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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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For that matter, why should the city give out special development incentives to waterfront builders? Should I get a "development incentive" if I want to buy and renovate a brownstone?

Hi JSalt - came back to peek at the thread and found your interesting remark. It may surprise you to know that the city actually does give significant development incentives to Brownstone owners/builders/renovators which are better than anything they do for large scale waterfront projects.

Let me detail (as briefly as possible) how this program works.

If you buy a building or a piece of land where you are renovating or creating less than 12-units of housing, you can get, as of right (ie. No council approval required) a significant discount in your property taxes over the first 5 years from the improvement.

If the value of the improvements are at least 1/3 of the value of the property before you improved it, the city will charge you real estate taxes on the improvement (building or renovation) in the following way.

Year 1: 0% of Regular Taxes Due
Year 2: 20% of Regular Taxes Due
Year 3: 40% of Regular Taxes Due
Year 4: 60% of Regular Taxes Due
Year 5: 80% of Regular Taxes Due
Year 6: Regular Taxes

Just by way of comparison, the mathematical results of the 'incentive' for any larger scale residential projects shows that they must pay between 90% (condo) and 125% (rental) of the regular taxes that would have been due under ordinary taxation, subject to council approval which they always grant because they want to keep 100% of this money, not 38% as in ordinary taxation (see my prior posts).

Good luck with your brownstone project!

Posted on: 2006/6/29 15:43
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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Quote:

hero69 wrote:
I like artists as much as anyone else, but I don't see why the government should be giving subsidized housing to artists or forcing developers to. shouldn't teachers get subsidized housing, or fire and police personnel? what about social and non-profit workers?


I think that's a tough question. I don't really believe that the city "should" be giving special affordable housing to artists (as in "has to"), but I think the idea of an arts district is that it can benefit the city by fostering art, which is one of the things that can make a city more desirable and more liveable.

For that matter, why should the city give out special development incentives to waterfront builders? Should I get a "development incentive" if I want to buy and renovate a brownstone? You'd probably answer that the incentives bring development that benefits the whole city.

If downtown Jersey City wants to fill those 15,000+ new units coming in, it's going to have to compete with Brooklyn and Queens for people who want the New York experience, and I don't think a nu-rise bedroom community with a Chili's is going to do the trick.

Posted on: 2006/6/29 15:17
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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We agree. There was no reason to ammend the PAD Redev Plan, or grant variances for the height. This is a slap in the face to City Planning - which produced a sound plan. Not only did we all loose in the PAD, but this may have a ripple effect which will impact other parts of the city. It sets a dangerous precedent that developers can sue the city at will to have redev plans amended.

Quote:

zderic wrote:
The council's vote (6-2 in favor of settlement with Goldman that allows for construction of up to three towers, etc) was nothing short of spineless cowardice to a bully...

Posted on: 2006/6/29 15:08
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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I like artists as much as anyone else, but I don't see why the government should be giving subsidized housing to artists or forcing developers to. shouldn't teachers get subsidized housing, or fire and police personnel? what about social and non-profit workers?

Posted on: 2006/6/29 15:03
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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The council's vote (6-2 in favor of settlling with Goldman and thereby allowing towers to go up in the PAD) was nothing short of spineless cowardice to a bully.

New Gold Properties is a property owner of the worst sort - flauting laws as it sees fit and then threatening lawsuits when it the laws of the land don't suit its agenda.

There are reasons why we have government - to protect the citizens from those that seek to harm those that live there. That is government in its simplest form. The council failed in this most simple duty last night.

Last night was a time for the council to once again stand up for the people of the PAD and the laws in place and tell Goldman that his organization can not run roughshod over Jersey City.

The settlement never needed to be discussed as there was no need. The laws were there to be enforced. The PAD is the only zone and has its standards. Zones within zones is utter nonsense. And calling that agreement a settlement is a utter misnomer. It's clear capitulation with a party that has proven that it can not and should not be trusted.

Goldman could have sued for $200 million or $300 million or for whatever amount it wanted and for however long it chose and the city has the responsibility to move in lockstep to support the people of the PAD.

Goldman and those like him are a cancer upon the heart of our City. We can choose to fight them off aggressively or subcumb and let the city and every aspect of what makes it special die a slow and irrevocable death.

Posted on: 2006/6/29 15:03
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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The council's vote (6-2 in favor of settlement with Goldman that allows for construction of up to three towers, etc) was nothing short of spineless cowardice to a bully.

New Gold Properties is a property owner of the worst sort - flauting laws as it sees fit and then threatening lawsuits when it the laws of the land don't suit its agenda.

There are reasons why we have government - to protect the citizens from those that seek to harm those that live there. That is government in its simplest form. The council failed in this most simple duty last night.

Last night was a time for the council to once again stand up for the people of the PAD and the laws in place and tell Goldman that his organization can not run roughshod over Jersey City.

The settlement never needed to be discussed as there was no need. The laws were there to be enforced. The PAD is the only zone and has its standards. Zones within zones is utter nonsense. And calling that agreement a settlement is a utter misnomer. It's clear capitulation with a party that has proven that it can not and should not be trusted.

Goldman could have sued for $200 million or $300 million or for whatever amount it wanted and for however long it chose and the city has the responsibility to move in lockstep to support the people of the PAD.

Goldman and those like him are a cancer upon the heart of our City. We can choose to fight them off aggressively or subcumb and let the city and every aspect of what makes it special die a slow and irrevocable death.

Posted on: 2006/6/29 14:58
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Skyscrapers coming to 111 First Street
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I wasn't at the City Council meeting for the duration, but I heard that there were dozens of supporters that hammered the city council with their arguments in opposition of the settlement, and it went on for hours. This is from the 25mc.com blog:

The City Council voted 6-2 (with Fulop and Richardson in dissent) to accept the agreement with New Gold Properties paving the way for the construction of towers on the site of 110 and 111 First Streets. read more...

Posted on: 2006/6/29 14:12
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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Quote:

JCLAW wrote:



When the 'abatements' starting getting used frequently in the late 1990's, the State was predictably mad that they weren't getting any of the money to offset their cost of running JC's troubled school system. So they made JC change its 'abatement' formula to impose a surcharge of 5% of the 'abatement' payment which goes directly to the school system.
So as a result, the same group of waterfront buildings which is paying $75 million in 'abatements' to JC each year, is also now paying another $2.5-3 million in JC school system payments each year, which the state uses to defray its $70 million dollar annual school costs.


cute. and somebody always harps how abaters 'don't contribute to school system'...aside from the fact that the majority of people in abated properties don't use the public school system at all, either 'cause they don't have kids of school age or 'cause they use private schooling.
but that aside - i really don't see what's the uproar about.
most buildings around powerhouse are already hi-rises. and this is becoming a very expensive area to develop. demolition and restoration is prohibitively expensive - otherwise the powerhouse would be all cleaned up long time ago. low-rise is not profitable enough to cover the costs. so it's quite plausible the guy will mothball the whole project. how is THAT better for the neighbourhood?
may be 10 or even 5 years ago restoration was doable - but now it's just too late.

Posted on: 2006/6/29 12:49
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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What was the outcome of tonight's City Council Meeting?

Posted on: 2006/6/29 3:32
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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As NNJR said, I'd like to know what you think is incorrect. I'm sure with some further detailed explanation I could make everything clearer.

PS. If you think I posted that because I care about 111 First st. Powerhouse Arts blah blah blah, then you are mistaken.

I don't care a fig what happens to those projects one way or the other. I just wanted to be helpful and explain something that many people don't understand.

I'm sure there are valid reasons why from a planning perspective many people don't like this project. The Jersey City Division of Planning is the right forum for those grievances. Like I said, I don't take a side in that argument because I have no emotional investment in it.

That said, there is no valid fiscal reason to oppose the city collecting more taxes from a developer than it would under ordinary taxation. Whether the project is a hated project (this condo) or a beloved one (like a hospital) if you reside in Jersey City you ought to at least be aware of the city's ability to take advantage of a financing mechanism for its own benefit.

Posted on: 2006/6/28 21:11
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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Quote:
1. Many of JCLAW's statements and conclusions are incorrect.



specifics please?

Posted on: 2006/6/28 20:26
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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1. Many of JCLAW's statements and conclusions are incorrect.
2. The abatement posts are buried in a thread about 111 First Street - Power House Arts District. A resolution will be voted on tonight.

Quote:

NNJR wrote:
...unfortunately your insightful posts are buried in a thread about disgruntled people against Goldamn.

It sounds like the people here that are against the abatements either a) do not know fully how they work or b) residents of other cities in Hudson county :)

Posted on: 2006/6/28 20:12
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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Thanks for the information JCLAW, unfortunately your insightful posts are buried in a thread about disgruntled people against Goldamn.

It sounds like the people here that are against the abatements either a) do not know fully how they work or b) residents of other cities in Hudson county :)

I wish there was a way to raise the efficiency of the local government by getting rid of some of these high paying no show jobs.

Posted on: 2006/6/28 18:58
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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Tax abatements might be beneficial for the city if -

- the city negotiated the best possible "contract"

- the up front PILOT (or advance) payments were utilized in a sound financial manner and not to plug budget deficits

- applicants for tax abatements were not permitted to make campaign contributions and the professionals working for them were required to disclose their contributions as part of the application process

The proposed settlement of the 111 lawsuit would seem evidence enough of the city's inability or intentional unwillingness to enforce its laws and succesfully negotiate in the public's interest with property developers.

Back to the topic of the 111 settlement, the public must create political consequences to deter the council from accepting this deal and for them to stand behind the city's masterplan, redevelopment plan and four unanimous city council votes creating PAD.

Posted on: 2006/6/28 18:41

Edited by DanL on 2006/6/28 19:12:56
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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There is still time to get on the list to speak!

Before the end of the day call 201-547-5000 and ask for the Clerk.

Quote:

jcphile wrote:
Quote:

Bobblehead wrote:
Can residents of a city sue its government? Because that seems to be the way to get them to listen. . . . .


No-
FIRST call 547-5000 and put your name on the list to speak at the City Council meeting on Wednesday
NEXT
Call the following people and tell them how you feel about this deal
Mariano Vega, Jr.
Council President (201) 547-5268
Gregory Malave (201) 547-5458
Willie Flood
Councilwoman-at-Large (201) 547-5134 Doris Smith (201) 547-5108
Peter Brennan
Councilman-at-Large (201) 547-5319 Maureen Bellucci (201) 547-5363
Steven Fulop
Ward E Councilman (201) 547-5315 Tracy La'Bad (201) 547-5283
NEXT attend the Council meeting and speak out

AND NO MATTER HOW IT TURNS OUT- BE SURE TO VOTE IN THE NEXT ELECTION

Posted on: 2006/6/28 18:33
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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Thanks for the explanation...

Quote:

JCLAW wrote:
PS. This puts JC Schools in a terrible situation. The city wants the schools to stay bad, so they can keep forcing the state to pay for them. If the public schools improve too much, the State will hand them (and their costs) back to JC to administer.


How sad

Posted on: 2006/6/28 16:59
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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Thanks for making me feel useful JSalt. (but after this answer you're going to have to sign a retainer and pay my hourly rates, ha ha)

OK so on the subject of Jersey City public schools:

Did you ever see the movie "Lean On Me" with Morgan Freeman as Crazy Joe Clark? Do you remember how he was desperately trying to get the kids to pass the Minimum Basic Skills test to prevent Patterson Eastside High School from being taken over by the State of NJ? Well Crazy Joe got the kids through the test, but here in Jersey City, there was no Joe Clark and the State DID take over the school system. They took over every aspect of it, and even though there are some local school patronage jobs, i mean "school officials," the State pays for the entire system and makes all the important decisions.

So Jersey City has been thrilled about this for the last 20+ years because the State of NJ has been paying $70 million a year for JC's School System, which is $70 million that JC doesn't have to come up with itself (JC has enough fiscal problems already - this would bankrupt the city).

The way the takeover works is that for every dollar the City raises in taxes for School costs, a dollar of State school payments goes away, so the City has had no incentive in 20+ years to generate or impose additional school taxes.

When the 'abatements' starting getting used frequently in the late 1990's, the State was predictably mad that they weren't getting any of the money to offset their cost of running JC's troubled school system. So they made JC change its 'abatement' formula to impose a surcharge of 5% of the 'abatement' payment which goes directly to the school system. (Sidenote- As part of the same legislation, they also made JC charge a 1% tax on top of the 'abatement' to pay Hudson County expenses such as Tom Degise's bar tab: see my last post )

So as a result, the same group of waterfront buildings which is paying $75 million in 'abatements' to JC each year, is also now paying another $2.5-3 million in JC school system payments each year, which the state uses to defray its $70 million dollar annual school costs.

PS. This puts JC Schools in a terrible situation. The city wants the schools to stay bad, so they can keep forcing the state to pay for them. If the public schools improve too much, the State will hand them (and their costs) back to JC to administer.

Posted on: 2006/6/28 15:42
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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JCLaw,

Thanks for the explanation.

Since you seem knowledgeable, could you explain the impact the abatements have on the JC public school system? I have heard that abatements maybe divert money away from them, but I don't know if this is true.

Posted on: 2006/6/28 12:59
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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Hi Alan,

I'm going to break your question up because it's hard to answer any other way.

1. I have been told that the county gets gyped when the city gives an abatement, but that the city collects more taxes than it would under a straight tax scenario.

That's a true statement, but it's not meaningful. First you have to understand what the county is. Basically, the county is mostly just a flowpoint for the money that belongs to the cities within the county. So all the money from the cities' property taxes, state grants, federal aid, etc, go up to the county, degise and co. take a small cut for themselves and their county wide services (90% of which are no-show patronage jobs) and then the county redistributes all the rest of the money back to the cities on a per-capita basis. So Jersey City gets back only its population proportionate share of tax revenues which are passed through county accounts. When the City makes a tax 'abatement' deal, it is allowed, by State Enabling Legislation, to keep 100% of the money it agrees to get in taxes, without passing it through the county's flowpoint. So who get's screwed in this scenario? All of the other cities in the county, that's who. Since Jersey City has experienced huge development and lots of 'abatements,' JC has benefitted tremendously and Weehawken, Union City, Bayonne, etc. have not gotten a cut of the money. But why should they? Developers have basically turned the JC waterfront into a $75 million dollar per year PILOT farm for Jersey City, and this has not happened in neighboring towns on the waterfront. In 2001, Weehawken, in an attempt to grab Jersey City's cash, went so far as to sue JC to try to get some of its 'abatement' winnings. In the end, the State agreed that Jersey City should keep its 100%, because it was JC that worked to generate development on its waterfront, not Weehawken.

2. How does this impact my tax bill?

Assuming you live in Jersey City, your tax bill is lower as a result of this. Since JC collects 100% of this extra $75 mn in revenue per year, that's money that you don't have to pay. If it were un'abated' Jersey City would only be keeping about $30 mn and would have to raise taxes to levy the extra $45 mn from homeowners via regular property taxes. Meanwhile Hoboken residents' tax bills would go way down because they would be getting a share of the $45 mn. If you go through the math in my last post and apply them to this case you'd find that the 'abatements' basically save the other tax payers an average of $1000 per homeowner per year.

.66*($45mn/.38)/75000=$1,042

3. Does the increased city revenue balance out the need for higher county taxes?

In the context of the above, I'm not sure this question works. The reason your county taxes went up in the last cycle was the same reason the city needs more money. It has had huge employment rolls (patronage) over the years with generous long term retirement and health care packages. Just like GM and ford, those thousands of baby boom patronage employees are retired, collecting city/county pensions and health care, and living a lot longer than they were expected to back when they were first handed a job by the city/county politburo in 1964.

4. Are we paying Jerrimiah and robbing Tom?

We're paying Jerrimiah AND Tom. ;)

Posted on: 2006/6/28 11:38
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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I second Steveiken's welcome, JCLaw. Now I'd like to pick your brain on a related issue - I have been told that the county gets gyped when the city gives an abatement, but that the city collects more taxes than it would under a straight tax scenario. How does this impact my tax bill? Does the increased city revenue balance out the need for higher county taxes? Are we paying Jerrimiah and robbing Tom?

Posted on: 2006/6/28 10:11
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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Could someone post the agenda of today's City Council meeting?

Posted on: 2006/6/28 10:03
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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Quote:

JCLAW wrote:
[snip] BTW 5 - I'm new to your site! Hi everybody! I'm another refugee from S*^!a's N#$%^&T W@#$%^&*(T A$$)%^&!@#N board where I was told to stop criticizing the mayor for his behavior. Can you spell, pandering to the corrupt establishment, S*^!a? Hoping not to be stifled here.


Welcome JCLaw, and thank you for the two rather interesting postings. I'm sure you'll enjoy your time here.

Posted on: 2006/6/27 20:16
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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Quote:

MoparLarry wrote:
Welcome to how development really works in New Jersey! Step 1 ...developer comes in with plan that doesn't conform to local zoning. But thats OK, this plan is so good for the city, it will make this place Paris on the Hudson and might even cure cancer.
Step 2... Residents oppose it. That's Ok. during public hearing, developers "experts" will tesify that, OK so this doesn't conform to your zoning, but it's the best thing since sliced bread. Our project will provide a lot of temporary construction jobs for people who don't live here and might cure cancer. We'll make the building look likesomehting everyone adores, like "My Little Pony"
Step 2.5 The experts will wave their degrees and a lot of reports in front of the city board and say "don't listen to the residents, they're not experts, we are. Oh sure we're being paid by the developer, but come on, look at this snappy degree!!!!"
Step 3. Developer dangles incentives in front of town. We'll provide moderate cost housing for the scruffy artsist who urban homesetaded this place (most places and the state require this under the COAH laws anyway) We'll build you a park, Sure it won't accomodate the extra people we're bringing, but hey! It's a park!!!! We'll name after someone on the board who everyone likes.
Step 4. Ask for a tax abatement. Come on, all the kids are doing it. Don't you want to be a cool city, too?
Step 4. Board denied the application. Now it's time for the "other" attorneys to come in. Instead of the happy applicant's attorneys, enter the stern faced litagators. Oh and city, don't call me applicant anymore, it's plaintiff to you.
See you in court. Bring the municipal budget.
Step 5. City soils itself when plaintiff/developer demand the whole city budget and the mayor's skin as damages. "God bless the civil court process for giving my client the ablity to be made whole and do you like this new designer suit?,'' litigator tells the local paper.
Step 6. Entire planning board and other city official suddenly lose their spines. Pictures of missing spines appear on milk cartons. Board and city officials bend into impossible positions trying to settle with developer/plaintiff.
Developer/ Plaintiff accepts terms and drops the suit, says it's best for residents. Developer/plaintiff then asks board members and city officials to walk down a set of stairs like a "Slinky" toy as as show of good faith.
Step 7. Bulldozers & construction crews arrive, traffic, congestion and people who've never lived here follow and complain that the city needs more stuff like they had where they used to live. Like a tiny park named for someone on the planning board.
Disclaimer: The names have been changed to protect the innocent, who can no longer afford to live here and have moved to Pennsylvania. Any resemblence to persons living or dead is really, a fluke.



Perfect picture you've drawn. Thank you for the
clarification. The 'impossible positions' and 'slinky
toy' references are particularly apt and fragrant.
Jersey City is grand guignol in real time.

Posted on: 2006/6/27 16:32
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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JCLAW,

Thanks for clarifing that! I knew it wasn't like I assumed, but I feel better knowing the increase won't be that bad.

I'm not in H.P., but I can estimate what it would be for my area.

Thanks for the input and welcome to a real message board unlike that other one...

Posted on: 2006/6/27 16:26
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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wow, I'm surprised someone actually read my whole post.

hi as07302

Let me try and clarify what was said to you, to the best of my ability anyway.

The short answer is, when a reval happens, the tax rate will decrease significantly, like down to somewhere around 2%. This is how it works. When the reval takes place, all the real estate in the city is reset to 100% of its current value. The city has an annual budget of about $350-$400 million dollars. Right now it gets financed in the following way:

$75 million from waterfront pilot "abatements"
$110 million from regular property taxes after the county gets its cut.
$190 million in state and federal flowthrough spending and aid(in various shapes and forms)

So in order to balance its budget, basically Jersey City needs to make $135 million from the traditional property rolls instead of the $110 it currently gets. The formula looks like this

Total Assessments x Equalization Ratio x Equalized Rate = Gross Taxes

Gross Taxes x .38 = Jersey City Share

So if Jersey City needs $135mn, then it has to collect Gross Taxes of $135mn/.38 = $355 mn.

Once the equilization ratio is brought up to 100%, and assuming a 2% tax rate, you've got

Total Assessments x .02 = $355mn, so total assessments have to be $355mn/.02 = $17.7 billion.

So Jersey City has about 75,000 housing units plus a lot of office space and industrial property. The office and industrial property alone are worth 1/3 of the city's total value, so that leaves about $11 billion to be covered by homeowners. $11 billion of value over 75,000 houses = $146,000 of value (at 100%) per household. That's a totally reasonable number as an average, and it means that even after a reval, the city is going to revalue the houses on the very low side and the rate won't be over 2% of that value.

What does this mean to you, 07302? Well let's assume you have a condo in hamilton pk (your zipcode). You're paying now like $300 a month in taxes on it. It's worth about $300k at market and the city's going to value it at $250k. You'll pay 2% of that per year which will be $416 per month. An unhappy surprise, but the city should have done this reval a long time ago.

ok I gotta go back to hourly work now.

Posted on: 2006/6/27 14:46
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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Quote:

JCLAW wrote:

BTW 3 - Most Jersey City homeowners, due to unupdated valuations, are only paying about .7% of property value in taxes even with the Healy rates. Healy is frantic to jam in as many abatements as he can to generate revenue to prevent a reval because typical JC homeowners taxes will double when a reval happens. Don't believe me? Pay a visit to the city business administrator for a full explanation of why the council keeps pushing "abatements" through.


Someone from the JC Tax office came to our first condo board association meeting, what he said about taxes downright scared me!

He said the equilization ratio will go to 100%. So, the rate would be (.052 x purchase price) instead of (.052 * (.34*purchase price))

Does anyone know if this is true? if so, that will more than double tax rates! There's no way that can happen. Someone, please tell me it's not so!

Posted on: 2006/6/27 13:36
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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In the words of artie lang:

waaaah waaaah waaaah

PS. If you want a quick math analysis of an "abatement" i will be glad to post one. the city gives them out because they yield 200%-300% of the taxes they would collect under an ordinary taxation scheme.

BTW- right now Jersey City's ordinary tax rate x ratio is one of the lowest in the state. even with the Healy increases, the municipal rate of .052 times the mandated equilization ratio of .34 means that a developer who accepts ordinary taxation only pays 1.768% of project cost. Next year's equilization ratio is expected to drop to .25 which will mean next years ordinary tax will be only 1.3% of project cost. The city only holds onto 40% of ordinary taxes (the county keeps the lion's share).

BTW 2- This compared to an abatement where the city gets at least 2% of project cost and keeps 100% of it (in residental projects the effective percentage is substantially higher).

BTW 3 - Most Jersey City homeowners, due to unupdated valuations, are only paying about .7% of property value in taxes even with the Healy rates. Healy is frantic to jam in as many abatements as he can to generate revenue to prevent a reval because typical JC homeowners taxes will double when a reval happens. Don't believe me? Pay a visit to the city business administrator for a full explanation of why the council keeps pushing "abatements" through.

BTW 4- I'm no fan of mayor mcDrunky. He's a disgrace and a mismanager, and if the city wants to really save money it should eliminate the double and triple public jobs given to the council members and all of their family and relatives. These people (like epps, gaughan, etc) are pulling down $400k a year plus perks for not-showing up (sober) at 3 different municipal and county offices. Under this administration (degise-healy) it's like frank hague all over again. Woody allen said most of life is just "showing up." with these characters, on the rare occasions they do show up they are usually holding a vodka-tonic.

BTW 5 - I'm new to your site! Hi everybody! I'm another refugee from S*^!a's N#$%^&T W@#$%^&*(T A$$)%^&!@#N board where I was told to stop criticizing the mayor for his behavior. Can you spell, pandering to the corrupt establishment, S*^!a? Hoping not to be stifled here.

Posted on: 2006/6/27 11:59
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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Do we unleash our full fury now or when Goldman is granted abatements? If he doesn't get an abatement and goes ahead with the project, does this mean that we've been snookered into giving abatements to projects that were financially viable without them?

If he overturns the zoning, does that establish a precedent so if someone buys three continuous 2 family houses along 5th street, for example, the owner could request, and receive, a variance to put up an apartment building?


Do I get a pat on the head for not suggesting that downtown should be an independent city? See the meds are working.

Posted on: 2006/6/27 10:50
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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Welcome to how development really works in New Jersey! Step 1 ...developer comes in with plan that doesn't conform to local zoning. But thats OK, this plan is so good for the city, it will make this place Paris on the Hudson and might even cure cancer.
Step 2... Residents oppose it. That's Ok. during public hearing, developers "experts" will tesify that, OK so this doesn't conform to your zoning, but it's the best thing since sliced bread. Our project will provide a lot of temporary construction jobs for people who don't live here and might cure cancer. We'll make the building look likesomehting everyone adores, like "My Little Pony"
Step 2.5 The experts will wave their degrees and a lot of reports in front of the city board and say "don't listen to the residents, they're not experts, we are. Oh sure we're being paid by the developer, but come on, look at this snappy degree!!!!"
Step 3. Developer dangles incentives in front of town. We'll provide moderate cost housing for the scruffy artsist who urban homesetaded this place (most places and the state require this under the COAH laws anyway) We'll build you a park, Sure it won't accomodate the extra people we're bringing, but hey! It's a park!!!! We'll name after someone on the board who everyone likes.
Step 4. Ask for a tax abatement. Come on, all the kids are doing it. Don't you want to be a cool city, too?
Step 4. Board denied the application. Now it's time for the "other" attorneys to come in. Instead of the happy applicant's attorneys, enter the stern faced litagators. Oh and city, don't call me applicant anymore, it's plaintiff to you.
See you in court. Bring the municipal budget.
Step 5. City soils itself when plaintiff/developer demand the whole city budget and the mayor's skin as damages. "God bless the civil court process for giving my client the ablity to be made whole and do you like this new designer suit?,'' litigator tells the local paper.
Step 6. Entire planning board and other city official suddenly lose their spines. Pictures of missing spines appear on milk cartons. Board and city officials bend into impossible positions trying to settle with developer/plaintiff.
Developer/ Plaintiff accepts terms and drops the suit, says it's best for residents. Developer/plaintiff then asks board members and city officials to walk down a set of stairs like a "Slinky" toy as as show of good faith.
Step 7. Bulldozers & construction crews arrive, traffic, congestion and people who've never lived here follow and complain that the city needs more stuff like they had where they used to live. Like a tiny park named for someone on the planning board.
Disclaimer: The names have been changed to protect the innocent, who can no longer afford to live here and have moved to Pennsylvania. Any resemblence to persons living or dead is really, a fluke.

Posted on: 2006/6/27 8:46
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Re: Three 40-plus story towers on 110 and 111 First Street sites.
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Posted on: 2006/6/27 1:23
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