Jason Holt — Courtesy: Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi PC
By Joshua Burd
Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi PC has bolstered its team of real estate and property tax attorneys with the addition of a longtime municipal official in the state.
Jason Holt, who brings more than two decades of experience, comes to the West Orange-based firm after recently serving as the business administrator in Atlantic City. He joins CSG as a member in its real estate, development and land use and property taxation and valuation groups.
“Jason’s dynamic background as both a lawyer and municipal leader brings a fresh perspective to the negotiating table,” said Francis J. Giantomasi, a member with CSG’s real estate, development and land use group. “His understanding of the legal conditions needed for successful municipal planning, and also the business drivers that make these deals mutually beneficial and sustainable, will undoubtedly add value to our client advisory teams.”
Holt’s experience spans local government, municipal corporations, turnaround strategy, litigation and fiscal management, according to a news release. In Atlantic City, he first served as the city solicitor, overseeing the municipality’s legal affairs, before he was picked in 2016 to help implement a state-mandated stabilization plan.
As the state-appointed business administrator, he directed the city on its course toward revitalization through the negotiation of several hundred million dollars of tax appeals and the effective management of casino closures, fiscal volatility, major bankruptcy matters and an unprecedented drop in its tax base, according to a news release. Prior to Atlantic City, Holt served as corporation counsel in East Orange, where he oversaw the broad spectrum of the city’s legal affairs, including the introduction of major redevelopment projects, litigation of high-profile lawsuits encompassing employment practices, challenges to municipal legislation, in rem foreclosures and bankruptcy matters.
That tenure also included playing a pivotal role as adviser to the city’s police department and assisting in the enhancement of policing techniques, which reduced the city’s crime rate to state and national record-breaking levels at the time.
Other past roles include municipal court judge for the City of Orange Township, deputy freeholder counsel to the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders and director of affirmative action for Essex County, the news release said. In Trenton, Holt served as deputy legislative counsel to the New Jersey Senate and General Assembly through the Office of Legislative Services.
CSG expects Holt’s work to include assisting municipalities and developers in drafting and negotiating redevelopment plans and agreements and as well as payment in lieu of taxes agreements, tax appeals and tax exemptions.
“I am excited about beginning this new chapter in my career with a firm as extraordinarily well-respected and uniquely attuned to the needs of the municipalities and businesses it serves,” Holt said. “I look forward to drawing upon my background by deepening these relationships and providing forward-thinking counsel that extends beyond the ordinary into collaborative community building.”
A graduate of Cornell University and Rutgers University School of Law, Holt is licensed to practice in New Jersey and before various federal jurisdictions, including the U.S. Supreme Court. He holds a diplomate in New Jersey Local Government Law.