Municipal officials approved a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreement late last month giving a $4 million tax break to the soon-to-be purchasers of the Federation Apartments, a senior housing complex on 12th Avenue.
Under the agreement, the Seniors Tower of Paterson Urban Renewal will pay $6.8 million, $4 million less than the $10.77 it would have had to pay under regular taxation, over a 30-year period, according to a municipal fiscal analysis report.
Seniors Tower of Paterson Urban Renewal, which owns a portion of the Daughters of Miriam in Clifton, is the contract purchaser for the 10-story housing complex which has 143 apartments. The property is approximately 113,300 square feet, according to municipal records.
Members of the City Council approved the agreement in an 8-1 vote on Sept. 24 following a public hearing.
Councilman William McKoy was the sole vote against the agreement. He found it distasteful that the complex is seeking a second tax abatement. On Aug. 16, 1971, the City Council granted a tax abatement to the Jewish Community Housing Corporation to build the affordable housing complex.
The latest tax abatement agreement also benefits the previous owner, who is able to demand a higher price for a property that has a tax abatement agreement in place.
“Nobody should get tax abatements,” said Elvis Durham, a regular at City Council meetings, sole speaker during the public hearing on the agreement. “Let them pay their dues.”
Max Kaufman of the Seniors Tower of Paterson Urban Renewal has argued his firm will invest $1.65 million to upgrade the facility to improve the living conditions of seniors. Entire air conditioning system at the building will be overhauled; a sprinkler system will cover the entire complex; roof will be replaced; bathrooms will be upgraded with new lighting, vanities, and energy efficient shower heads and toilets; and lobby and common areas will be renovated with new flooring, lighting, and painting, according to documents submitted to the city.
Mayor Andre Sayegh’s administration had presented the tax abatement agreement to the City Council in April, but council members viewed the $1.65 investment as minuscule and little more than regular upkeep needed to keep the complex standing. Sayegh’s people presented the same PILOT again in September.
Council members Al Abdelaziz, Ruby Cotton, Michael Jackson, Shahin Khalique, Lilisa Mimms, Flavio Rivera, Luis Velez, and Maritza Davila voted in favor of the tax abatement agreement.
“Our seniors need to be taken care of better. This project will better the lives of seniors in that building,” said Davila during her vote.