For immediate release: December 22, 2014
Contact: Senator Paul Sarlo
Chris Eilert, Chief of Staff
Sarlo Meadowlands Tax Relief Bill Passes Senate
Measure Fully Funds Tax Sharing for Meadowlands District Towns and
Merges Meadowlands Commission into Sports Authority
TRENTON – Legislation authored by Senator Paul Sarlo providing $7 million dollars in property tax relief for towns in the Meadowlands District and improving regional planning in the Meadowlands area by combining the Meadowlands Commission with the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority was approved by the Senate on Monday.
“These towns have lived with an outdated and unfair tax sharing requirement for too long,” said Senator Sarlo, Chairman of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee. “My legislation reduces $7,000,000 in property tax burden on towns paying into the tax sharing fund while protecting the towns receiving tax sharing funds by providing a permanent funding source.”
Under the current tax sharing formula, towns paying a total of $7,000,000 into the fund include Carlstadt, Little Ferry, Lyndhurst, Moonachie, South Hackensack, North Bergen and Secaucus. Towns receiving the funds include East Rutherford, North Arlington, Ridgefield, Rutherford, Jersey City and Kearny. Sarlo’s legislation funds the tax sharing formula by assessing a 3% surcharge on hotel room occupancy in the Meadowlands District. The change would allow the paying towns to use the money formerly paid into the fund for local services and property tax relief, Senator Sarlo said.
Sarlo heralded the merger of the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission into the Sports & Exposition Authority as making government smaller, more efficient and more responsive to the needs of the residents and communities in the Meadowlands.
“A unified agency to coordinate and plan for economic growth, infrastructure improvements, environmental protection and flood control in the Meadowlands region is the most effective way to realize smart growth, provide municipal services, preserve open space and promote tourism” said Senator Sarlo. “The region covers 30 square miles, 14 municipalities in two counties and includes the stadium, arena and racetrack. The zoning and planning should be done in a coordinated and comprehensive way by bringing all the organizations together. It’s important to the economy, transportation and the quality of life that the work is done efficiently and effectively.”
The bill, S-2647, was previously approved by the General Assembly and now goes to the Governor’s desk to await his signature. Senator Sarlo said he is optimistic that Governor Christie will sign the bill into law.
“I believe that the governor will see this bill as reducing the property tax burden on residents and businesses alike and as promoting government efficiency by consolidating two agencies into one,” said Sarlo. “I am confident the Governor will sign this bill into law.”