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Belmar Approves Designation That Would Encourage 5-Year Tax Abatements

All real property in Belmar declared an "area in need of rehabilitaiton"

A designation declaring all real property in Belmar an "area in need of rehabilitation" could allow the borough to grant five-year tax abatements for improved property, officials said.

In a resolution passed at this week's council meeting, the borough agreed it deserved the label "an area in need of rehabilitation" for the entire borough. The resolution passed with a dissenting vote from Councilman Jim Beam, who was concerned the designation would allow for zoning changes and labeling property as blight.

The resolution's intention, Mayor Matt Doherty said, in establishing the designation, is the benefit of allowing Belmar to grant five year tax abatements to Hurricane Sandy damaged properties that make improvements to their site.

The property improvements would have come with more taxes on the higher valued property, but a tax abatement would now be possible, he said, giving residents some relief after Hurricane Sandy.

Among the points in the resolution is that Belmar has an aging water infrastructure, more than 50 years old, which is one element that allows the borough to qualify for the designation under the state rules that establish what "an area in need of designation" must be.

After a January meeting took the first step to label the borough's real property, the council sent the resolution to the planning board for review.

At its last meeting, the Belmar Planning Board found that the statutory criteria to designate the Borough as an area in need of rehabilitation is satisfied.

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