commend Senator Lesniak for his consideration of the concerns of local government

The amended bill is not available online yet, but we will advise you when it is posted. In the meanwhile, good summaries are available in the January 27 editions of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Newark Star-Ledger, and the Record. 

SCS for S-2485 now heads to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee for consideration. Questions on this letter can be directed to Mike Cerra at or at (609) 695-3481 x120.

Very truly yours,


William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director




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