A developer in Jersey City is requesting a 30-year tax reduction in the Journal Square Redevelopment Zone on a Newkirk Street property. According to the developer, the city’s estimates of its costs were $22,913. And although V. Gupta and Co. is willing to fork up the cash as a minimum payment, the discussion surrounding the abatement on Tuesday night’s Jersey City Council caucus meeting seemed to be a little less than favorable.
In response to the developer’s requested abatement, Ward D Councilman Michael Yun spoke up and thought it was unreasonable to ask the council to vote on such an important project on short notice.
However, Council President Rolando Lavarro explained that the Jersey City law department and tax assessor would work together to make sure that the deal would be more favorable for the city itself. Lavarro also explained that because the project falls within the Journal Square Redevelopment Zone, it qualifies for a 30-year tax abatement.
At the onset of the meeting, Lavarro said, “They’re requesting to add it as a late item, and I said ‘I’ll put it to the council.’ … The last time it was introduced was a 14 percent service charge, annual service charge, and there didn’t seem to be a meeting of the minds on that.”
City Attorney Diane Jeffrey provided additional information regarding this matter by explaining that the cost-benefit analysis shows a slight loss to the city at a 20 percent service charge. When the service charge is raised to 14 percent and increased over time, the city makes up for the loss in a later term.
Jeffrey said, “So we went back in and what we decided is that the entity pays either the greater of the minimal annual service charge so the city can be guaranteed it won’t collect less than a certain amount.”
If the board decides to approve the abatement, the item could show up on the council’s agenda for a first reading.
More details here: Hudson County View