Jersey City Freeholder Bill O’Dea (D-2) said that “Goya gamed us” by receiving $82 million in tax credits from the state to move their headquarters from Secaucus to Jersey City as part of a tax abatement panel last night.
St. Peter’s University’s Guarini Institute for Government and Leadership saw GIGL Executive Director Dr. Leila Sadeghi and St. Peter’s Dean of Education Joe Doria a tax abatement panel inside the Duncan Room Sky Room.
The seven-person panel included Jersey City Freeholder Bill O’Dea and Jersey City Deputy Mayor Marcos Vigil, the latter being a former deputy secretary of state under New York Mayor Andrew Cuomo.
O’Dea took a firm stance against the State of New Jersey’s policy to award Abbott districts tax abatements. He further argued that no property taxes would be worthwhile only in a scenario where a large company such as General Motors comes to Jersey City and ensures hundreds of “blue collar jobs” for residents.
The freeholder and long rumored mayoral candidate pointed to Goya as a prime example of the state tax credit program not being beneficial to the host municipality.
While Vigil admitted that there is indeed a lot of tri-state competition to recruit businesses, he added that he couldn’t speak for what happened 30 years ago, only about what the Fulop administration intends to do moving forward: provide more affordable housing.
He also agreed with O’Dea that the state has to develop a better state property tax reassessment from the viewpoint of municipalities.
The other panelists were Paul Silverman, the principal developer of Silverman Building, Julio Colon, Newark’s Director of the Division of Housing Assistance, Eugene Paolino, a partner at the high-powered law firm Genova Burns, Donald Malone, an associate professor of sociology at St. Peter’s University and finally, Devin Rafferty, an assistant professor of economics and finance.
At the same time that the panel was happening, the Jersey City Council approved a 30-year tax abatement for a 5-story building in Ward F.
A representative from Goya could not be reached on Thursday.