The city council on Monday evening, in an effort to attract development to the city, opted to join the New Jersey Economic Opportunity Act of 2013, a bill that provides businesses hefty incentives to create jobs.
By passing the resolution during a special meeting, the city managed to beat the deadline by four hours. The legislation, which was passed on September 18th, 2013, set a 90-day deadline within which municipalities must pass resolutions indicating whether they wish to take advantage of the law.
During last week’s workshop meeting of the council, Andre Sayegh, the council president and 6th Ward councilman, rushed to meet the deadline by holding a Monday meeting. The special meeting was attended by six council members. Julio Tavarez, 6th Ward councilman, Kenneth Morris, councilman at-large, Anthony Davis, 1st Ward councilman, did not attend the meeting.
The legislation sets special priority for poor cities like Paterson to grab as much development as possible from neighboring states by wooing businesses using a combination of tax credits and tax abatements.
The resolution passed on Monday will allow any corporation designated as a “Garden State Growth Zone Development Entity” to obtain a 10-year tax abatement on new constructions and property improvements from the city. Companies that are not designated as growth zone entities will qualify for a reduced 5-year tax exemption for new constructions and improvements made to their current properties.
Last Wednesday Jeffrey Jones, the city’s mayor, said a discussion on the resolution had yet to take place with the council. However, that changed over the weekend. “Just for the record this is something the administration and the municipal council are working collaboratively on,” said Sayegh. Charles Thomas, the city’s business administrator, affirmed that, indeed both branches of the government approved of the idea.
The city’s tax base has been shrinking in recent years, and the council hopes by attracting businesses it can reverse that process. “Hopefully this will increases our ratable base,” said Sayegh, during the vote. Rigo Rodriguez, councilman at-large, who expressed a bit of reservation last week, jumped on board and voted in the affirmative, as did all the other council members who attended the special meeting.