Re: “Bayonne limits length of tax abatements” (September 24, 2020). It is encouraging to see the Bayonne Municipal Council take action to curb the city’s appetite for long term abatements. After years of debate over whether long term tax incentives are necessary to entice developers, the council unanimously agreed to cap the terms and agreements to 20 years. While this is a good initiative to move away from abatements, more should be done.
Bayonne not only has the most undeveloped land in Hudson County, but is also in the middle of a midst of a development boom. Situated close to the New York City skyline, developers are eager to get shovels in the ground and increase the city’s density. This appetite for development will continue to be profitable to build due to increased demand and limited supply in neighboring cities. As a result, the city should limit these tax incentives to 10 year terms. This will provide initial monetary support for the projects, without providing developers overly favorable terms.
The Municipal Council should take this legislation a step further and make it an ordinance to create city code. The incentives should be capped at 10 years, with a possible extension to 15 years if the developer provides additional community-based improvements. These improvements must be financially rich enough to mirror PILOT payments. Bayonne is a place in demand and development should be negotiated on favorable terms to taxpayers.