Holmdel officials propose starting ‘shop local’ tax reward program


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HOLMDEL — The members of the Holmdel Township Committee have voted unanimously to introduce an ordinance that will, if adopted, establish a “Shop Local” property tax reward program in the community.

During a meeting on Sept. 11, Mayor Greg Buontempo, Deputy Mayor D.J. Luccarelli, Committeeman Rocco Impreveduto and Committeeman Brian Foster voted “yes” on a motion to introduce the ordinance.

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One seat on the five-person governing body has remained vacant following the resignation several months ago of Committeewoman Cathy Weber.

Following its introduction, a public hearing on the “Shop Local” ordinance was scheduled for Nov. 22. The committee members may adopt the ordinance following the public hearing.

Township Committee members did not comment about the proposed “Shop Local” program as they voted to introduce the legislation that will create it.

According to the text of the ordinance, the Township Committee “desires to stimulate
local commerce in Holmdel by encouraging the patronage of Holmdel-based businesses by
township residents” and informs residents a state law “expressly authorizes municipalities to establish property tax reward programs encouraging patronage of retail establishments.”

Under a property tax reward program, local businesses commit to paying a percentage of sales, less any operating costs to the program operator, to be credited to residents
in the form of property tax relief, with such programs intended to serve as an effective incentive to shop locally, according to the ordinance.

According to the proposed ordinance, “prior to the enactment of any property tax reward program, the Township Committee shall adopt a resolution authorizing the program and authorizing a contract with a private entity to serve as operator and administer the property tax reward program to property owners in the municipality.”

The ordinance goes on to state that, “A property tax reward program implemented by the township shall allow participating customers to use the property tax reward program at no cost to themselves.

“A property tax reward program shall, at a minimum, provide to participating customers the ability to register for a reward card online, view a record of the customer’s past transactions that earned program rewards, and view the total amount of rewards earned.

“For a transaction to be eligible for a reward under the program, a participating customer shall use or display a reward card when making a purchase of goods or services from a participating business.”

The ordinance goes on to state that “not later than June 1 annually … the operator shall provide to the municipal tax collector a list of participating customers who are property owners in the municipality, with the total amount of rewards earned by each property owner during the reward period, and shall transfer the corresponding amounts earned by those participating customers to the tax collector, to be credited against each participating customer’s property tax bill.

“During any period in which the property tax reward program is authorized and
operational, there shall be included on or with the tax bill the amount of the property tax reward as a credit against property taxes due and payable by a property owner who participates in the program. The property tax reward program shall be identified on the tax bill as the source of the property tax credit,” the ordinance states.

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