The Business Personal Property Tax (BPPT) is a tax collected by municipalities from telecommunications companies. Based on a state statute, when a telecommunications company provides 51% or more of a local telephone exchange to a company that is operating machinery, apparatus, or equipment used to refine petroleum, the company is subject to pay the municipality in which it is operating, a tax. Based upon their records, which are not publicly available, a company can claim they are no longer providing 51% or more local telephone exchange.
The Business Personal Property Tax (BPPT) was enacted in 1997 as New Jersey's response to laws enacted at the federal level. While telephone exchanges operating 51% or greater within a municipality is required to pay BPPT to the municipality, the definition of how these calculations should be made has been challanged, and has resulted in expensive court fees for Hopewell Borough.
Absent legislation to clarify this tax, every municipality faces the prospect of costly annual tax court filings, similar to Hopewell as seen in the Verizon v. Hopewell case. Currently, there is a minimum of 127 other municipalities in the position of Hopewell Borough, and well over 60 pending trials.