Thursday, January 5, 2017

Rising local property taxes a scandal editors refuse to tackle

The Rainbow Castle Preschool building at 142-48 Main St. in Hackensack has been boarded up, months after the structure was evacuated and declared unsafe. The two-story building was damaged by a pile driver at the construction site of a 14-story residential-retail project at Main and Mercer streets, a major part of the city's downtown rehabilitation plan.
The preschool building was declared unsafe last July 27, and work on the apartment projet was suspended. The owner is negotiating with the builder for compensation. The Record has completely ignored the story.


Who was responsible for the unflattering photo of Freeholder Mary Amoroso in The Record today?

Amoroso spent many years as a reporter and editor in the paper's feature department before she ran for office.

She's pictured on the Local front today with her mouth agape and right hand raised, and two men and a baby aren't even identified.

Of course, there is a lot more wrong in the story about the Bergen County Board of Freeholders, and reports on the makeup of town councils and school boards that have been running since the first day of the year.

Today, Steve Janoski, Philip DeVencentis and other reporters focus solely on politics -- which party gained the upper hand in the Nov. 8 elections.

Issues, such as the scandals of rising taxes and the burden of tax-exempt property, are totally ignored, as they have been for years.


In Hackensack, for example, the City Council says a property revaluation in 2016 managed to cut or stabilize taxes for two out of three homeowners.

Yet, the city still hasn't found money to pave streets that have been torn up for utility and sewage work, including two major thoroughfares, Main and State streets.

Despite delivering financial stability, the council and county seat remain behind the eight ball -- saddled with tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars in tax-exempt property owned by Bergen County, Hackensack University Medical Center, Fairleigh Dickinson University and others.

Those non-profit or tax-exempt entities shift the tax burden to homeowners and businesses.

And the budget of the Hackensack Board of Education, which accounts for 44% of a resident's tax bill, was higher than the entire city budget for at least the second year in a row.

The Record didn't even bother covering last April's election for three board members and the binding referendum on the budget.

Port Authority

Today's so-called Page 1 expose of a "$30 billion tug of war between New Jersey and New York" is another sensational report on an agency and resources the two states have fought over for nearly 100 years.

The Record's endless stories on this colossal patronage war allow editors and reporters to ignore the sad state of bus and rail transit under Governor Christie, whose first major act was to cancel a pair of Hudson River rail tunnels.

PA dates to 1921

When New York and New Jersey signed a compact in 1921 to create The Port of New York Authority -- giving it a mandate to develop and modernize the entire port district -- New Jersey was left out of the name.

In fact, the battle of the states over jurisdiction rights on the mighty Hudson River dates to the early 1900s.

The agency took over Port Newark in 1948, but the name wasn't changed to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey until 1972.

No comments:

Post a Comment

If you want your comment to appear, refrain from personal attacks on the blogger. Anonymous comments are no longer accepted. Keep your racism to yourself.