Plaintiff in the above entitled matter undertook an in rem foreclosure proceeding of two certain tax sale certificates covering premises designated Plate 5, Block 4, Lot 7, and Plate 6, Block 4, Lot 13. To this action the defendant Burlington County Bridge Commission has filed an answer alleging that the lands here involved were exempt from tax on and after the year 1950. The facts in connection herewith are as follows:
On October 1, 1948 the parcels of real estate here involved were owned by Tacony Palmyra Bridge Company, a private corporation of the State of New Jersey. By resolution dated October 22, 1948, and by virtue of agreements pursuant thereto, the Burlington County Bridge Commission, which
exists by virtue of N.J.S.A. 27:19-1 et seq. , acquired the stock of the Tacony Palmyra Bridge Company. On December 27, 1950 the taxes assessed against the parcels of real estate here involved not having been paid for the year 1949, the same were advertised for sale according to law for nonpayment of taxes. There being no other bidders, the said parcels were struck off to the plaintiff municipality.
The first parcel above referred to has an area of one acre and the second parcel above referred to has an area of 7.675 acres, more or less. The parcels are vacant unimproved lands, excepting for signs indicating the direction to the Tacony Palmyra Bridge. There are no bridges, parts of bridges or bridge approaches on the above described lands.
The defendant contends that by virtue of N.J.S.A. 27:19-33, which reads as follows:
"Each bridge and all approaches and other property of any commission are hereby declared to be public property of a public body corporate and politic and political subdivision of the State and devoted to an essential public and governmental purpose and shall be exempt from all taxes. * * *"
that the said lands are exempt from taxes.
N.J.S.A. 27:19-26(j) provides that the Commission may
"* * * acquire, hold and dispose of any and all property, real or personal, make, and carry out and perform any and all contracts and agreements, execute any and all instruments, and do and perform any and all acts and things, necessary or convenient in the exercise of the powers expressly given in this article or in the performance of the duties required in or undertaken pursuant to this article."
N.J.S.A. 27:19-27 permits the acquisition of title by the Commission of
"* * * real estate, riparian rights, and other property, above or under water, as may be necessary for the construction, operation, maintenance and accommodation of ...