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Re: Jersey City to sue Port Authority for $400 million
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Why don't to look at the county figures or speak to the county tax assessor. The county strikes the budget not the city. Even a state report on JC talks about "over one fourth" is tax abated and that was some time ago.

Posted on: 2013/11/28 14:02
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Re: Jersey City to sue Port Authority for $400 million
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I really, really hate statements like "Nearly one-third of Jersey City's properties are now tax abated". 1/3 of what? Lots? Units? Land area? Square footage? Value? Making a statement that is easily falsifiable in all but one undefined case is simply sloppy demagoguery.

And until Mr Doherty can make a serious case that these JS properties would be built without abatements, he's blowing hot air. It's not like developers have been rushing in over the last couple of decades as they have Downtown.

Posted on: 2013/11/28 13:32
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Re: Jersey City to sue Port Authority for $400 million
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Posted on: 2013/11/28 11:11
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Re: Jersey City to sue Port Authority for $400 million
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I'm just spitballing here. If the people of JC care about this, and I think they do, it's time to posting the contact info (business and personal) of all of port authority's management.

F these old school corrupt mother frs. With any luck, some kids will have new knockout targets. But that's best case scenario.

At the very least the citizens can start putting pressure on these a$$holes.

Anyone have any info to share?

Posted on: 2013/11/28 11:07
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Re: Jersey City to sue Port Authority for $400 million
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Jersey City mayor denounces impending Port Authority toll hikes

By The Jersey Journal
on November 27, 2013 at 11:04 AM

A little more than two weeks after Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop announced the city will file a $400 million suit against the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, he turned up the heat on the bi-state transportation agency Tuesday by denouncing planned toll increases set to take effect on Dec. 1.

Fulop, Jersey City's first-term mayor, assailed the agency, saying the agency continues to enjoy strong profits while New Jerseyans struggle to recover from the recession.

"The Port Authority dumps a heavy burden on Jersey City taxpayers in three ways - from the costs of municipal services provided to the Port Authority, from the increasing tolls and PATH fares, and from a staggering underpayment by the Port Authority to the City for its property here," Fulop said.

According to just released data from the New York Federal Reserve Bank, North Jersey is lagging behind the rest of the metropolitan area in recovering from the recession. Last year, the $4 billion Port Authority had a 31 percent profit margin, not including depreciation, amortization, taxes, interest and capital expenditures.

"The Port Authority is financially strong and could choose to delay this increase," he added.

A Port Authority spokesman did not return a request for comment.

Beginning Sunday, Dec. 1, tolls on cars using E-ZPass will increase 75 cents, following increases in both 2011 and in 2012. The Port Authority will continue to increase the tolls by 75 cents for each of the next two years on cars using E-ZPass. Tolls on cars paying with cash will increase $1 in 2014 and 2015. Fares will also increase for carpool and green pass motorists.

For PATH riders, a single PATH ride will cost $1.00 more – rising from $1.75 to $2.75 – by next October, with 25-cent annual fare increases that began in 2011 and continue through next year.

Currently, for all Jersey City properties owned by the Port Authority – excluding the Holland Tunnel which is tax exempt – the agency pays the city $2.2 million annually. Those same properties are assessed at a rate that would result in $18.2 million in property taxes annually to the city.

"The Port Authority continues to create hardship for the people of Jersey City and it is time they pay their fare share," Fulop explained. "That's why we are suing for back taxes and interest totaling approximately $400 million and going forward we will also set the rate at a more realistic payment to benefit Jersey City taxpayers. The Port Authority isn't struggling, though its host cities bear a tremendous burden. It's time make the Port Authority respect the commuters whose money they grab every day."

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... n_new_jersey_economy.html

Posted on: 2013/11/28 0:17
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Re: Jersey City to sue Port Authority for $400 million
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Port Authority Chairman replies to Jersey City Mayor Fulop's accusations

By Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal
November 18, 2013 at 12:03 PM

In response to Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop’s claims the Port Authority is behind on taxes to the city to the tune of roughly $350 million, the bi-state agency’s chairman, David Samson, told NJBiz Friday that the Port Authority complies with all legal and contractual obligations.

Read more at the Jersey Journal


Posted on: 2013/11/18 12:27
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Re: Jersey City to sue Port Authority for $400 million
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The $50K is probably just the tip of the iceberg. That is what is being authorized for now. If the PANYNJ intends to fight this all the way (and with my experience, they do not tend to settle early) then even at the $150 (really cheap) rate the litigation will cost more.

Remember with the Embankment litigation the city has routinely authorized expenditures in the tens of thousands for legal fees, then gone back for more.

I don't think the city is being deceptive, because in the article corp counsel Farrell is forthright in saying that the litigation will likely cost more. What this does is that it requires the law firm to update the city as to progress, and requires the council to take another look as the litigation proceeds (having said that, once you start litigation, it's hard to just walk away).

I don't necessarily disapprove of this practice, but the city should try, to the best of its ability, to estimate total potential costs.

Posted on: 2013/11/15 11:28
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Re: Jersey City to sue Port Authority for $400 million
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Quote:

Frank_M wrote:
The official statement from City Hall has flies buzzing around it, so I can only hope the contract was deliberately awarded to this particular consultant for the sake of “friendly” terms.


It sounds like, since the firm has already traveled this road for Newark, much of the discovery and background work may already be done. It makes sense not to pay a different firm to reinvent the wheel. At least that's what I hope, and it's not just another sweetheart deal for an ally/contributor, with the $50k being the tip of the iceberg.

Posted on: 2013/11/15 10:55
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Re: Jersey City to sue Port Authority for $400 million
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The official statement from City Hall has flies buzzing around it, so I can only hope the contract was deliberately awarded to this particular consultant for the sake of “friendly” terms.

Posted on: 2013/11/15 10:08
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Re: Jersey City to sue Port Authority for $400 million
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Quote:

CatDog wrote:
$150 an hour is a freaking bargain with lawyers, man.


On the surface, yes. But let's see how many hours they charge. Or if there's any contingencies.

Posted on: 2013/11/15 9:24
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Re: Jersey City to sue Port Authority for $400 million
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Indeed, $150/hr is very, very low for attorney services. Too low, actually. I am surprised to hear about that rate.

Based on my experience with firms, they will assign several associates to this project, with one or two partners supervising. So, really, you will have several attorneys working this case, all billing full days, at the same time. If each attorney bills 50 hrs/week, that's $7,500 per week, per attorney. If more than three are working this case, that $50,000 could be easily spent in less than two weeks. The council will be busy renewing these $50,000 agreements every other week!

Posted on: 2013/11/15 6:20
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Re: Jersey City to sue Port Authority for $400 million
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Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop: Time to stand up to the Port Authority: Opinion

By Star-Ledger Guest Columnist
November 14, 2013 at 7:12 AM

By Steve Fulop

Ask any New Jerseyan or New Yorker what their least favorite government entity is and the answer will most likely be the Port Authority. This is a reputation earned from decades of callous disregard for most any individual or company who questions its direction.

Tolls going up too much? Tough. We need more money and we aren’t really going to tell you why. PATH fares getting too expensive? Deal with it.

But to the friends on the inside, generosity rules the roost. For example, the licensing rights to the World Trade Center name, worth millions of dollars, were sold to a former employee for $10.

This all-too-familiar approach seems to be part of the Port Authority’s DNA, and it’s gone on for far too long. That’s why the Jersey City Council and I are suing the Port Authority. We are taking stand on behalf of our residents and won’t let the agency dictate terms to us any longer. It’s about fairness.

We didn’t come to this decision easily. Litigation is expensive. But despite numerous calls, e-mails and a letter, the authority never responded to requests to discuss our concerns. It left us no other alternative to seek justice for our residents.

The Port Authority’s supporters will accuse us of playing politics. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Our action has nothing to do with Govs. Chris Christie or Andrew Cuomo. It’s about changing the institutional approach of the authority that makes it impervious to legitimate complaints.

The Port Authority has an epic sweetheart deal in Jersey City that costs our taxpayers every day. According to our records, it owns 306 acres in the city, comprising five major facilities. Instead of paying property taxes, the authority makes "PILOT" payments — payments in lieu of taxes — many of which date back several decades. The payments are based on the last taxes paid on the property at the time of the sale and don’t increase over time, regardless of property value or inflation.

Currently, for all Jersey City properties owned by the authority — excluding the Holland Tunnel, which is tax-exempt — the agency pays $2.2 million a year. If the Port Authority paid property taxes at today’s assessed rates, the bill would be $18.2 million a year.

Worse, some Port Authority properties have no PILOT agreements in place — which is a requirement. As such, our attorney will also review Jersey City’s right to impose and enforce additional PILOT agreements that have not been enacted. A case in point: the office building at 2 Montgomery St., purchased by the Port Authority in 2010, for which the agency pays no taxes to the city. Taxes are estimated at $1 million for the property, located in the city’s waterfront financial district.

Adding insult to injury, Jersey City facilities receive less capital investment than other, similar Port Authority facilities, with most investment heading to New York. And, the Port Authority expects Jersey City to provide police, fire, emergency medical care and our court system at the same rate of service each year, despite our rising costs. More broadly, though New Jersey commuters began paying higher tolls last year, the Port Authority spent 84 percent of the toll hike on New York projects. New Jersey residents are, in effect, paying a tax to benefit New York.

So think about the burden the authority has, for decades, dropped on the shoulders of Jersey City taxpayers: underpayment of real property value, increasing costs of city services, and skyrocketing tolls and fares. It’s time for someone to tell the Port Authority: Enough is enough.

That’s why we’ll sue for back taxes and interest totaling approximately $400 million. We also will set the rate going forward to a more realistic payment to benefit Jersey City taxpayers. Keep in mind: The Port Authority isn’t struggling, though its host cities bear a tremendous burden. Last year, the $4 billion Port Authority had a 31 percent profit margin, not including depreciation, amortization, taxes, interest and capital expenditures.

For generations, the Port Authority has acted like King George III, with New Jersey and New York in the role of colonies. In Jersey City, we demand taxation with representation. It’s our right.

Steve Fulop is mayor of Jersey City.

http://blog.nj.com/njv_guest_blog/201 ... ty_mayor_steve_fulop.html

Posted on: 2013/11/15 1:25
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Re: Jersey City to sue Port Authority for $400 million
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$150 an hour is a freaking bargain with lawyers, man.

Posted on: 2013/11/14 14:39
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Re: Jersey City to sue Port Authority for $400 million
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Weiner Lesniak scores another no-bid contract from Jersey City

By Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal

Powerful law firm Weiner Lesniak won a no-bid contract to represent Jersey City in its lawsuit against the Port Authority, thanks to a unanimous vote by the City Council last night.

The Parsippany firm counts among its partners state Sen. Raymond Lesniak, D-Union. The contract, awarded 8-0 by the council with Councilwoman Candice Osborne absent, sets payment at $150 per hour, not to exceed $50,000.

Corporation Counsel Jeremy Farrell told the council at its Tuesday caucus that the city doesn’t expect the firm will be able to represent the city in the suit for just $50,000. But the small amount will force the administration to give the council frequent updates as the body mulls whether to renew the contract at $50,000 intervals, Farrell said.

READ MORE

Posted on: 2013/11/14 13:26
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Re: Jersey City to sue Port Authority for $400 million
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Quote:

Yvonne wrote:
The state senator makes good points, however, he is wrong on one thing. JC has exempted $2.7 billion in taxes, not $2 billion.
http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... .html#incart_river_hudson




1) State Senator Doherty is a long time opponent of Abbott funding. He cannot stand the fact that districts with large concentrations of poverty get additional funding, and has long proposed abolishing any funding for poorer districts. His complaints about tax abatements here are really related to that grievance.

(And although I disagree with him on school funding, the Senator, as Yvonne says, has a point. I've long felt that Jersey City's reliance on tax abatements is an abuse of the Abbott decision).

2) Welcome to statewide gubernatorial politics, Steve Fulop. We can expect republican wanna be candidates or party hatchet men to do more of this to try to knock Fulop down a peg.

Posted on: 2013/11/13 17:25
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Re: Jersey City to sue Port Authority for $400 million
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The Port Authority is now being investigated because they closed down roads around the GW bridge with no notice because the Fort Lee mayor didn't endorse Christie.

They are the most corrupt political arm in the tri-state area. It seems like they may finally get some comeupance.

Instead of increasing fares, the next govenor should turn down fare increases until the salaries over there are capped and the corrupt appointees are washed out.

Posted on: 2013/11/13 13:26
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Re: Jersey City to sue Port Authority for $400 million
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The state senator makes good points, however, he is wrong on one thing. JC has exempted $2.7 billion in taxes, not $2 billion.
http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... .html#incart_river_hudson

Posted on: 2013/11/12 20:17
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Re: Jersey City to sue Port Authority for $400 million
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Excellent. Newark did this years ago and settled for $100 million. Of course they have the port and the airport under PA control, so our settlement may not reach that level. But I still wonder why JC never followed suit.

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Last month, Fulop told WNYC that communicating to Port Authority is "like talking to a dead person."


Ha.

Posted on: 2013/11/12 12:22
I live by the river.
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Re: Jersey City to sue Port Authority for $400 million
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To rescuelife:
I believe in separation of Church and State. I have never stated social services should be cut to the inner cities, but I believe these services should go to American citizens. Finally, I said I wanted the people of NJ to have the chance to voice their opinion on gay marriage, not a not an unelected judge. When I present my views, I do not hide behind a phony name. I do not know who you are, you might be working in the city hall writing your views on the city's dime.

Posted on: 2013/11/12 11:52
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Re: Jersey City to sue Port Authority for $400 million
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Quote:

Yvonne wrote:
Apparently, the mayor is using my words to fight the Port Authority. Funny, he is giving an abatement in Journal Square. The Port Authority only has to present the list of abatements that JC has given in the past 20 years to argue their case.


Yes, I'm sure the administration is using your brilliant, original, and groundbreaking ideas as their own. Next: mandatory christian prayers in all schools, nullification of all gay marriages, and cutting all social services to inner city neighborhoods.

Posted on: 2013/11/12 11:20
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Re: Jersey City to sue Port Authority for $400 million
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file, lawsuit, tax.............
I think I used a few of those words as well, I might just take credit for it also. I predict that the Journal Square SID will be looking for new office space in the near future.

Posted on: 2013/11/12 8:44
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Re: Jersey City to sue Port Authority for $400 million
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Apparently, the mayor is using my words to fight the Port Authority. Funny, he is giving an abatement in Journal Square. The Port Authority only has to present the list of abatements that JC has given in the past 20 years to argue their case.

Posted on: 2013/11/11 22:48
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Re: Jersey City to sue Port Authority for $400 million
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Quote:

EthanCrane wrote:
If the Port Authority agrees to end the weekend PATH stops in Hoboken, I say we call it even.


... seriously!!

Posted on: 2013/11/11 22:45
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Re: Jersey City to sue Port Authority for $400 million
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Interesting to see that the PATH does not return calls or emails. Welcome to the PATh black hole.

Quote:

EthanCrane wrote:
If the Port Authority agrees to end the weekend PATH stops in Hoboken, I say we call it even.

Posted on: 2013/11/11 22:13
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Re: Jersey City to sue Port Authority for $400 million
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If the Port Authority agrees to end the weekend PATH stops in Hoboken, I say we call it even.

Posted on: 2013/11/11 22:07
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Re: Jersey City to sue Port Authority for $400 million
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Ah, the Weiner Lesniak law firm wins again. It's good to be connected.

If PATH loses.. I bet those ticket fares will get jacked up again.

Posted on: 2013/11/11 20:47
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Re: Jersey City to sue Port Authority for $400 million
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It is fair to assume that the $400M are just a negotiating tool but it is nice to see again the new operating protocol of not accepting the previous status quo anymore.

Posted on: 2013/11/11 19:53
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Re: Jersey City to sue Port Authority for $400 million
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Ha, I see many more "signal failures" in our future..

Posted on: 2013/11/11 17:35
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Jersey City to sue Port Authority for $400 million
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Jersey City to file $400M lawsuit against Port Authority, citing 'unfair' tax agreements

By Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal

Jersey City plans to file a $400 million lawsuit against the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, saying “outdated and unfair” tax agreements between the city and the bi-state agency have led the city to lose out on hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue.

The city also alleges that the Port Authority has refused to enter into tax agreements on many of the 32 properties it owns in Jersey City, agreements that would lead to an extra $1.3 million in tax revenue for Jersey City every year.

Efforts to address the tax issue with Port Authority officials have been met with silence, according to Mayor Steve Fulop.

READ MORE

Posted on: 2013/11/11 17:26
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