jackn2mpu is right!! I too live in NJ and most NJ municipalities and in other states will tax your basement as living space if you finish it off with studding and drywall.
There are ways around this!! In my Township, I checked with the Building Inspector and the Tax Assessor when I had a basement - a good idea to check with both to be sure they are on the same page. Here is what I found out:
I could paint the walls and floors plus, even install a suspended ceiling with lights and not be taxed extra - it was still considered unfinished. Bare walls and floors were the key! Also, the heater and water heater could be framed-in and covered with fire code drywall or paneling ( a small area) without being taxed. Permanent wall-to-wall carpeting was unacceptable, but strips of carpeting in the aisle ways were OK! ( I could glue it to the floor.)
The walls were painted a PRR station cream color, green floors with a boxcar red-brown trim. Please don't bring up the subject of the safety-yellow steel support posts in earshot of my wife. I have had to promise her that I Will NOT do any safety yellow in the next basement!!
To attach the bench work I would put studs every four feet or so to attach L-girders or other types of support. The studs would be nailed to a plate top and bottom - nailed at the top plate into the joists and used hard cut nails in the bottom plate. No nails in the walls!
The back drop would be attached to the studs just above the top of the bench (platform) and extend to the drop ceiling. A finished appearance - yet officially - Unfinished!!