Toms River has to pay $17.3 million to Ciba Geigy after another court loss

TOMS RIVER, NJ – Mayor Maurice “Mo” Hill and the township of Toms River are on the hook for $13,000,000 after the township legal department, headed by New Jersey Assemblyman Gregory P. McGuckin lost a major court case against Ciba Geigy.

Two years ago, Hill and the township announced plans for a major building development on the Ciba Geigy property. The owners of the property BASF have been challenging the township’s tax assessment of the property since 2004 and won their reassessment cases in 2004 and 2019.

Now, the township owes BASF $17,391,578 and will borrow $13 million and dip into the town’s tax appeal fund for the additional $4.3 million.

The decision will lead to another tax increase under the watch of the Hill administration. Ciba Geigy ceased operations in 1996 after it drew national attention for contaminated wells and cancer clusters in the township due to its operations.

BASF now pays around $60,000 annually in property taxes on the 1,400-acre site. In the ruling the court also approved 790 acres of the property will be available for development that could be removed from the Superfund site in the future.

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