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Jersey City mayor vows to come after developers violating city's tax abatement program

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Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop is putting developers participating in his city’s tax abatement program on notice.

In a statement Monday, Fulop announced the recovery of $2.3 million from one delinquent developer, and a pledge to continue aggressively pursuing others.

Fulop said Jerramiah Healy’s administration had not enforced tax abatement laws for several years.

“These are tax dollars that could be used to put cops on the street, fund recreation programs, pave roads or simply lower the amount of taxes paid by our residents,” Fulop said. “Failure to collect this money is unacceptable, and we are going to hold these developers accountable.

Fulop said EQR Lincoln Urban Renewal Entity owed the city its share of excess profits generated on properties receiving tax abatements, in accordance with state law.

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EQR had been the recipient of a 20-year tax abatement in 2000, and did not see excess profits until 2007, which it failed to share with the city, Fulop’s office said. The city pinpointed two EQR properties — Hudson Point and North Pier — as the focus of its complaint.

Fulop, who was sworn into office in July, said that tax abatement enforcement will be a priority for his administration.

Jeremy Farrell, the city’s corporation counsel, said he’s also ready to take on developers if need be.

“Developers who have received tax abatements from the city should be on notice that we will be enforcing their contracts to ensure the city is collecting everything it is owed — and if legal action is required, we are prepared to take that action,” Farrell said in a statement.

Andrew George

Andrew George

Andrew George covers the Statehouse from NJBIZ's Trenton bureau. Born and raised in N.J., Andrew has also spent time as a reporter in D.C., Texas and Pa. His email is andrewg@njbiz.com and he is @AndrGeorge on Twitter.

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