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 Oâ€™Dea, and Pat Kelleher, Â 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 Oâ€™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.â€
Jersey City resident Mia Scanga, however, had a different view.
â€œThere should be no tax abatements to camouflage it for affordable units,â€ said Scanga. â€œYou 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.â€
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.
â€œLong term tax abatements give great and serious risks to home owners and property owners of Jersey City,â€ proclaimed Yun.
â€œAs 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,â€ he stated prior to his vote.