Angelo J. Genova to Testify Before the Assembly Judiciary Committee on Implications of U.S. Supreme Court Campaign Finance Ruling

Angelo J. Genova will testify before the Assembly Judiciary Committee on how the recent U.S. Supreme Court Citizens United decision, which removed campaign spending restrictions on corporations and unions, will impact New Jersey law.  The hearing will begin today at 10 a.m.

Click here to watch the hearing live stream on the New Jersey Legislature website.

Kathleen Barnett Einhorn Named Director of Complex Commercial Litigation Practice Group

Genova Burns is proud to announce that partner Kathleen Barnett Einhorn has been named Director of the Complex Commercial Litigation Practice Group.  Ms. Einhorn, who has been with the firm since June of 2000, specializes in commercial litigation in both state and federal courts and specifically in business litigation, business torts and public procurement.

Ms. Einhorn is based in the firm’s Newark, NJ office.

Angelo J. Genova to Receive 2010 Annual Achievement Award from The Hall Institute of Public Policy – New Jersey

Angelo J. Genova, a partner and co-founder of Genova Burns, will receive the 2010 Annual Achievement Award from the Hall Institute of Public Policy – New Jersey at the Annual Awards Gala on March 18, 2010.

The Hall Institute is a non-partisan, not-for-profit foundation established in 2005 to explore social, economic, educational and cultural issues in an effort to generate debate and discussion and develop solutions to the problems confronting the state and its residents.

Mr. Genova appeared as a guest on the Hall Institute Forum in a 30-minute television interview where he discussed his career, public policy issues facing New Jersey, and his work with the Hall Institute.  Mr. Genova will be the second recipient of the Hall Institute’s Annual Achievement Award.

Click here to view press release.

Click here for more information or to register for the event.

Pending Senate Bill Would Mandate Hospitals’ Adoption and Public Disclosure of Conflict of Interest Policy

On February 4, 2010, the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee approved Senate Bill No. 369, sponsored by Senators Loretta Weinberg and Robert Gordon, which, if passed, would require all general hospital boards of trustees to adopt written policies and procedures governing conflicts of interest on the part of board members as a condition of hospital licensure.  According to its sponsors, the bill is intended to implement a recommendation of the January 24, 2008 Final Report by the New Jersey Commission on Rationalizing Healthcare (“Commission”) that hospitals adopt stronger measures to foster transparency, which the Commission found to be essential to a hospital’s successful governance and service to the community.

Senate Bill No. 369 would require all hospitals, whether tax-exempt or not, to have a written conflict of interest policy in place.  For most of New Jersey’s hospitals, this requirement alone is unlikely to create much of a stir because these hospitals already have adopted written conflict of interest policies in response to the expanded corporate governance reporting obligations adopted in the 2008 revisions to the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) Form 990.  As part of their Form 990 reporting, tax exempt organizations are required to disclose whether they have a conflict of interest policy and, if so, the measures used to make this policy available to the public.

Under S-369, the written conflict of interest policy would be required to include language requiring the disclosure of any perceived or actual conflicts of interest by board members with respect to any matter pending before the board, as well as a prohibition on board members voting on or discussing any contracts from which they would directly benefit.  The bill also would require hospitals to solicit a minimum of three (3) bids or proposals when dealing with any contract of $25,000 or more, when the contract concerns an issue that would be perceived as a conflict of interest for any board member.

Hospital conflict of interest policies and procedures would need to be updated annually and be available to the public and the Department of Health and Senior Services on the hospital’s website and by request.  In addition, hospitals would be required to maintain a record of any perceived or actual conflicts of interest involving board members and of any matter involving the awarding of a contract between a general hospital and a board member.

This bill has been forwarded to the full Senate for consideration and is similar to Assembly Bill No. 1354 sponsored by Assemblypersons Mary Pat Angelini, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, and Paul Moriarty, which is currently pending in the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee.  We will continue to monitor and update you on all significant developments pertaining to this legislation.

For more information, please contact Celia S. Bosco and Christina B. Murphy.

 

Pending Senate Bill Would Mandate Hospitals’ Adoption and Public Disclosure of Conflict of Interest Policy

Publication: GB LAW

View the article

On February 4, 2010, the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee approved Senate Bill No. 369, sponsored by Senators Loretta Weinberg and Robert Gordon, which, if passed, would require all general hospital boards of trustees to adopt written policies and procedures governing conflicts of interest on the part of board members as a condition of hospital licensure.  According to its sponsors, the bill is intended to implement a recommendation of the January 24, 2008 Final Report by the New Jersey Commission on Rationalizing Healthcare (“Commission”) that hospitals adopt stronger measures to foster transparency, which the Commission found to be essential to a hospital’s successful governance and service to the community.

Pay-to-Play Annual Disclosure – A Compliance Seminar and Update on Recent Legal Developments Including Citizens United

Genova Burns will host a breakfast seminar on Monday, March 1, 2010 where the Corporate Political Activity Law Practice Group will explain the annual NJ ELEC Business Entity reporting requirement in a seminar entitled, “Pay-to-Play Annual Disclosure – A Compliance Seminar and Update on Recent Legal Developments Including Citizens United.”  This program will help companies meet the March 30, 2010 filing requirement, explain which government contracts and whose political contributions must be reported, and discuss how the Citizens United decision will affect corporate political activity and compliance strategies, among other topics.

Click here to register for the event.

Is It Time to Appeal Your Property Tax Assessment and Start Saving Money?

If you are like most property owners, one of the biggest complaints you have with regard to your property is that your property taxes are too high. This is why it is of vital importance that you review the assessment of your property each and every year to ensure that you are not paying more taxes than you should be.

Every year all real property in the State of New Jersey is valued for the purposes of taxation. The value placed on the property is known as the “assessment”. Your tax assessor is required to notify you of the current assessment on your property and of the proceeding year’s taxes by mail prior to February 1st of each year.

In order to determine if your property is assessed properly, it is necessary to verify that the assessment satisfies one of two standards. In a revaluation or reassessment year, the True Market Value Standard applies to your property. In this case, your property must be assessed at 100% of true market value. In other words, the assessment must be 100% accurate. If the assessment exceeds the true value of the property, you are entitled to a reduction of the assessment and a tax appeal is warranted. A reduction in the assessment will, in turn, reduce the taxes that you will ultimately pay on the property.

In a non revaluation or non reassessment year, when property values are not reassessed, the Common Level Range Standard applies to your property. Here, in order to take into consideration factors such as inflation, recession, appreciation or depreciation that may cause property assessments to deviate from 100% of true value, the Director of the Division of Taxation determines a ratio that applies to each municipality. The ratio is derived from an analysis of all arm’s length property sales within the municipality to determine the level of assessed value to true value of property. If your property assessment exceeds the ratio by more than 15% of your property assessment it will be considered unfair and you will be entitled to a reduction in your assessment that will reduce the taxes you will ultimately pay on your property. Not knowing your municipality’s assessment/true value ratio may be causing you to lose valuable tax dollars. You may feel that the assessed value of your property represents the true value of the property but unless you know what your municipality’s ratio is and how it is applied to your property, you will not know if your property has been assessed fairly.

The following is an example of how your municipality’s assessment/true value ratio is applied to property assessments:

Your municipal assessment/true value ratio 70%
Common level range 59.50% – 80.5% ($595,000 – $805,000)
True value $1,000,000
Municipal assessment $850,000
Ratio actually applied to your property 85% ($850,000 $1,000,000)
Judgment REDUCTION IN ASSESSED VALUE
New assessment $700,000
Total reduction in your assessed property value $150,000

If you feel that you may be a prime candidate for a tax appeal, we encourage you to seek professional assistance. By law it is assumed that your current assessment is correct and it will be your burden to overcome this presumption in order to obtain an assessment change.

If you are successful in securing a tax appeal judgment to reduce your property assessment, the Freeze Act will apply to your property at your option. This means that your municipality will be bound by the new assessment and cannot increase your property assessment for the year covered by the tax appeal plus two additional years, subject to two exceptions. The first exception is if your municipality conducts a complete revaluation of all properties in the municipality. The second exception is if the municipality proves that there has been a substantial increase in your property value, such as if you construct an addition to your home.

THE FILING DEADLINE FOR TAX APPEALS EACH YEAR IS APRIL 1, 2010.

For additional information, please contact Jeffrey R. Rich or Lisa A. John.

Is It Time to Appeal Your Property Tax Assessment and Start Saving Money?

Publication: GB LAW

View the article

If you are like most property owners, one of the biggest complaints you have with regard to your property is that your property taxes are too high.  This is why it is of vital importance that you review the assessment of your property each and every year to ensure that you are not paying more taxes than you should be.

Dena B. Calo to Speak on Social Media Policies at the Institute of Real Estate Management Tri-State Conference & Expo

Counsel Dena B. Calo will speak at the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) Tri-State Conference & Expo in an education session entitled, “Social Media Policy or What Wasn’t in the Marketing Plan!”  Ms. Calo will discuss social media mishaps and the creation, development and dissemination of social media policies.  The conference will be held on February 18th at The Borgata Hotel, Casino and Spa in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Click here for more information or to register for the event.

Patrick McGovern and Kristina Chubenko Discuss GINA’s New Prohibitions on Misuse of Genetic Information

Author:  Patrick W. McGovern and Kristina Chubenko

Publication: HR Specialist

View the article (pdf)

Patrick McGovern and Kristina Chubenko discuss GINA’s new prohibitions on misuse of genetic information for group health care insurers and what employers should be doing to comply with the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act in their article, “Understand GINA’s new prohibitions on misuse of genetic info” published in the February 2010 issue of HR Specialist.

This article was reprinted with permission from HR Specialist.

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