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Village of Ridgewood v. Bolger Foundation

517 A.2d 135, 104 N.J. 337, (1986)

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Village of Ridgewood v. Bolger Foundation

New Jersey Supreme Court

517 A.2d 135, 104 N.J. 337, (1986)

Facts

The Bolger Foundation (plaintiff) was a private foundation that owned land in Ridgewood, New Jersey. The land, encompassing two lots, was located in a residential neighborhood. The Bolger Foundation granted a perpetual conservation easement on the land to the New Jersey Conservation Foundation (the conservation foundation), which prevented the Bolger Foundation from doing anything on the land that would negatively affect the land’s natural state. The easement also provided that if the conservation foundation were to cease to exist, the easement would be transferred to another conservation organization. The village of Ridgewood (defendant) assessed the value of the lots for tax purposes, finding that one lot was worth $21,200 and the other was worth $25,400. The Bolger Foundation disputed the assessment, arguing that the value of the land should be reduced because of the conservation easement. The Bergen County Tax Board agreed with the Bolger Foundation and reduced the assessments to $1,000 each. The New Jersey Tax Court held that the easement was not deductible from the assessment and restored the original assessment on one lot and increased the assessment on the other. The appellate division affirmed the tax court, and the Bolger Foundation appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Antell, J.)

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