Jersey City Council moves 30-year tax break for mixed-use project forward

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Jersey City Ward D Councilman Michael Yun shared his frustration with Corporation Counsel Jeremy Farrell before voting on the first reading of a 30-year tax exemption for a mixed-use rental project to be constructed by Ocean MLK Urban Renewal.

Yun pointed out every difference between two documents provided to city council, one a meeting document and the other from the caucus meeting during the discussion of the ordinance.

“I think it’s an insult to every council member in this room, so I’m strongly recommending to withdraw, fix the numbers and bring back to this council,” Yun told Farrell.

“Based on my study there is a serious problem we face: one the old one say very clear that we are going to contribute some money to the Board of Ed – 10 percent annual service charge, but the 10 percent of the annual service comes from the developer.”

“New one said that 10% comes from our hare, our annual service charge,” Yun continued. “That total amount can be millions of dollar over the 30 years can be a (big) difference to tax payers.”

Yun further stated that the city is being charged three times more since the annual service charge at 10 percent equals $10,000 a year, not the $35,000 that one document stated.

The councilman also ask Farrell how, if the annual service charge should be $100,000, why the document only stated $15,000 a year and “to explain how the developers are going to only pay less than $60,000 of taxes per year.”

“What is important is that 10 percent of the annual service charge is going to the schools,” Farrell finally replied. He also stated that the numbers will be corrected for the second reading of the ordinance.

“Councilman you have to be careful, when you make certain statements. We all work very hard and everyone’s hard work can never amount to insult to this body,” Farrell told Yun.

Also during the discussion, Jersey City Ward B Councilman Chris Gadsden confirmed with Vice President of Development for RPM Development Group Joseph Portelli on units set aside for low- and moderate-income residents.

The project will be a mix use of five buildings at five different locations, which includes 787 Ocean Ave., 4 Orient Ave., 61 Virginia Ave., 421 MLK Dr. and 3 Virginia Ave.

The development plan consists of three, four–story buildings, two, two-story buildings with 99 residential units and 54 set aside for low- to moderate-income housing and 45 market rate units.

There will also be three buildings with retail and commercial space and a grand total of twenty four parking spaces.

The Jersey City Council voted 9-0 on first reading of the ordinance.