Media in Trouble: All the news thats UNfit to print!: Harrison's Gold Coast

"The information of the people at large can alone make them safe, as they are the sole depositary of our political and religious freedom." --Thomas Jefferson 1810

Friday, December 16, 2005

Harrison's Gold Coast

Harrison NJ, a nice blue collar old fashioned town residing on the banks of the toxic glorious Passaic river, will soon be home to another New York Pro-sports team the Metrostars. A huge swath of the southeastern part of Harrison, once riddled with booming factories which have been abandoned since the 1930's, will be transformed into a "gold coast" Gratuitous digression: As a resident, I laugh every time I see these words associated with Harrison and/or the Passaic. Included in the development will be a stadium, some infrastructure from RT. 280, and a generally vast area condo's and commerce rivaling the bazaars of the middle east!(NOT!)

There have been everything from medical waste dumps, to large shopping malls pitched to the town council, yet the stadium etc. is what was finally settled on. Fantastic, it has taken them only decades to keep everyone happy.

Finally, the town council can get to the business of doling out some tax abatements...
...the town council voted Dec. 6 to extend tax exemptions to Advance At Harrison Urban Renewal I, L.L.C. for a period of twenty years after construction.
In 2005 this property generated $303,000 dollars in tax revenue. Under the terms of the financial agreement the town will receive at least $3.8 million upon completion.

Now my math says that $303,000 X 20 = $6,060,000. If the owners pay 3.8 million upon completion, that still leaves $2,260,000 (plus interest) in lost funds. The town basically hopes to make up lost tax revenue on the backs of the Metrostars fans and people shopping in that area. So basically, the owners (riche') don't pay taxes yet the consumers (les Miserables) do!

$2.26 million (plus interest) is quite a bit of money for a hamlet with a population of about 14,000 (and shrinking).

But it doesn't end there.

Harrison, has recently been given the honor of having 250 acres of a "waterfront redevelopment area" deemed a Brownfield Development Area. Basically the town gets an extra $2 million/yr. (for a total of $5 million) for cleaning up the area. So that the rich developers won't have to.

On top of that, "cleanup costs for properties in targeted areas are fully deductible in the year in which they are incurred, rather than having to be capitalized." Not to mention lots of other subsidized goodies.

Summary, corporations owning the southeast section of Harrison, tax break for 10 years. State and Federal Tax payers pay for the clean-up. In other words, double non-taxation with plenty of representation.

No word yet on whether or not 1000 S. Frank E. Rodgers Blvd. was included in that 250 acres (I have an email into the DEP). However, with 2000 S. Frank E. Rodgers Blvd. (right across the street) already on the list, I wouldn't doubt it.

Suddenly, the words "Harrison gold coast" seem a little less laughable to me.