Councilman Yun concerned for Jersey City after council grants 20-year tax exemption to KRE

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An amended ordinance reducing a 30-year tax abatement to a 20-year tax exemption for KRE Urban Renewal could still hurt Jersey City in the long run, according to Ward D Councilman Michael Yun.

A market rate rental project will consist of a 17-story building with 397 residential rental units and 20 percent, or 80 units, will be moderate-income rental housing – while 80 percent, or 317, units will be market rate rental.

The market rate resident units will be valued at $1,500 per month.

The ordinance also will execute a Project Labor Agreement and Project Employment and Contracting Agreement that involves Project IMPACT.

Both District 2 Freeholder Bill O’Dea, and Pat Kelleher,  the president of the Hudson County Building Trades Union, are organizers of the project – which provides hands-on training and classroom-basic skills assistance for those who want to become carpenters and/or join a union or union apprenticeship.

Emmanuel Etienne, a recruit of IMPACT, first told the council how grateful he was for O’Dea and Kelleher stating:

“I went from trying everything I could, to get general assistance to land work to provide for myself. I came a long way and they were able to assist us through everything.”

Jersey City resident Mia Scanga, however, had a different view.

“There should be no tax abatements to camouflage it for affordable units,” said Scanga. “You are going to make it so unaffordable here that the only people who can afford to live in Jersey City will be those who live in tax abated properties.”

The Jersey City Council voted 6-2 with Ward A Councilman Frank Gajewski absent. Ward E Councilwoman Candace Osbourne and Yun were the two officials who voted against it.

“Long term tax abatements give great and serious risks to home owners and property owners of Jersey City,” proclaimed Yun.

“As a councilman, one of my goals [is] not only to protect the people of Jersey City now, but also to protect the future of Jersey City, and because of that, I say no,” he stated prior to his vote.

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