Photo of Cecilia I. Lassiter

Cecilia I. Lassiter, Chair of the Sills Cummis & Gross State and Local Incentives Practice, focuses on state and local public incentives and real estate matters, with a particular emphasis on redevelopment, zoning and land use.

Since its launch more than two years ago, the New Jersey Aspire tax credit incentive program (“NJ Aspire”) has not been the deal-closing fund that redevelopers have so desperately needed. Thus far, NJ Aspire, like the “ERG” program which preceded it, has been unable to close, or even substantially narrow, projected financing gaps on most potential redevelopment projects across the state’s urban centers.Continue Reading Summary of the Revised “NJ Aspire” Redevelopment Incentive Program

The new “NJ Aspire” incentive program, enacted last week by Gov. Murphy as part of the Economic Recovery Act of 2020, is intended to close project financing gaps in proposed redevelopment projects through the issuance of transferable/pledgeable state tax credits. The program replaces the Economic Redevelopment Growth (ERG) grant program that expired in June 2019.

Relief Requires Time-Sensitive Action on the Part of Businesses

You may have read that the recently enacted New Jersey Economic Recovery Act of 2020 will create a successor business attraction and retention incentive program to Grow NJ to be known as “Emerge.”  Lost in all the news coverage, however, is the fact that this new law includes important amendments to the Grow NJ statute that may provide pandemic-related relief to your company as a tax credit recipient.Continue Reading Newly Enacted Incentives Legislation Includes Important Amendments Giving Relief to Grow NJ Tax Credit Recipients

On Thursday August 9, 2018, the New Jersey Appellate Division held that Prepayment Agreements requiring redevelopers to prepay a portion of the annual service charge in advance of the PILOT commencing when seeking a Long Term Tax Exemption are ultra vires and unenforceable. But perhaps more importantly, the Appellate Division held that municipalities are authorized

A municipality’s ability to impose labor requirements as a condition of a tax break was recently called into question by a federal appeals court decision.  In an apparent “first impression” opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled that the City of Jersey City is acting as a regulator, not a market participant, when it enforces its property tax abatement ordinance. (Associated Builders and Contractors Inc. New Jersey Chapter et als. v. City of Jersey City, Docket No. 2-14-cv-05445).  This ruling could have a significant effect on whether municipalities can adopt ordinances tying property tax exemptions or other incentives to requirements such as PLAs. The decision arguably could even have a ripple effect on state or locally-imposed prevailing wage and affirmative action requirements tied to the granting of incentives.
Continue Reading Municipal Ordinances Requiring Developers to Enter Into Project Labor Agreements as Condition of Tax Exemption May Be in Jeopardy

AIM – Apartment Industry Magazine  |  By Ted Zangari and Cecilia I. Lassiter

New Jersey’s residential “ERGG” program enacted in 2013 has been so successful that some “buckets” of the allocated $600 million in tax credits are empty and others are quickly depleting. However, a prominent legislator recently introduced a bill to re-fund and recalibrate