The Bayonne City Council has amended its financial agreement with Plattykill Urban Renewal LLC for the Plattykill Manor Apartments at 18-52 East 12th Street. At its Jan. 20 meeting, the council adopted an ordinance amending the tax abatement.
Last April, the council adopted an ordinance granting a 15-year extension on the preexisting tax abatement, or payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT). Plattykill will pay the city $230,000 annually in lieu of taxes from 2020 to 2023; $240,000 from 2023 to 2025; $275,000 from 2025 to 2030; and $315,000 from 2030 to 2035.
Plattykill is eligible for the tax abatement because it operates 147 low- and moderate-income units; the building is 100 percent Section 8 housing. Per the abatement, the units must stay designated as low- and moderate-income housing,
Plattykill agreed not to evict residents for the next three years if they can’t meet rent or lost their jobs due to COVID-19. Plattykill also agreed to pay for its own garbage removal and no longer put trashcans on the curb.
As part of the abatement, Plattykill was required to rehabilitate each residential unit within two years of the passing of the ordinance. Twenty-five percent of the renovations were to be completed after 18 months.
Platykill requested an extension due to COVID-19, as allowed under the agreement. The city granted it.
Rehabilitation of the residential units will now start by July 1 and be completed no later than December 31, 2022. All other terms and conditions of the agreement remain in effect.
The tax exemption is conditioned on the rehabilitation of the 147 units and the maintenance of the low- and moderate-income designation of each unit.
The council voted 4-1 to adopt the ordinance amending the tax abatement.
La Pelusa objects
Third Ward City Councilman Gary La Pelusa, who voted against the adoption of the initial ordinance, also voted against the ordinance amending the tax abatement because of the length of the overall agreement.
“We talked about lowering the amount of the years for the financial agreements, and we had said going forward this year that we wanted to lower them down to 15 years,” La Pelusa said. “I realize this was introduced before the new year, so I understand that it’s 20 years. But this particular property has had abatements for over 40 years. So adding this too would make it probably around 60-plus years.”
La Pelusa said that when the terms of tax abatements are less then 15 years, he will look at them more carefully. But because the terms are longer than that, he voted no.
City Council President Sharon Ashe-Nadrowski countered that the council was not voting on approving the extension of the abatement, which it had already granted last year, but an amendment to that abatement. She said that, under the abatement, the redeveloper had a time frame to start the rehabilitation of its units but was delayed by COVID-19.
“The changes aren’t to any of the financial terms, but are about extending the time which they can have to get those improvements done,” Ashe-Nadrowski said.
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