Register now !    Login  
Main Menu
Who's Online
45 user(s) are online (35 user(s) are browsing Message Forum)

Members: 0
Guests: 45

more...




Browsing this Thread:   1 Anonymous Users






Re: Tax abatements- a Jersey Journal editorial
#7
Newbie
Newbie


Hide User information
Joined:
2005/9/25 12:21
Last Login :
2005/11/27 21:07
Group:
Registered Users
Posts: 1
Offline
Here are a few:

1. Exchange Place Path Station - before 10 Exchange Place
was built there were just two (2) creaky elevators and
stairs from 1905.

2. Grove Street Path Station entrance stairways on the
south of Christopher Colombus Drive next to Pershing
Plaza.

3. The extension of Christopher Columbus Drive around the
northern and western boundaries of Ferris H.S. connect-
ing to the NJTP and Montgomery St. when Dixon was
redeveloped.

4. Washington St. extension from 1st St. where it use to
terminate to 6th St. @ Newport.

5. Greene St. extension from CC Drive to Morgan St.

6. Extensions of Morgan, Bay & Pearl Sts between
Washington & Greene Sts.

7. Improvements to 2nd St. between Washington & Marin

8. Newport Expressway from Jersey Avenue to Newport
was a rr row

9. 18th Street extension between Marin & Jersey formerly
was landlocked rr row

10 18th St. & Jersey Ave intersection west of Jersey Ave

11. Newport electric substation behind Statco previously
downtown was only served by the Morgan and
Washington St. substations. there was not enough
juice downtown.

12. Grand St. substation - needed to keep all of the back
office operations humming so those tenants, such
as Goldman Sach, Merrill Lynch, Lehman, AIG, etc.
could run their operations and sleep at night.

12. completion of the foot of Washington St. and Paulus
Hook park east of Portside.

13. Waterfront walkway

14. Newport Path Station

15. Light Rail System

16. New Jersey City Medical Center @ Grand & Jersey


Posted on: 2005/11/27 21:42
 Top 


Re: Tax abatements- a Jersey Journal editorial
#6
Quite a regular
Quite a regular


Hide User information
Joined:
2005/5/3 20:55
Last Login :
2007/10/30 21:29
Group:
Registered Users
Posts: 53
Offline
Quote:

AlanSommerman wrote:
Just curious - What infrastructure improvements have been made in downtown that exceed those in other parts of the city? We may have gotten more sewer improvements, but I think that is more likely tied to having serious flooding problems than to gentrification.


A few that come to mind: overhaul of the Grove Street PATH station (Journal Square is a complete mess), increased police presence, repaving of roads, increased size of certain key roads, improvements to parks (some of the parks in the Heights are in shambles), improved entrances to Liberty State Park, better replacement of street lights (the Heights is totally a hodge podge of different types, even on the same block), sidewalk replacements all over Exchange Place.....

One really odd one comes to mind: up in the Heights, people illegally put in "cut aways" to make driveways out of what was once a front yard. The city obviously should fine, but no one has bothered to collect on these violations. Parking is becoming more and more of a problem as a result. The city won't bother to look at it, because we aren't of much interest.

Unfortunately, our sewers are a mess, too (our house stinks sometimes!).

Posted on: 2005/11/23 19:14
 Top 


Re: Tax abatements- a Jersey Journal editorial
#5
Just can't stay away
Just can't stay away


Hide User information
Joined:
2004/11/5 20:56
Last Login :
2007/8/19 1:13
Group:
Registered Users
Posts: 81
Offline
Just curious - What infrastructure improvements have been made in downtown that exceed those in other parts of the city? We may have gotten more sewer improvements, but I think that is more likely tied to having serious flooding problems than to gentrification.

Posted on: 2005/11/23 18:43
Yes,we have no bananas.
(Silver & Cohn, 1923)
 Top 


Re: Tax abatements- a Jersey Journal editorial
#4
Quite a regular
Quite a regular


Hide User information
Joined:
2005/5/3 20:55
Last Login :
2007/10/30 21:29
Group:
Registered Users
Posts: 53
Offline
Free Press, this is a lot of interesting food for thought. One of my big beefs with Jersey City is that infrastructure improvement is totally tied to gentrification. Neighborhoods like the Heights, Journal Square, etc. get left out of the mix until they become "desireable." Meanwhile, those that are get abatements and improvements (although JC is pretty slow on the draw with some, like roadwork).

In the meantime, there are no tangible benefits of these abatements for average Jersey City residents. That is, unless their plan is to sell out and have the depressing experience of finding something comparable to live in.

I also wonder what these communities are going to be like with the long-time residents moving out and an influx of high-turnover residents, who leave for better jobs and school systems. My block is what it is because there are folks living there for 3 generations.

To Mayor Healy, who lives in my neighborhood: open your eyes!!

Posted on: 2005/11/23 17:12
 Top 


Re: Tax abatements? Column by Earl Morgan
#3
Newbie
Newbie


Hide User information
Joined:
2005/7/5 19:10
Last Login :
2007/7/31 15:06
Group:
Registered Users
Posts: 10
Offline
Here's food for thought: 27 percent of all the tax ratable property in Jersey City is abated, according to city records.

But as the stories published yesterday and today in this newspaper point out, the developers who profited from constructing these abated projects have rarely, if ever, lived up to their "good-faith" pledges to provide jobs to Jersey City residents and minorities.

Abatements, which are also termed PILOTs, or payments-in-lieu-of-taxes, are a great deal for developers, and not just because they're paying less than they would if taxed at the normal rate. The real plus is that the company knows how much it will be paying in taxes for the next 20, 30 or, in one case, 40 years.

In return, developers sign pledges that they will make a "good-faith effort" to employ city residents, especially minorities.

But, according to city records, the jobs have not materialized.

In fact, according to Joseph Iwuala, the city's director of economic opportunity, a half-dozen developers can't even be bothered to file the paperwork. That means they're in violation of the abatement, and could be hit with a 3 to 6 percent increase in their payments - but so far, no one has.

In fact, no city official seems to know who, exactly, is responsible for levying such a fine.

According to the state Department of Labor, the latest unemployment rate in Jersey City is 6.1 percent. A healthy chunk of that figure includes African-American and Latinos.

You would think, in a city enjoying a building boom of historic proportions, that it would be impossible to have a 6.1 percent unemployment rate. You would think politicians, watching all the profits being reaped by the developers and property owners, would want to hold them to their promises.

It has to be said that the administration of Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy shoulders its share of blame in failing to hold developers responsible for honoring their pledges, but previous mayors going back 20 years are just as culpable.

The revelations come as no surprise to most community activists.

It's certainly no surprise to Lad Glover, director of the Community Empowerment Organization, who has spent nearly 20 years picketing and agitating for the employment of minority trade workers. Nor to Omar Barbour, director of the Neighborhood Development Corp. that oversees the Martin Luther King Drive Mall Plaza, who has long decried the city's reliance on a phrase as nebulous as "good-faith effort."

By law, the city can't enforce quotas to ensure that minorities and residents are fairly represented. But Healy has it within his power to encourage developers to try a little harder.

"All the mayor has to do," Glover said, "is make sure that developers don't get any inspectors to allow them to continue their projects if they don't live up to the agreements. They'll come around."

Posted on: 2005/11/23 14:58
 Top 


Re: Tax abatements- a Jersey Journal editorial
#2
Newbie
Newbie


Hide User information
Joined:
2005/7/5 19:10
Last Login :
2007/7/31 15:06
Group:
Registered Users
Posts: 10
Offline
J ersey City is the new Atlantic City.

No, it is not awash in glamorous casinos and it does not have beaches where summer tourists will frolic and spend their money.

What it has in common with the Shore municipality is that its residents listened to the promises of jobs and benefits if they let rich people develop their shoreline and grab tax breaks. Once the developers received these tax abatements and were given the green light to build their projects, the promises turned empty.

The courts determined that cities cannot mandate minority or residential hiring quotas. Those promised construction jobs never came. The largest building boom in Jersey City's past 50 years produced little or no economic benefit to its longtime minority population. At the city's waterfront construction sites for the past two decades, the accents were Texan, from the South and other parts of the country. Jersey City watched with its face pressed against chain-link fences or wood.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, local and county officials were fond of explaining away the lack of employment for lower and middle income residents by saying that the workforce was not trained for these jobs and the schools and colleges would have to do a better job of training them. A whole generation and two national census counts have gone by and the excuses are the same.

Unable to enforce quotas, Jersey City administrations have asked developers to make a "good faith" effort to hire locals. Yes, the idea of asking someone to promise to do something is somewhat preposterous. Just for saying they would make that effort, and provide reports about who was hired, developers were granted tax abatements.

The Jersey Journal published articles on Wednesday and Thursday detailing how developers who profited from constructing these abated projects have rarely, if ever, lived up to their pledges. City officials pointed out that about a half-dozen developers did not even bother to file the paperwork.

By not reporting their "good faith" effort, they are in violation of the abatement agreement, and should face 3 to 6 percent increases in their payments in lieu of taxes. No one has been penalized. City officials do not even know who levies fines.

There are even some in the city who have the gall to say the Journal's articles are much ado about nothing. These individuals are symptomatic of the problems in this city - a callous shortsightedness or inability to understand what is right.

Despite the "Gold Coast" boom, Jersey City's older inland neighborhoods have not benefited. It is safe to say that over these past two decades, the city's government failed its people.

Posted on: 2005/11/23 14:57
 Top 


Tax abatements?
#1
Newbie
Newbie


Hide User information
Joined:
2005/7/5 19:10
Last Login :
2007/7/31 15:06
Group:
Registered Users
Posts: 10
Offline
First of a two-part series.
FINE LOOT NOT COLLECTED
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
By JARRETT RENSHAW
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

Hundreds of thousands of dollars that could be in Jersey City's coffers - ideally easing the tax burden on local homeowners - are going unclaimed.

Instead, the money is staying in the pockets of developers and property owners because the city has failed to fine them for not living up to the terms of their tax abatement agreements.

Internal city audits and violation notices examined by The Jersey Journal show a number of tax-abated projects failed to file employment reports - required under the abatement agreements - during the past two years, including six that are still in violation.

The abatement agreements mandate that an owner who fails to comply with these rules faces a 3 to 6 percent increase in their hefty payments-in-lieu-of-taxes, or PILOTs, they annually make to the city.

However, while the city has repeatedly sent out violation notices, no attempt has ever been made to collect the fines - leaving potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars on the table.

No city official could provide a reason as to why the money is going uncollected. Indeed, no one even seems to know which city agency is responsible for enforcing the tax abatement agreements.

Joe Iwuala, director of the city's Division of Economic Opportunity, says he keeps track of the violations and passes his findings up to the business administrator's office and law division, which he claims are responsible for enforcement.

But officials in those departments say it is also Iwuala's responsibility to issue the fines - a claim Iwuala disputes.

"They are trying to pass the buck," Iwuala said. "They have known these developers are in violation since I gave them the information, and they have yet to fine them a single cent."

The city requires developers and commercial tenants of tax-abated properties to submit monthly and semi-annual project employment reports, which break down how many of the construction and permanent jobs are going to Jersey City residents and minorities, as well as what companies are getting contracts for such things as furniture supplies and concrete work.

Since the courts ruled that the city cannot have a quota system, the reports represent a developer's "good faith effort" at attaining the goal of 51 percent minority workers and Jersey City residents.

Once the city issues a violation notice and demands the paperwork, as records show has been done numerous times, it can raise the projects annual payment - some are in the millions of dollars - by a certain percentage spelled out in the agreement until the employment records are filed. According to a September internal city audit, 10 percent of the city's tax abated projects have repeatedly failed to report contractually required employment and manning reports.

"They signed the agreements, and we have lived up to our side, while they have not lived up to theirs," City Councilwoman Viola Richardson said. "So you have to ask yourself, what's really going on?"

Following the Journal's prodding, Jersey City business administrator Brian O'Reilly said letters went out to the project managers of these sites this week, advising them that if the city does not receive the employment reports shortly, fines will be issued.

"We will take the final step, if we have to," promised O'Reilly.

Assemblyman Louis Manzo of Jersey City, often a critic of the city's administration of tax abatements, is currently sponsoring state legislation that would require greater city oversight of these properties.

"There has to be a better oversight process in place," Manzo said. "The City Council has the responsibility to hold these developers to the fire, and it hasn't for the 20 years that they have been handing them out."

JARRETT RENSHAW can be reached at jrenshaw@jjournal.com




By JARRETT RENSHAW, JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

JOB PROMISES

ARE GOING UNFULFILLED

minority

hiring low

Second of a two-part series.

Proponents of tax abatements say they bring good jobs to the city - construction work while the projects are being built, and permanent positions once they're finished - for local residents and minorities.

But as the Gold Coast continues to boom, the promise of jobs for city and minority residents isn't materializing, according to a review of city records by The Jersey Journal.

Just 16 percent of permanent employees at tax-abated properties actually live in Jersey City, according to the report. And, according to city records, an even lower percentage of construction workers are residents.

In the construction of tax-abated projects, not a single developer has met the city-established "good faith" goal of employing 51 percent minorities and city residents in a given month, according to Joe Iwuala, director of the city's Division of Economic Opportunity.

Iwuala estimated only about 15 percent of workers on construction sites are Jersey City residents or minorities.

A February 2004 employment report in connection with construction of the Goldman Sachs building, for example, showed that 18.5 percent of the construction jobs were going to city residents, and 14.4 percent to the city's minorities.

Meanwhile, a report compiled by the city earlier this year shows that minority workers comprise 12 percent, or 828 of 6,539, of the permanent workforce at tax-abated properties.

"A city of this size, with all the work being created, to only have a 12 percent minority workforce, is absurd," City Councilwoman Viola Richardson said. "It's a poor representation of the city's efforts to monitor and ensure that the city's residents and minorities are getting jobs."

According to the 2000 Census, nearly two-thirds of the city's residents are minorities.

The numbers are not a complete picture of the permanent employment situation, since a number of projects have failed to report to the city. In addition, some of the jobs reflect only recent hires.

And a closer look at many of these jobs reveals many are low-paying positions. According to the report, Goldman Sachs employs 121 city residents - but that includes 33 janitors and 46 security guards.

Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy has refused to respond to this issue, referring questions to the city's Office of Employment and Training.

City and labor officials cite a number of reasons for the lack of employment for minority and city residents, such as unions pulling labor from South Jersey, and the fact that the city cannot require companies to adhere to a quota system.

In addition, officials argue that many of the permanent jobs on the Gold Coast require specialized skills and are filled by college grads recruited from across the country.

The city has made some efforts to promote local hiring, Iwuala said. Iwuala sends a stack of resumes each Friday to developers and commercial tenants, and also posts job listings on a Web site - though they can only be accessed on city computers.

Meanwhile, the city was forced to scrap an apprentice program aimed at training residents for construction jobs after a state grant ran out this year.

Posted on: 2005/11/22 20:40
 Top 








[Advanced Search]





Login
Username:

Password:

Remember me



Lost Password?

Register now!



LicenseInformation | AboutUs | PrivacyPolicy | Faq | Contact


JERSEY CITY LIST - News & Reviews - Jersey City, NJ - Copyright 2004 - 2017