"Each year in New Jersey, municipal governments forego hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue through reductions of or exemptions from taxes in the name of economic and community development. Referred to as tax abatements, these exemptions are granted typically to businesses and developers to encourage them to make improvements to property or to locate a project in a distressed or blighted area. The impact of such abatements is significant and far reaching and the financial stakes are high, involving billions of dollars in New Jersey property value. Despite these high stakes, in New Jersey little is done to monitor the use of such abatements, to ensure that they are appropriately awarded, or to determine whether they achieve their purposes.
Tax abatements result in significant foregone revenue and introduce tax inequities that deserve closer scrutiny. The recommendations in this report are geared toward broad based changes that will help to ensure more open and fair investment of taxpayer dollars and better decisions and outcomes in the future..." A. Matthew Boxer, State Comptroller.
Perhaps they did not appreciate the questions posed. Who knows why? It does not matter. The questions must be asked. It became totally clear during the Master Plan Public Hearing at Community Baptist Church that all roads lead to developing every inch of open space left in Englewood. It has always been a puzzle as to why tax abatements are so attractive. We are not so urbanized that the City cannot survive without this.
The burning question is this. What do the big developments and developers do for the average homeowner? Not one politician, friend or not has been able to give me a satisfactory answer. Who do you think is going to end up paying for all this borrowed money? Come on, you know. We are. The little guys.