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Posted on: June 3, 2019

Bill to Clarify Tax Responsibilities Introduced

The League fully supports recently introduced legislation, which will clarify telecommunications industry business tax responsibilities, and shield local taxpayers from the costs of endless tax court litigation. The companion bills are A-5450 and S-3827, and we thank the sponsors.

Relying on a misreading of a 1997 law, Verizon claims that it can exempt itself from the payment of business personal property taxes (BPPT), in any year and in any municipality, when and where it, unilaterally, determines that it provided less than 51% of dial tone service.

Since 2008, Verizon has exempted itself from payment of taxes on all of the cables and electronic equipment it houses in local switching stations in more municipalities every year. These claimed exemptions now unfairly burden residential taxpayers in hundreds of New Jersey municipalities.

Municipalities, led by Hopewell Borough in Mercer County, have been fighting these claims in court for over 10 years, now. Verizon appears to be willing to continue the litigation indefinitely.

A-5450/S-3827 would put an end to the travail. They will clarify the Legislature’s intent to permanently apply the business personal property tax on local exchange telephone companies that were subject to the tax as of April 1, 1997.

See our  May 28 Town Crier blog post and reporter Bob Fernandez’ May 24 Philadelphia Inquirer story for details.

A-5450, sponsored by Assemblymen Burzichelli, Schaer and Karabinchak, has been referred to the Assembly State and Local Government Committee. S-3827, sponsored by Senator Turner, awaits referral in the Senate.

Assembly State and Local Government Committee

Hon. Mazzeo, Vincent - Chair
Assemblyman, District 2
2312 New Road, Suite 102
Northfield, NJ 08225
Phone: 609-383-1388
AsmMazzeo@njleg.org

Hon. Sumter, Shavonda E. - Vice-Chair
Assemblywoman, District 35
191 Market Street
Paterson, NJ 07505
Phone: 973-925-7063
AswSumter@njleg.org

Hon. Carroll, Michael Patrick  
Assemblyman, District 25
146 Speedwell Avenue
Morris Plains, NJ 07950
Phone: 973-539-8113
AsmCarroll@njleg.org 

Hon. McKnight, Angela V.  
Assemblywoman, District 31
2324 John F. Kennedy Blvd.
Jersey City, NJ 07304
Phone: 201-360-2502
AswMcKnight@njleg.org 

Hon. Peters, Ryan E.  
Assemblyman, District 8
668 Main Street
Lumberton, NJ 08048
Phone 609-667-7360
AsmRyan@njleg.org 

Hon. Reynolds-Jackson, Verlina 
Assemblywoman, District 15
144 West State Street
Trenton, NJ 08608
Phone: 609-571-9638
AswReynoldsJackson@njleg.org

Contacts:

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