The city of Bayonne is beginning to move away from long-term tax abatements.
The city council met virtually via TetherView on Sept. 23. At the meeting, it adopted a resolution establishing guidelines and parameters for the approval of long-term tax abatements for multi-family projects.
The resolution would cap the term of tax abatements, or payments-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOTs), to 20 years.
The council voted unanimously to adopt the resolution, 4-0. Councilman Sal Gullace was not present and did not vote. He is still recovering from a serious leg injury.
Years in the making
The move away from tax abatements longer than 20 years had been long debated but is finally coming to fruition.
City Council President Sharon Ashe-Nadrowski credited Councilman Gary La Pelusa for his work on the resolution. La Pelusa has been consistently critical of tax abatements and has been pushing for this for years.
La Pelusa said that the council had spoken about it three years ago, but now it’s finally a reality, and the right time to limit PILOTs.
According to La Pelusa, the city used the tax incentives to spur development. Construction has since been abundant in the city. Now, Bayonne is at the point where it doesn’t have to give tax incentives for terms longer than 20 years.
Unanimous council support
Councilman Neill Carroll also thanked La Pelusa and said it was about time the resolution was adopted.
“It’s time to demonstrate that Bayonne continues to become the gem of Hudson County,” Carroll said. According to Carroll, the PILOTs helped the city, but now it’s time to reduce the maximum term limits.
Councilman Juan Perez echoed the sentiment of the other council members.
According to Ashe-Nadrowski, the city plans to reduce the limit to 15 years in 2021.
Only in certain circumstances will PILOTs be able to exceed 20 years. These instances include when there are community-based improvements provided by the developer such as a “rec center, a sports place, or the cleanup of contaminated land.”
The next Bayonne City Council meeting will be held virtually on Oct. 21 at 7 p.m.
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