Bayonne mayoral challenger Jason O’Donnell hit incumbent Jimmy Davis over his administration’s propensity to give developers tax breaks in his latest TV ad.
“Four years ago, Jimmy Davis’ team said multi-million dollar tax breaks for developers were bad for taxpayers. Then, Davis gave them to 40 out-of-town developers with no job guarantees for Bayonne residents: we deserve better,” a voiceover says in the 30-second spot.
During his State of the City address, Davis defended his support of payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreements, saying that it can help the city realize five to 10 times the revenue they would from a standard development agreement.
The commercial also notes that Team O’Donnell has a plan in place for parking, school safety and “repealing the $50 driveway tax.”
Davis campaign spokesman Phil Swibinski said the commercial a continuation of a failed strategy about misrepresenting Davis’ record.
“This ad continues the O’Donnell campaign’s failing strategy of attacking Mayor Davis on made-up issues and telling outright lies about his record. There is no $50 driveway tax to repeal — it was never implemented by the city and Mayor Davis has publicly stated that he would veto any parking changes that include fees on residents to park in front of their driveways,” he said.
“If the O’Donnell campaign is hoping to distract Bayonne voters from their candidate’s dismal attendance record in the Assembly, his role in selling Bayonne’s water system to Wall Street speculators leading to massive annual water rate increases and his employment at Chris Christie’s favorite lobbying firm, maybe next time they should pick an issue that has even a grain of truth to it.”
Last month, the city council introduced a measure that would potentially cost residents $50 to park cars in front of their driveways, but the council has since said they won’t be moving forward with the measure until after a six-month review.
O’Donnell and Davis sparred over the former’s track record in the state Assembly yesterday, while the former city public safety director has also been blamed for Bayonne’s unfavorably water deal – as well as criticized for his employment at public relations firm Kivvit.
He has reiterated that he had nothing to do with the water deal and never worked for a lobbying firm.