Hilltop Groundbreaking Opens Next Phase Of Tax Relief For Verona


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Last Thursday, officials from Verona joined executives from Roseland Property Company and JMP Holdings to break ground for the next phase of development of the rental complex on Verona’s western ridge. That’s Mayor Frank Sapienza on the far left and Town Council member Kevin Ryan (second from right) with the shovels above.

The second phase of the Highlands at Hilltop will add 130 one- and two-bedroom rental apartments, tennis and basketball courts, and a second larger clubhouse to the complex, which already has 95 residences (pictured below). But perhaps more importantly for Verona, it will get us closer to getting the full tax stream.

Rather than being assessed for regular property taxes,  the Highlands development was set up as a PILOT, or payment-in-lieu-of-taxes. In the usual property-tax formula, 50% goes to the schools, 25% goes to the county and 25% to the town; in  a PILOT, 95% of the $1.5 million annual tax revenue from the Hilltop units will go to the town and 5% to the county.  Verona is getting an intermediate boost from the construction phase because, last year, we raised the cost of building permits.

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According to Roseland Property, all of the existing Hilltop residences are fully rented. The complex was originally to be an age-restricted community, but was switched to market-rate rentals in January 2010.

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected]


  1. Does any one know what the change to market-rate rentals has had on school enrollment? Last I heard, there was speculation that there would be no impact.


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