December 2011

Thomas C. Martin, Esq.
Nowell Amoroso Klein Bierman, P.A., Chair, CAI-NJ Legislative Action Committee

Election Day! Election Day is a date that concerns every politician. It seems that for good or bad, Trenton was so focused on the elections recently and did not have much time to legislate. As a result, many of the bills we have been reviewing have not moved. Nevertheless, the Legislative Action Committee has been using this time as an opportunity to focus on certain issues that would be of great importance to our membership. Trenton is considering everything
from security guards, to taxes, to building inspections, all of which affect how our common ownership interest associations function. The key is to make sure the entire industry is not thrown into turmoil by a well-intended but misguided legislative initiative.

Notably, we are keeping an eye on bills affecting the ability of associations to regulate themselves and to keep their properties secure and safe. A tax assessment pilot porgram is also being promulgated in Trenton. We are watching this bill and exploring a strategy to, if possible, keep the property taxes under control for community association members. Additional legislation is pending to ostensibly make it easier for common ownership interest associations to address important health and safety issues of unit owners who are “aging in place.” These are euphemistically called “Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities” or “NORCs”. NORCSs may become a significant issue for associations nation-wide in the near future. We are on the forefront of these issues in New Jersey to help serve as a resource to the Legislature and help guide this legislation. Hopefully we can help New Jersey serve as a “bell weather state” of sorts for other states in this regard. Further, additional laws are still being proposed to streamline general corporate governance of community associations. It seems Trenton is more concerned than ever about the functions of private interest associations. The proposals seem benign enough, but we want to make sure that each of our association members can still govern themselves as they have been able to since legislation was first introduced, providing for community associations some 40 odd years ago.

We are currently in another session of a “lame duck” legislature. Things can happen very quickly in a “lame duck” session. We will continue to stay on top of these legilsative initiatives and make every efoort to promote
the interests of our membership.

Happy Holidays!

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