After being pocket vetoed by Governor Christie at the end of the lame duck session, NJBA’s connection fee bill, S1247/A2779 (Rice/Greenwald), was signed into law today by Governor Murphy as P.L. 2018, c.74. The legislation provides connection fee credits for existing sewer connections and expands the 50% connection fee credit on COAH units to apply to all developers, not just non-profit developers.
In NJ developers are often required to pay a water and/or sewer connection fee pursuant to the Sewerage Authorities Law, the Municipal County Utilities Authorities Law, or the County and Municipal Water Supply Act. In the event of a redevelopment, the prior property owner had likely already paid these fees and the new owner may not be placing an additional burden on the system. It only follows that the developer should be entitled to (and shall now receive) credits towards the already existing connections. Similarly, all developers should be entitled to (and shall now receive) credits towards units with affordability controls on them.
This new law represents several years of work with the Association of Environmental Authorities (AEA-the trade group for the utility authorities) to address inequities concerning sewer connection fees. Many thanks to all the NJBA members who contributed to this effort and in particular Robert Goldsmith, Esq. and Irene Hsieh, Esq. of NJBA Patron Sponsor Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith & Davis LLP for their substantial efforts on this initiative. Click here to view the new law.