Fall/Winter 2012 Newsletter

Tax Appeals – There May Never Be Another Better Time

2012 saw, statewide, a record number of tax appeals being filed both at the County Board level and at the Tax Court level.  Given the decline in the real estate market, the success rate for appeals is also at a record high.  The property owners who did not file an appeal in 2012 certainly should consider doing so in 2013. 

Property owners will be receiving green cards with their 2013 assessment information in January and early February.  Since few towns assess at 100% of fair market value, the assessment needs to be adjusted based upon the State Director of Taxation’s “ratio” of assessed value to true value for each municipality.  This information can be found at the State Division of Taxation web site: http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/lpt/lptvalue.shtml. ; For example, Somers Point’s assessments in 2012 were at a ratio of approximately 50% of true value.  So an assessment of $500,000 in Somers Point means the City is saying that property is worth a million dollars.  

The filing date for 2013 is April 1 with the exception of those municipalities that have implemented a revaluation this year.  In those municipalities, the appeal date is May 1. 

Sal Perillo has over 30 years of experience representing clients on tax appeals throughout the State.  Please feel free to call (609-927-1177) or email (sperillo@npdlaw.com) if you have any questions.

Is Your Holiday Party A Lawsuit Waiting To Happen?

In the next few weeks, corporate holiday parties will begin.  While intended to show gratitude to hard-working employees, holiday parties can lead to sexual harassment charges and other liability problems.  Adding alcohol to the party, as more than 50% of US companies did last year, simply elevates those risks.  Sponsoring a party, even after working hours or off-premises, can result in charges of sexual harassment or civil and criminal liability for alcohol-related offenses. 

While every Company must be proactive about enforcing policies all year, this is an excellent time to remind employees that sexual harassment is illegal and will not be tolerated at any Company function.  If you are serving alcohol, consider providing transportation, limiting bar hours or offer drink tickets to control the amount consumed.  If bad behavior is witnessed, stop it immediately as you would in the workplace.  Finally, if a complaint is received after your party, investigate promptly and discipline if warranted. 

Remember: If certain behavior wouldn’t be tolerated in the workplace, do not permit it at your Company’s holiday party. 

If you need assistance with such issues, before or after your holiday party, please contact Kimberly A. Procopio at our office, who has experience in all areas of employment law, including training, investigation and disciplinary guidance for harassment claims.


Governor Christie Approves Extension to Permit Extension Act

On September 21, 2012, the Governor signed into law an amendment to the Permit Extension Act of 2008 allowing, with few exceptions, certain state, county and local development permits and approvals unexpired as of January 1, 2007 to remain valid until December 31, 2014, and in some cases until June 30, 2015.  The new law marks the third amendment to the Permit Extension Act in as many years extending the life of permits and approvals valid as of January 1, 2007. 

Given the poor economic client, the law is an important step in providing additional time for stalled projects to be completed. 
If you have a permit or approval valid as of January 1, 2007, the attorneys at Nehmad, Perillo and Davis, P.C. can assist you in determining the applicability of the Permit Extension Act and the potential new expiration date for that permit or approval.  Please feel free to contact Leo Manos at the firm with any questions you may have.


Navigating Gifted & Talented Educational Programs in Response to State & Federal Budget Cuts

In a recent briefing on Capitol Hill hosted by the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC), it was stated that federal policies have done little to address the needs of the nation’s high-ability students, impeding those students’ chances of academic success and threatening the nation’s ability to compete globally.  The introduction of new legislation formally known as “To Aid Gifted and High-Ability Learners by Empowering the Nation’s Teachers” or (TALENT) Act, provides teachers, school districts, and states with the support needed to better identify and serve gifted students through amendments to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

Unfortunately, recent state and federal budget cuts have caused New Jersey school districts to “teach to the middle” now more than ever.  From the teachers’ perspective, the ability to recognize students' strengths is enhanced when there is an environment that nurtures students intellectually and emotionally, and when students are observed systematically.  Recognizing a child’s strengths, however, is only the first step. Once a child’s strengths are recognized, teachers can respond to these strengths by providing advanced learning opportunities tailored to each student’s needs.  An important goal of educators must be the development and implementation of appropriate educational practices that motivate and challenge all students to achieve their potential. 

Although an appropriate educational opportunity is every student’s right, many educators are not able to provide the proper level of teaching to all students due to the wide range of children with varying educational levels within their classrooms. 

An important component of our legal representation is our ability to quickly mobilize our resources to provide prompt, quality, substantive client counseling services for both routine and emergent matters. We handle appeals of administrative decisions before the Superior Court of New Jersey, the United States District Court and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.  Our litigation support services also include attending Individualized Education Programs (IEP) meetings, mediations, and other hearings where legal representation is necessary.

For more information and for a free review of your child’s current educational placement, please contact Eric Goldstein.


Solar Is Bright in New Jersey Again

Solar construction which has been in a lull in New Jersey is about to take off again as a result of a new law.

On July 22, 2012, Governor Christie signed into law S-1925, a comprehensive bill that aims to stabilize and reinvigorate the state’s solar development market, which has suffered over the last few years from a sharp decline in demand and price levels for solar renewable energy credits (SRECs).

Notable provisions of S-1925 include:

• The requirement that utilities obtain 2.05 percent of their power from solar projects beginning in 2014, 0.5 percent more than currently required.  This quota would rise to 4.1 percent by 2028.

• A reduced maximum penalty of $339 per megawatt-hour of solar power that a utility is short of its annual quota.  This maximum penalty price, in turn, would effectively result in a price ceiling of $339 per megawatt-hour of solar power, and would thus prevent the wild price swings for SRECs that have plagued such credits in the past.  The law also sets a 15-year schedule for penalty payments by non-complying utilities.

• A provision which allows developers to hold onto SRECs for five years instead of three, encouraging them to sell the credits at a better time instead of being forced to sell SRECs into an over-supplied market.

For more information on solar legislation in New Jersey and developer incentives for including solar panels in new construction, please contact Michael Peacock, Esquire.


Attorneys Kimberly A. Procopio and Vincent L. Lamanna, Jr. Join Nehmad Perillo & Davis, P.C.

Attorneys Kimberly A. Procopio (formerly Kimberly Baldwin) and Vincent L. Lamanna, Jr. have joined Nehmad Perillo & Davis.

Kim has extensive background and experience in complex litigation, employment litigation, labor relations and local government.  She currently represents various municipalities and counties in labor and employment matters, as well as in state and federal civil litigation.

She is a graduate of Clark University and Villanova University School of Law and is licensed to practice in all New Jersey State and Federal Courts.

Vincent is an experienced attorney in local government and real estate law, representing clients in commercial transactions, real estate and land use development and is a court-approved civil mediator.  He will serve Of Counsel to the firm and will continue to maintain his practice from his offices in Avalon.

The affiliation with Mr. Lamanna in Avalon provides an added presence for Nehmad Perillo & Davis in Cape May County.

He is a graduate of Villanova University and Rutgers School of Law and is licensed to practice in all New Jersey State and Federal Courts.