Prieto: Tax Sharing Fairness Finally Coming to Meadowlands Region

(TRENTON) – Assembly Budget Chairman Vincent Prieto on Thursday announced the state budget for next fiscal year will take a major step toward finally bringing about fairness to the 14 municipalities involved in Meadowlands tax sharing.
Prieto (D-Hudson/Bergen) said the budget will include $6 million for the seven municipalities that pay into the tax sharing arrangement, covering more than 80 percent of their cost.
The funding will help cover nearly all their tax sharing costs as the administration and legislators commit to working together in the coming months to devise a broader long-term solution.
“This is great news for the taxpayers who live in these communities and is a big step toward ending years of frustration over the flaws in the program,” Prieto said. “The inequities involved in this arrangement have gone on far too long and pinched local budgets without being addressed. We were finally able to get this help, and I look forward to reaching a comprehensive solution that benefits everyone.”
Tax sharing was devised in the early 1970s as a means to share the costs and benefits of regional zoning in the Meadowlands region.
The Inter-municipal Tax Sharing Program was established to create a fair and equitable method of distributing the benefits and expenses of economic development and land use decisions made amongst the 14 Meadowlands District municipalities.
The paying communities are Carlstadt, Little Ferry, Lyndhurst, Moonachie, South Hackensack, North Bergen and Secaucus.
East Rutherford, North Arlington, Ridgefield, Rutherford, Jersey City and Kearny receive money.
The idea was to create a fiscal device to share the benefits of development, with some areas zoned for industrial, commercial and residential use and others for parks, highways, open space and other non-taxable public uses.
The tax sharing plan was designed to balance inequities so that the region could be developed as a unit with town-to-town equality.
Each community would get a proportionate share of the property taxes from new development, regardless of where it occurs, but over the years some municipalities have expressed concern the formula was unfair and needed updating.
“It’s amazing that these concerns have not been addressed for so long, but progress is being made,” Prieto said. “This helps ease the budget crunch in paying communities without harming the ones who receive.”
Prieto added, “Fixing this problem has long been a top priority of mine, and I am very pleased at this success that bodes well for even more economic growth and smart planning in the Meadowlands. The taxpayers are the ultimate winners.”