Supreme Court Update
Advance Housing, Inc. is scheduled with the Supreme Court for argument on Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 1:00 p.m., in the Courtroom of the Supreme Court of New Jersey, Richard J. Hughes Justice Complex, 25 Market Street, 8th Floor, Trenton.
January 15, 2013
This is a day that could have a major impact not only for Advance Housing, but other nonprofits throughout the State. We invite our supporters to attend this historic day.
Nine Bergen County municipalities denied tax exempt status to the properties owned by Advance Housing and their communities. Advance Housing appealed those decision to the New Jersey Tax Court. In June 2009, Tax Court Judge Pizutto ruled that Advance Housing, Inc., a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization, is not entitled to tax exemptions on properties it owns where services are provided to consumers living with mental illness. The Judge held that Advance Housing does not provide sufficient services to the consumers in the properties it owns to warrant tax exempt status. He characterized the services provided as “brief” and always “voluntary”.
Advance Housing has approximately $1 million dollars in property taxes at stake. Also at stake is a precedent that could be set which would make a 501 (c)(3) non-profit agency ineligible for tax exemption on property it owns. This ruling could effect every non-profit in the United States that has negotiated a tax exemption or Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILOT).
Judge Pizutto’s decision was appealed to the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey; oral argument was held before a three-Judge panel on March 15,2011 and the Court rendered its decision on October 4, 2011, unanimously reversing Judge Pizutto’s decision and upholding Advance Housing’s entitlement to real property tax exemption for the subject real properties. The Court held that Advance Housing’s properties were actually and exclusively used in furtherance of its charitable purpose and was therefore entitled to the tax exemption.
The nine municipalities sought certification from the New Jersey Supreme Court seeking the right to appeal the decision of the Appellate Division. Certification was granted by the supreme Court, permitting the municipalities to appeal the decision. Oral argument before the Supreme Court is scheduled for January 15, 2013 at 1:00 P.M.