AMODEO AND POLISTINA QUESTION EXTRA AID FOR NEWARK AS PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTION FOR NEWARK ARENA ADVANCES

Assemblymen John Amodeo and Vince Polistina today suggested that if the city of Newark is stable enough financially to grant a property tax exemption to a wealthy professional sports franchise, perhaps the city does not need the $45 million in extraordinary aid provided this year by the state?s taxpayers.

?While communities across New Jersey endured municipal aid cuts this year driving up property taxes for middle class families, one of the few municipalities to get extra aid is now exempting one of its wealthiest property taxpayers,? said Polistina, R-Atlantic. ?The state provides hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the city, and it can be argued that state taxpayers ? including many in South Jersey who may never visit the Prudential Center ? are now subsidizing that arena.?

The Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee is meeting today to consider legislation, A-2963, that will allow Newark to exempt lessees of the Prudential Center from local property taxes. The effect of the bill will be reducing the amount of property tax revenue the city can actually raise by removing one of its larger pieces of real estate from the tax rolls.

Polistina and Amodeo pointed out that the state has just given $45 million in extraordinary aid to the City of Newark, in addition to $108.3 million in municipal aid and $721.3 million in school aid for the current fiscal year.

?Families in South Jersey first had their property tax relief cut,? Amodeo, R-Atlantic, said. ?Now many of the families are getting bills for basic police protection. If Newark didn?t need that $45 million, then send it down here.?

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