Fulop, Jersey City terminate tax abatement on defaulted agreement

In what he is calling the latest example of greater transparency, more widespread development and prioritizing residents over developers, Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop announced Tuesday that the city is terminating the tax abatement for four of the six buildings within the Beacon Community.

The move comes after the developer, Baldwin Asset Associates Urban Renewal Co., defaulted on its 2005 financial agreement with the city, Fulop said. It is the third tax abatement to be terminated for noncompliance by the Fulop administration.

“This is a message to any developer that thinks they can circumvent their obligations to our residents,” Fulop said in a statement. “Our administration has moved the city away from the policies of previous mayors with regards to tax abatements.”

The city has benefited because of the moves, Fulop said.

“We haven’t granted a tax abatement in well over three years, and, yet, we’re seeing more widespread development, we’re incorporating more affordable housing and we’re building new schools, libraries, parks, flood resiliency infrastructure, among countless other opportunities to the directly benefit our residents and community,” he said.

Jersey City officials said the Beacon Community, the organization receiving the economic development financial assistance, has violated its obligation of retaining and providing appropriate employee records to ensure the workers receive adequate compensation, benefits and paid leave, in accordance with the municipal code.

The city sent a notice of termination Nov. 30.

Peter Baker, corporation counsel for Jersey City, said the action Tuesday was the next step.

“We have had numerous conversations with the Beacon and its counsel over the past several months attempting to rectify this issue,” he said. “We have had zero compliance on their part in the matter, and so we’re moving forward with annulling the abatement,” said

The cancellation ordinance is expected to go before the City Council for a first reading at the next meeting, scheduled for Dec. 16.