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Ordinance to extend home renovation tax exemption in Cherry Hill passed on first reading

A program giving tax exemptions to residents who make renovations on older homes will continue in Cherry Hill.

Council passed an ordinance on first reading to continue program giving residents who live in homes 20 years or older a tax exemption on the first $25,000 worth of improvements to their property.

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Director of Policy and Planning Erin Patterson Gill said the ordinance isn’t undergoing major changes, but the ordinance approved by council every 10 years to keep it active.

“It’s a continuation of the current ordinance and it really just keeps things as they are,” she said.

The ordinance will be up for second reading at the next council meeting on Feb. 24. If not passed, Gill said residents who participated in the tax exemption program would see a drastic increase.

According to director of communications Bridget Palmer, the township has had a tax exemption available to residents since 1977, though it has undergone some changes over the years. The general purpose of the tax exemption is to provide an incentive to residents to make improvements to their existing home. The tax exemption is good for the first five years after the improvement.

Mayor Chuck Cahn said the tax exemption has increased in the last few years after the township had its reassessment.

“It used to be you’d get $15,000 for kitchen improvements or something like that, you’d get $15,000 tax abatement,” Cahn said. “Now it has been raised to $25,000.”

Cahn said the program is very popular among residents, emphasizing the importance of passing the ordinance.

“People come in to apply for this all of the time,” he said.

The ordinance also applies to some non-residential buildings located in redevelopment areas, though Palmer said the focus is on residential homes.

Even though Cahn said many residents already participate in the program, members of council said they want to get the word out to more people about it.

“This is a great incentive for anyone who wants to do a rehabilitation project to their home,” Councilman Jim Bannar said.

In Other News:
• A resolution passed by council officially certified the review of the township’s annual audit. The entire report was reviewed over the last couple of weeks. Cahn said the report did not find any issues with the township’s finances.
“There were no findings from our auditors, which is a tremendous statements on (CFO Michelle Samalonis’) hard work,” he said.

• Council passes three resolutions to utilize state contracts for the purchase of biodiesel, diesel and unleaded fuel. The contracts are extensions of the ones used previously by the township and are used to fuel vehicles in various departments.

• A resolution passed by council awarded a contract to convert township documents from microfilm to digital images. This contract will continue the township’s project in converting documents in various township offices and in the police department. The goal is to better the efficiency with keeping records.

• The next Cherry Hill Township council meeting is Feb. 24 at 7:30 p.m. in the N. John Amato Council Chambers, room 208 at town hall.


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