(TRENTON) – Assemblywoman Mila Jasey (D-Essex, Morris) released the following statement on Friday describing the Governor’s veto of her legislation that would have helped to fight blight in New Jersey’s communities, especially in the state’s urban centers:
“Land Banks are more than an experiment, Governor.
“Eighty Land Banks in 20 states, including New York, Pennsylvania, are successfully using this tool to markedly improve cities, permitting them to attract business opportunities and greatly improve quality of life.
“Vacant lots, abandoned shopping centers, buildings and homes diminish the property values. Municipalities should be given the opportunity to rid neighborhood blight in a way that will raise revenue and strengthen the tax base.
“Placing land bank programs under state control would create unnecessary bureaucratic red tape and make meaningful change much more elusive for communities that desperately need it.
“For nearly five years, Governor Christie has touted the great need for a smaller and efficient government. Yet, in this veto he calls for state oversight.
“And although, the Governor has stated before the need for communities to be able to control housing development, with this veto, he has rejected a proven method that would help municipalities redevelop or repurpose properties to meet current and future housing needs.
“This bill had overwhelming bipartisan support by Legislature and would have given municipalities the opportunity to take charge of their vacant, underused, abandoned properties and develop the land into thriving business centers, new schools, parks, and housing.
“Municipalities deserve real reasons, real answers and real solutions to curing their towns of unsightly, useless properties now.”