Author Topic: Tax Abatements  (Read 51046 times)

Offline MÇA

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Jersey City will share tax abatement revenue with schools
« Reply #73 on: 04-10-2017, 12:46pm »
Jersey City will share tax abatement revenue with schools
By Terrence T. McDonald | The Jersey Journal
on April 06, 2017 at 11:27 AM, updated April 06, 2017 at 5:03 PM

JERSEY CITY -- Jersey City public schools will get a portion of the revenue the city receives from long-term tax abatements under an executive order issued by Mayor Steve Fulop yesterday.

Ten percent of the annual service charges collected from long-term tax breaks -- otherwise known as payments in lieu of taxes -- will be directed to the public-school district. The executive order applies to all future market-rate residential, hotel, commercial and industrial tax abatements.

Fulop's move comes as a growing chorus of critics locally and statewide have slammed the city for not dedicating some PILOT revenue for school funding, which Fulop promised to do when he was running for mayor. Unlike normal property tax revenue, which is split between the city, county and school district, the city keeps almost all the revenue it receives from PILOT agreements, sharing a sliver with the county.

Last month a group of activists held a mock party meant to embarrass the administration about the dozens of tax abatements it has approved since Fulop took office in July 2013. Ellen Simon, a former Jersey City school board member who organized the mock party, called Fulop's executive order "promising."

"We're going to keep pushing on this," she told The Jersey Journal. "Payments from existing abated developers, now one quarter of the city's budget, will continue to shortchange our schools." Read more

Offline MÇA

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The 10 most lucrative Jersey City tax abatements
« Reply #72 on: 08-10-2015, 05:36pm »
The 10 most lucrative Jersey City tax abatements
By Terrence T. McDonald | The Jersey Journal
on August 10, 2015 at 8:00 AM, updated August 10, 2015 at 1:50 PM

JERSEY CITY — $30.6 million.

That's how much just 10 Jersey City properties with long-term tax breaks would have paid more in taxes last year if the city had billed them at the normal rate.

The figure comes from the city's user-friendly budget, a new document meant to offer taxpayers an easier way to learn how their money is spent. Overall, the document says that the city's 146 tax-abated properties would have paid about $80 million last year under normal taxation.

Ten private properties alone — six office buildings and four residential towers, all along the lucrative Waterfront — would have paid about 40 percent of that total. Portside Towers, overlooking Liberty State Park, represents the biggest disparity: the city raked in $2.4 million from Portside last year, $5.7 million less than it would have received under normal taxation.

City officials and developers have argued that the $80 million figure in the user-friendly budget is misleading. Many if not all of the projects that receive abatements wouldn't have been built without them, they argue, so the abatements bring in revenue to the city that a vacant lot would not.

Assemblyman Raj Mukherji, D-Jersey City, offered a robust defense of tax abatements to The Jersey Journal last week, noting that the projects that receive them sometimes also receive some sort of state aid.

Their "economic benefits must be proven," Mukherji said. "They're not given out willy-nilly." Read more

Offline MÇA

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Jersey City tax abatement policy unfairly benefits union workers, group says in lawsuit
By Terrence T. McDonald | The Jersey Journal
on September 02, 2014 at 11:54 AM, updated September 02, 2014 at 2:44 PM

A group representing nonunion construction workers has filed a lawsuit against Jersey City, saying the city's tax abatement policy unfairly harms construction firms that don't have unionized workers.

The 13-page suit, filed last week in federal court in Newark by the New Jersey chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC-NJ), says nonunion construction firms are "ready, willing and able" to perform work in Jersey City, but are thwarted by the city's "project labor agreements," which require developers receiving tax abatements to use union workers.

The city's PLAs are preempted by the federal National Labor Relations Act, which shows Congress intended labor-management relations "to be controlled by the free play of economic forces," ABC-NJ says in the lawsuit.

The trade group is also taking aim at the city's requirement that 20 percent of labor hours on construction projects that receive tax breaks must be performed by Jersey City workers, with some exceptions if there aren't enough of those workers available.

There is "no evidence" that the hiring of out-of-state workers on privately funded construction projects in Jersey City adversely affects the employment of otherwise qualified Jersey City residents, the lawsuit says, adding that this policy violates the privileges and immunities and the commerce clauses of the U.S. Constitution.

"Essentially, Jersey City has been saying that 'non-union contractors need not apply,' even though the vast majority of contractors in this state are in fact non-union and employ most of the construction industry workforce," ABC-NJ Vice Chairman Greg Sykora said in a statement. "Why should the market be closed to everyone but a small percentage of contractors who have union relationships?"

The lawsuit alleges that the Hudson County Building and Construction Trades Council, which represents union laborers, "was consulted and actively involved" in drafting the original 2007 measure establishing PLAs.

Asked to respond, Mayor Steve Fulop said in a statement that the city is "proud" of its PLAs, which have "put more people to work" than anywhere else in New Jersey.

"What we are doing in Jersey City is working and as a matter of fact the project labor agreements apply to projects with abatements only in exchange for the unions giving Jersey City residents a formal career structured training path," Fulop said.

Regarding ABC-NJ's claim that unions had a hand in writing the 2007 measure establishing the city's PLAs, city spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill said it's common for legislation to include "feedback from stakeholders involved."

Offline Brigid

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With help from Open JC (http://openjerseycity.org), I created an interactive Google Maps tool that shows long-term abatements in Jersey City.  Thus far, the abatements focus on 10+ years approved since July 1, 2013.   

A quick overview of the tool, and a link to the tool itself, is here: http://civicparent.org/2014/04/abatementwatch-an-interactive-tool-for-jersey-city-taxpayers/

Thanks
Brigid

Offline shahaggy

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“We believe union labor builds best,” Healy said in a statement, adding the measure approved this week by the council “closes any loopholes that developers may have tried to use to circumvent” the city’s PLA regulations.


more pandering by :healy:
[04:53 PM] Soshin: I don't think I've ever had fig spread Darna but I like figs and they make my sphincter sing power ballads

[12:48 PM] Bobblehead: Yo, you know I'm really happy for you and Ima let you finish, but soshin had one of the best meercat shouts of all time

[10:23 PM] skwirrlking: you submitting darna for beards eating cupcakes - mca?

[03:24 PM] Darna: [03:22 PM] jeht'aimeu: skw, you are climbing up my pole as well... 

[02:28 PM] propscene: I DPON"T MEAN I LOVE YOU DEEP INSIDE AS MUCH AS I LOVE HIM DEEP INSIDE OH GOD

[12:58 PM] nikki: i feel like i should like the opposite of whatever jehu says

Online jehu

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Re: Tax Abatements
« Reply #68 on: 04-30-2012, 11:57am »
I think part of the PLA deal is that the Unions have to hire 20% locally.

I would have preferred they mandated the hiring of local workers. I think this is a bad decision.
TheFang: yeah, i gotta agree with jehu here

Darna: we had a lovely shat with mrs binky this morning

stephen: Hmm… I'm as clueless as you are.

Darna: could someone please splain to me why a person in a gang is called a gangbanger but a gangbang has nothing to do with gang activity?

shahaggy: can't believe I'm saying this but +1 jehu

[02:58 PM] MCA: it's not stalking, it's caring enough to find out things she won't tell you herself

[01:35 PM] shahaggy: fine but jehu's correct

TheFang: as much as it pains me to say, jehu might be right.

One time, I hired a monkey to take notes for me in class. I would just sit back with my mind completely blank while the monkey scribbled on little pieces of paper. At the end of the week, the teacher said, "Class, I want you to write a pape

Offline Rabelais

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Re: Tax Abatements
« Reply #67 on: 04-30-2012, 11:53am »
I would have preferred they mandated the hiring of local workers. I think this is a bad decision.
[02:35 PM] jehu: and the only people on here who gives good advice are few.

Offline MÇA

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Jersey City Council passes measure requiring developers who receive five-year abatements to hire union workers
Published: Monday, April 30, 2012, 3:00 AM
Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal

A split Jersey City City Council last week approved an ordinance requiring developers who receive five-year tax abatements to hire union workers.

The council adopted the measure six to three Wednesday over the objections of an attorney representing the owners of The Beacon, who have begun construction on three buildings in that luxury development, and who plan to seek a five-year abatement.

Eugene Paolino, the attorney for the developer, said there are a variety of problems with the measure, including that it contradicts a state statute already on the books.

Nonetheless, six council members voted to adopt the measure: David Donnelly, Steve Fulop, Rolando Lavarro, Nidia Lopez, Michele Massey and Viola Richardson. Three councilmen Peter Brennan, Bill Gaughan and Michael Sottolano voted against the measure, saying they fear lawsuits once it’s enacted.

The ordinance compels developers who seek five-year abatements to adhere to the city’s project labor agreements (PLA), pre-set labor pacts that guarantee developers hire only union workers. The PLAs also require unions to hand over at least 20 percent of labor hours to apprentices that live in Jersey City.

Previously, PLAs applied only to developments with long-term tax deals, which typically extend for 20 or 30 years.

Mayor Jerramiah Healy supported the measure, saying last week that developers have been skirting the PLA requirement by applying for five-year abatements instead of more long-term tax deals.

“We believe union labor builds best,” Healy said in a statement, adding the measure approved this week by the council “closes any loopholes that developers may have tried to use to circumvent” the city’s PLA regulations.

Offline MÇA

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$120 million in taxes goes uncollected due to abatements pols grant so freely
Published: Wednesday, September 15, 2010, 6:30 AM
The Jersey Journal
Morgan's Corner

Part 2 of 2

In the face of all the boasting of Jersey City officials about waterfront development and how the municipality is the economic engine of the state, why did property taxes increase this year by 11 percent?

Why hasn't all the new construction translated into a bonanza of tax ratables instead of leaving the city with a $80 million budget deficit?

For that matter, why, with all the new development, was it necessary for the state to give Jersey City $14 million last year in "special municipal aid."

A report released last month from the Office of State Comptroller Matthew Boxer may offer a partial answer to these questions. The report says Jersey City currently exempts $2 billion in property value through tax abatements. "In view of the city's general tax rate of $6-per-$100 of assessed valuation, Jersey City is not collecting approximately $120 million in taxes on exempted properties," the reports says.

The comptroller's report corroborates a study done last year by the nonprofit think tank New Jersey Policy Perspectives that enumerates many of the same issues with the state's long-term abatement law and Jersey City's procedures for awarding these tax breaks.

The NJPP listed nine areas of concern it found in Jersey City -- everything from failing to supply the public with adequate information about the awarding of abatements, to excluding residents from the process, to the issue of developers that receive abatements making campaign contributions to officials who green light their tax breaks. NJPP also makes mention of the minimal number of city residents working on abated projects "despite the requirement that abatement recipients make a good faith effort to hire them."

The comptroller agrees with most of the points raised by NJPP, including a finding that the payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTS) paid by tax-abated developments distort "municipal incentives in using and structuring abatements at the expense of counties, school districts and other taxpayers."

In other words, the municipality shares little or none of the PILOT money with the county, its school district, or even other, non-abated residential and commercial taxpayers.

"Tax abatements should be used carefully and sparingly given the multitude of pitfalls, their far reaching impact, and the reality the exemption from taxation is a departure from the normal allocation of tax obligations," the comptroller's report says. Amen to that.

To its credit, Jersey City has taken some steps to make the process more transparent. Meetings of the "Tax Enhancement Committee" that awards abatements have been opened to the public.

All in all, the most salient factor in the state report is the $120 million in uncollected taxes.

Offline MÇA

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Tight circle governs city's abatements -- and they only listen to themselves: Morgan
Published: Wednesday, September 08, 2010, 6:02 AM
Earl Morgan/For The Jersey Journal
Part one of two-part series

Naomi Bressler, a policy analyst with the think tank New Jersey Policy Perspectives, may have thought that the purpose of an invitation to address the Jersey City council at a caucus meeting last year on Sept. 21 was to discuss the findings and recommendations of her agency on the matter of awarding tax abatements.

Instead, she was bushwhacked by city officials who went into attack mode almost as soon as she opened her mouth.

Then-Business Administrator Brian O'Reilly, Assistant Corporation Counsel Joanne Monahan and several council members pounced on Bressler. They afforded her little opportunity to discuss NJPP's findings -- the thrust of which is the city is handing out abatements in areas that are far from blighted and in the process is losing millions of potential tax dollars for schools and county government.

City government holds on to 95 percent of the "payment in lieu of taxes" charged developers when they are given abatements.

But despite the council's brusque treatment of Bressler, another report on abatements issued last month by the state not only bolsters NJPP's conclusions but claims Jersey City is losing out on collecting nearly $120 million in property taxes from abated properties. That certainly should be food for thought in a city faced with a reputed $80 million budget deficit.

While Downtown Councilman Steve Fulop indicated his desire to discuss the policy implications of the NJPP report, some of his colleagues hammered Bressler on its recommendations and critiques.

Even after Bressler left, Deputy Mayor Rosemary McFadden continued the assault, branding NJPP a gaggle of right-wingers opposed to all government subsidies and promising to issue a PowerPoint refutation of the think tank's report. The consensus among city officials seemed to be that Bressler's organization doesn't have a clue.

Perhaps most alarmingly to city officials, the NJPP report included a recommendation that developers who receive abatements be prohibited from contributing to the campaigns of elected officials.

While Jersey City isn't the only municipality awarding tax abatements, it hands them out quite liberally and its elected officials have, over the years, received millions in campaign donations from developers, especially the ones building on the city's so-called "Gold Coast."

What I've seen over the years is a small group of players tend to dominate the terrain.

In what could be interpreted as a move to inject an element of transparency in the procedure for awarding abatements, former Jersey City Mayor Glenn D. Cunningham pushed through an ordinance requiring lobbyists for developers to be listed with the City Clerk's Office.

A perusal of the list reveals the law firm of triple threat priest/lawyer/developer Francis Schiller, a longtime player in local politics, represents nearly all but a handful of the developers operating in the city. Before Schiller, the politically connected attorney Brian Doherty, now deceased, who was also husband of the aforementioned Rosemary McFadden, was the go-to lawyer for the developers.

The NJPP report further recommended limiting abatements to a maximum of 10 years. Currently in Jersey City, abatements can stretch for 20, 30, even 40 years.

About the $120 million in uncollected property taxes and several other matters mentioned in that state comptroller's report -- to be continued.
« Last Edit: 09-15-2010, 12:37pm by MCA »

Offline MÇA

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State report criticizes tax abatements, cites deals in Bayonne, Hoboken, Jersey City
Published: Wednesday, August 18, 2010, 5:55 PM
Updated: Wednesday, August 18, 2010, 6:04 PM
Melissa Hayes/The Jersey Journal

Tax abatements have become a method for municipalities generate revenue and compete for development, according to a report released by the state Comptroller’s Office today. The 30-page report, which calls for reforms of the state law allowing the tax breaks, notes “significant use” of abatements in Bayonne, Harrison, Hoboken, Jersey City and Union City.

Abatements were meant to spur development in blighted areas, like those deals given to The LeFrak Organization who built Newport along the dilapidated Jersey City waterfront in the 1970s and 1980s, and has plans to expand the development. But the city’s waterfront, now flush with high rise buildings, is still designated as “in need of redevelopment,” allowing for the continued use of abatements.

According to the report, “standards concerning these designations seem to be loosely applied and rarely reviewed.” The report also notes that short-term abatements have been granted to development that are already completed.

Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy defended the city’s use of abatements saying it has helped the city become “the economic engine of the state.” “As we continue to compete with places like New York City and Brooklyn to attract high profile companies to our city, we will continue to judiciously use tax abatements to foster growth and jobs in our city,” Healy said in a statement.

But state Comptroller A. Matthew Boxer said abatements take tax dollars away from school districts and counties, displacing the tax burden. For example, Bayonne granted an abatement to a power station in November that would give the city 95 percent of $45 million in payments in lieu of taxes over 30 years. The municipality would have collected $27 million in traditional taxes during that period. The county will get 5 percent of the abatement and the school district gets nothing.

“When the entity in charge of deciding who receives a tax break knows it will profit from its decision regardless of its merits, that’s a recipe for poor decision-making,” Boxer said in a statement. “Abatements should be granted only when the public at large will come out the winner.”

In a letter to Boxer’s office, Bayonne Mayor Mark Smith argues that the project is a win for taxpayers because it will generate revenue for the Municipal Utilities Authority and it would not impact the school district or county services. “I believe that your analysis of abatements may miss the mark if you focus on the benefits to a public body with or without the abatement,” he wrote.

According to the report, Jersey City exempts about $2 billion of property value and as a result doesn’t collect about $120 million in taxes on those properties. According to county tax records, in 2009 Hudson County received about 25 percent of the taxes collected in Jersey City. While the county still receives 5 percent of the funds collected under abatements, the does not amount to the $30 million it would collect in taxes, the report states.

The report notes that abatements can make school districts rely more on state aid. For example, Hoboken received $8.73 million in state aid and is slated to get $6.9 million in 2010-11, a decrease of $1.74 million, according to the report. But if not for abatements on properties valued at $298 million, the district would get $3.51 million in taxes, more than double its cut in aid, the report states.

Recommendations
Sen. Michael Doherty, R-23rd of Warren County, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee has asked the state Office of Legislative Services to draft legislation that would address Boxer’s concerns. The report recommends the restructuring of payments under abatements. Under the law, municipalities receive 95 percent of the payment in lieu of taxes, counties 5 percent and school district receive nothing.

The report calls for county government to be more involved in granting abatements better manage tax impacts and prevent one municipality from “poaching” a developer from another. The report also calls for school districts and tax-payers to be move involved in the process and for greater transparency and review of abatements. It also says abatement terms should be no longer than necessary to attract development and “should be strictly limited to areas that are truly in need of rehabilitation or redevelopment.”

The report recommends the state should have an increased role in monitoring tax abatement practices.

Offline nugnfutz

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Re: Tax Abatements
« Reply #62 on: 09-23-2009, 12:50am »
PPS:
Thefang: Don't like it? Go live somewhere else.

Woodsy: PS: If you want to debate this more PM me and I will be happy to spin this off into a new thread.  I don't want the Tax Abatement thread to get too far off topic.

........
Ok.
Can you tell me why i need to pay for the education of Newport kids? That was my point. Don't give me the redneck go live somewhere else script.

Offline nugnfutz

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Re: Tax Abatements
« Reply #61 on: 09-22-2009, 06:38pm »
I'd also say, I don't want kids and I can't have kids. Why should I have to pay to raise and educate other ppls sproglets?

Believe me, no one is against the idea of having spawn more then I am. But you live in a community and that's how things are done. We look after and take care of those that can't take care of themselves (children, the poor, the uninsured, etc) because it's for the good of the community as a whole. Don't like it? Go live somewhere else.

My bad - my quote was a little out of context and badly worded. I was referring to the sproglet's parents living at abated properties, that NJPP imply are short-changing the county/schools. I don't want to pick up their tab.

Offline MÇA

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Abatement critic heard council mostly unmoved
« Reply #60 on: 09-22-2009, 08:05am »
Abatement critic heard council mostly unmoved
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
By AMY SARA CLARK
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

According to a New Jersey think tank, Jersey City gives out more tax abatements than anywhere else in the state, robbing the city, county and schools of much needed taxes and unfairly burdening residents of non-abated properties with an unfair financial burden.

An administration official, who came armed with 29 pages of rebuttal, and the Jersey City City Council got into a heated debate last night with the report's co-author, Naomi Mueller Bressler of New Jersey Policy Perspective.

The NJPP report cited the example of the tax-abated Sugar House, where in 2007 condo owners paid a total of $695,477, but under conventional taxes would have paid more than twice that - $1,627,108, with $746,477 going to the city and the rest going to schools and the county.

But Jersey City Business Administrator Brian O'Reilly challenged Bressler's calculations, wielding his own figures on four buildings that recently switched from abatements to conventional taxes. He said in those examples, the city received an average of 31 percent less under conventional taxes.

Bressler countered that even in cases where abatements benefited Jersey City, abated properties still shortchanged the county and schools.

She also made several recommendations to the city, including that the city should limit the percentage of a municipality's revenue that can come from tax abatements, limit abatements to 10 years, bar elected officials from granting abatements to developers who have contributed to their campaigns, and give county and school districts a greater share of payments made in lieu of taxes.

City officials said in their written response that they have opened the abatement process by opening tax abatement committee meetings to the public and that the developer pay-to-play ordinance, which passed Sept. 9. The response rejected most of the remaining recommendations.

Afterward, Downtown resident Mark Smith, who owns a brownstone on Grand Street, said he was disappointed by the response to the presentation. “People who live in luxury waterfront condos pay a fraction of what I pay and I sense there’s an inequality that needs to be addressed,” he said.

But he said it was obvious that the presentation “pushed some buttons” for the council leading to a defensive response.
“They addressed minor issues but they didn’t seem to put much thought into the issues in the report,” he said.
« Last Edit: 09-22-2009, 08:08am by MCA »

Offline Case

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Re: Tax Abatements
« Reply #59 on: 08-18-2009, 12:18pm »
I looked at a few Sugar House tax bills on the tax rolls too. They are hard to figure out. Some big $6K payments and a lot of little $150 payments.

My guess is that the big payments are the twice-a-year abated taxes on the condo. The little payments are the four-times-a-year unabated real estate tax on a prorated share of the land.

Offline TheFang

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Re: Tax Abatements
« Reply #58 on: 08-18-2009, 11:30am »
I'd also say, I don't want kids and I can't have kids. Why should I have to pay to raise and educate other ppls sproglets?

Believe me, no one is against the idea of having spawn more then I am. But you live in a community and that's how things are done. We look after and take care of those that can't take care of themselves (children, the poor, the uninsured, etc) because it's for the good of the community as a whole. Don't like it? Go live somewhere else.
"I can't help it, I'm a greedy slob. It's my hobby." -- D.D.

Offline fasteddie

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Re: Tax Abatements
« Reply #57 on: 08-18-2009, 09:44am »
I looked at a few Sugar House tax bills on the tax rolls too. They are hard to figure out. Some big $6K payments and a lot of little $150 payments. I didn't bother to add them up but the few I looked at seemed to be over $12K. Anyway, I just checked my tax records. They have risen 42.6% in the last 10 years. Can I rely on that trend to continue? I dunno but I do know that a 30 year abated property will not have to worry about that kind of increase.

Offline Woodsy

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Re: Tax Abatements
« Reply #56 on: 08-18-2009, 09:08am »
i got to agree with the jclister on the math. If the average apt value = $800k, then the total regular tax obligation = 65 (apts) * 11k. That means $715k total, and not $1,627,108. Am I missing something?

I'd also say, I don't want kids and I can't have kids. Why should I have to pay to raise and educate other ppls sproglets?

I think the math must be off too.  I can't imagine that even an $800k condo would pay on average $25k a year in combined property taxes.  Nevertheless, having looked at a lot of what people in the Sugar House are paying, most are paying substantially less than I am and my place certainly cost less than the average price of a Sugar House condo.

1) It's cheaper for you to pay for the school system than it is for you to pay to pay for prisons.  2) The tax dollars you spend to educate a populace are more than made up by the taxes they will then pay into the system (i.e. an educated person makes more money and pays more taxes than an uneducated person). 3) Businesses and individuals benefit by having an educated populace.  An educated populace produces a bigger market which helps business.  An educated populace also helps individuals by offering increased services.  Government benefits from having an increased tax base.

Education is just an investment by the government in the labor pool.  It's more similar to government funding of the interstate highway system, an investment in land to promote the free flow of commerce, than it is a social program.  Could public education be improved in this country?  Absolutely, but that is more of a policy issue than a taxation issue.  

Even if you didn't have to pay school taxes you'd still pay somehow.  Doctors and lawyers are expensive because the initial costs to get such a degree are high (both in time and money); likewise college educated people on average make substantially more than high school graduates who make substantially more than high school dropouts.  Those higher wages are paid by the consumers of the worker's goods and services.  If society did not pay to provide a primary education then the costs of said education would be passed on to consumers via the increased costs of labor.  Paying for public education via taxes as opposed to paying for private education via increased consumption costs merely removes the hurdle (tuition) to getting an education thereby leading to increased social and economic benefits (discussed supra) beyond those which would occur if only some of the populace were educated.

PS: This is coming from someone likely to have kids but who will almost certainly NOT be sending them to a public school. There are a lot of unfair things about taxation in this country/state; far far at the bottom of my list is paying for public education (even though I will aslo be paying for private education for my own kids).

PPS: If you want to debate this more PM me and I will be happy to spin this off into a new thread.  I don't want the Tax Abatement thread to get too far off topic.

Offline CeeDub

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Re: Tax Abatements
« Reply #55 on: 08-18-2009, 08:14am »
i got to agree with the jclister on the math. If the average apt value = $800k, then the total regular tax obligation = 65 (apts) * 11k. That means $715k total, and not $1,627,108. Am I missing something?

I'd also say, I don't want kids and I can't have kids. Why should I have to pay to raise and educate other ppls sproglets?
If you don't want, fine; can't, I'm sorry, - but there's always adoption - unless you can't adopt?
If you don't understand the benefit of raising the next generation who will perpetuate and advance humankind, maybe you shouldn't be allow to have kids!

Offline nugnfutz

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Re: Tax Abatements
« Reply #54 on: 08-18-2009, 01:38am »
i got to agree with the jclister on the math. If the average apt value = $800k, then the total regular tax obligation = 65 (apts) * 11k. That means $715k total, and not $1,627,108. Am I missing something?

I'd also say, I don't want kids and I can't have kids. Why should I have to pay to raise and educate other ppls sproglets?

Offline MÇA

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Watchdog group blasts Jersey City for tax abatement 'giveaways'
« Reply #53 on: 08-17-2009, 07:17am »
Watchdog group blasts Jersey City for tax abatement 'giveaways'
by Amy Sara Clark/The Jersey Journal
Sunday August 16, 2009, 2:18 PM

Jersey City's liberal use of tax abatements has robbed the city, county and school district of revenue and has saddled residents not living in tax-abated properties with an unfair financial burden, according to a New Jersey watchdog group.

"We're really concerned about the precedent Jersey City is setting," said Naomi Mueller Bressler, co-author of the report released by the New Jersey Policy Perspective last month.

Initially used to give developers an incentive to build in hard-pressed areas, these "tax giveaways" are now handed to "any or all developers," Bressler added.

City officials have traditionally argued abatements are good for the city since the municipality keeps 95 percent of the money, as opposed to a more even split with the county and schools under the rules of conventional taxation. But this report argues the city is also getting hosed in tax abatement deals.

For example, Sugar House, a 65-unit condominium building located 174 Washington St., received a 20-year tax abatement from Jersey City in 1999. In 2007, the owners of the building paid a total of $695,477 to Jersey City.

But if they had paid conventional taxes, they would have paid more than twice that -- $1,627,108. This city would have collected $746,845, the county $413,741 and the Jersey City School District $455,965, according to the report.

And when county and state officials calculate how much money city residents have to kick in to pay for county services and to support local schools, tax-abated property owners aren't included -- putting an additional burden on conventional taxpayers, the reports argues.

There are currently 134 tax-abated properties in Jersey City and 31 more under construction. But with the economy in the dumps, several developers have re-negotiated even sweeter deals with the city, including the CANCO Lofts on Dey Street and Crystal Point, Downtown on Second Street. The city is also considering changing the terms of its 20-year abatement agreement with the owners of 77 Hudson.

The report argues that politicians have become addicted to abatements because "pre-payments" are used to fill budget holes and developers contribute heavily to political campaigns.

The report concedes tax abatements, most of which last 15 to 30 years, can help spur development in parts of the city beyond the waterfront, including Journal Square.

Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy -- who campaigned against tax abatements when he first ran for mayor but has become an ardent supporter -- said the watchdog group has blinders on.

"It is astonishing that this report -- which provides no empirical data or quantitative analysis -- does not recognize Jersey City as a model for the judicious use of tax abatements which have dramatically increased property values, led to the creation of thousands of units of affordable housing and thousands of construction and permanent jobs, as well as increased investment and funds into our city coffers," he said in a statement.

"Indeed, Jersey City has been referred to in national publications as a model for urban redevelopment and advancement," he added.

The report makes several recommendations, including:
* Only grant abatements in truly blighted areas
* Open to process of granting abatements to the public
* Limit the percentage of a municipality's revenue that can come from tax abatements so that municipalities don't overly rely on this money to balance budgets
* Limiting abatements to 10 years
* Bar elected officials from granting abatements to developers who have contributed to their campaigns
* Give county and school districts a greater share of the tax-abatement money.

The council is currently considering a redeveloper pay-to-play ordinance that would bar campaign contributions from a developer to local officials if that developer is negotiating to be designated the builder of a project in the city.

Offline MÇA

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All That Glitters Isn't Gold
Property Tax Abatements in Jersey City

by Naomi Mueller Bressler and Carolyn Topp





From NewJerseyNewsroom.com:

Study finds tax abatements for developers leave property owners paying more taxes
Wednesday, 15 July 2009 17:31
 
New Jersey's long-term tax abatement law has flaws that prevent it from being used as intended, according to findings in a new New Jersey Policy Perspective report made public Wednesday. The report finds a need for strict state oversight, enforcement and standards to ensure that decisions to grant tax abatements are necessary and benefit all taxpayers.

Originally intended to lure skeptical developers to invest in areas where they might otherwise not build, abatements are now used in the most desirable areas, according to the report. The report finds the use of abatements to lure development has serious consequences for the municipalities that grant them, as well as for the counties and school districts that receive little or no money from them.

The report, "All That Glitters Isn't Gold: Property Tax Abatements in Jersey City,'' was written by NJPP policy analyst Naomi M. Bressler and Carolyn Topp, a senior executive for a national Internet catalogue retailer.

The report specifically focuses on Jersey City, which has awarded countless long-term tax abatements to developers building on its "Gold Coast'' waterfront. Once home to rundown factories, abandoned rail yards and rotting piers, Jersey City's waterfront is now lined with luxury condominiums and office buildings of some of the country's largest financial firms. Although abatements may have helped spur development along the waterfront in the late 1970s and 1980s, they are likely no longer necessary, the report states. However, the city's dependence on them continues to grow. In 1990, the city collected $6.6 million, less than 3 percent of its budget from abatement projects; in 2008, it received $80 million, or 17 percent of its budget. The city expects to receive $89 million this year. Hudson County receives only a fraction of this money and the city's schools receive none of it.

"Jersey City's decision to allow developers to pay less than their fair share of taxes is unfair to everyone who hasn't received an abatement," Bressler said. "The city's policy takes the risk away from developers and places it on the backs of the owners of non-abated properties in the city, county and state."

Although Jersey City gives out more tax abatements than most other municipalities in the state, it is far from the only municipality to use them. Tax abatements are given to companies throughout New Jersey, as well as throughout the country, who say that without them, their projects would be unsuccessful and that they would locate elsewhere. This ignores two significant factors, the report states. First, as is the case in Jersey City, compelling advantages often exist that have nothing to do with taxes. Second, taxes make up only a small portion of a company's cost of doing business.

The report identifies nine problems with the state's long-term abatement law and Jersey City's abatement policies. They are:

• Vague definitions provide overly broad discretion to municipalities.
• The public does not have enough time to challenge abatements and is excluded from negotiations between the municipality and developer regarding the abatement.
• New Jersey law does not limit the number of abatements a municipality can grant or the amount of a municipality's revenue that can come from them.
• Municipalities are not required to audit abated properties for compliance with the abatement agreement.
• The justification used by governing bodies in awarding tax abatements is often lacking.
• Many of the developers who receive abatements make political contributions to the officia ls who granted those abatements.
• Despite the availability of some abatement-related information online, abatement information in Jersey City is not well maintained or readily available.
• Only a small percentage of the people working on abated projects are Jersey City residents, despite the requirement that abatement recipients make a "good faith effort" to hire city residents.
• On at least two occasions, the Jersey City City Council amended an existing long-term tax abatement agreement after it was asked to do so by the developer.

The report finds these issues are even more glaring since there is no conclusive evidence that tax abatements work. Many economists believe that although abatements may help companies decide where to locate within a specific area, they do not play a role in their decision to choose one metropolitan area over another. And, even if it did, it is difficult to determine if the benefit - a small increase in the tax base and the possibility of new jobs - outweighs the cost of providing municipal services to the new residents and businesses.

In addition to identifying shortcomings with the law, the report makes 11 recommendations NJPP believes would turn a program that benefits developers into one that targets abatements to projects that would benefit the municipality and its residents.

The recommendations are:

• Amend the long-term abatement law so abatements can only be granted in "blighted areas" where development would otherwise not take place.
• Require that abatement negotiations between a municipality and a developer be made public when they begin.
• Limit the percent of a municipality's revenue that can come from abatements so that municipalities do not rely on tax abatements to balance their budgets.
• Municipalities should be required to continuously evaluate their tax abatement policy to determine if it benefits its residents.
• Prohibit developers from receiving both a tax credit and other incentives from the state and an abatement from the municipality.
• Grant abatements for no longer than 10 years and phase out the amount of the abatement as the property is transferred from the first owner of a condominium or office building to later ones.
• Require state review and approval of all property tax abatements over a certain value.
• Make available online information regarding tax abatements including ordinances, agreements and compliance reports.
• Bar elected officials from granting abatements to developers who have contributed to their campaigns.
• Provide the county with a greater share of the money from abatement agreements. School districts should also receive a proportionate share of the money.
• Set financial penalties for developers who fail to hire local residents for at least half of the jobs on a project.

— TOM HESTER SR., NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

Offline thebes

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All That Glitters Isn't Gold
Property Tax Abatements in Jersey City

by Naomi Mueller Bressler and Carolyn Topp

Across the country, governing bodies often use property tax abatements to attract businesses and jobs to their area. Intended for rundown or otherwise unattractive areas, questions arise: Has their original purpose been subverted as they have proliferated in areas no longer in need of assistance? Does the new development add enough property tax ratables to themunicipal tax base to make up for 20 to 30 years of abated property taxes? Are owners of non-abated property in the municipality on the hook for taxes not paid by owners of abated property? Ultimately what is the impact on the municipality itself, neighboringmunicipalities, school districts, counties and the state?

Jersey City is an excellent case study of long-term tax abatements. Some of the first abatements granted in New Jersey were in Jersey City. Its governing body – regardless of political persuasion – has been enthusiastic about them and has granted nearly all proposed. This report identifies nine problems with New Jersey's long-term tax abatement law and Jersey City's abatement policies and makes recommendations for how to resolve these problems.

Download the report here.
« Last Edit: 07-15-2009, 09:41pm by MCA »
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Offline nugnfutz

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Re: Tax Abatements
« Reply #50 on: 06-21-2009, 11:49pm »
As I understand it, a vote for the developer is a vote for people who pay property tax (directly or indirectly through rent) to subsidise the developer.

I pay enough taxes. I don't give a monkey's-ass whether the developer makes a loss and goes under - isn't that why they take the risk and potential reward? They go bankrupt - someone else buys out the assets and assumes the obligations. Whoever takes over the debt, still has to pay the City - the City isn't a regular creditor. Why does the City even care about these creeps?

What I do understand is that fwits on the council want to load me and everyone else property owner and renter that pays proprty tax for these developers raping us.
 

Offline Isilme

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Re: Tax Abatements
« Reply #49 on: 06-19-2009, 11:26am »
Yeah well just wait for the reval...

>:(

The last time they did a reval in my neighborhood, it was done much like a drive by shooting.... ::)
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Re: Tax Abatements
« Reply #49 on: 06-19-2009, 11:26am »