Pursuant to New Jersey’s Municipal Services Act, every municipality in New Jersey is required to either provide certain municipal services – such as snow removal, trash  collection, recycling and lighting of roads and streets – to condominium and homeowners associations and co-ops within its borders or, in the alternative, to reimburse these communities for such services.  The purpose behind the Act is simple – eliminate the double taxation of community association residents.  While not unique, New Jersey is one of only a handful of other states that provide for such benefits.  Now, other states and individual municipalities are starting to take notice.

Earlier this year, Bill 070073 was introduced in the Philadelphia City Council, which, if enacted, would provide a tax credit for owners of condominiums and co-ops who do not currently receive regular city trash collection, recycling and bulk item collection services.  The proposed legislation, sponsored by City Councilmen Jim Kenney and Frank DiCicco, has been gaining support lately as a result of the previous efforts of the City Council and despite the opposition of Mayor John Street, who has refused to comply with a previous Court ruling that required the City to provide no-cost refuse collection services to community associations.

Bill 070073 attempts to remedy the inequities suffered by members of community associations who typically pay the same local taxes as non-association homeowners even though community association members are often denied typical municipal services such as trash  collection and recycling.  This Bill seeks to eliminate the double taxation problem by reimbursing tax payers in community associations for trash hauling expenses, which are normally privately funded by assessments paid by unit owners to their respective association.  The legislation is expected to move forward for a vote before the city counsel in the coming months.  The full text of this proposed legislation can be found here.