Councilman Michael Venezia held a community forum on Tuesday to respond to questions about Tax Abatements or Payments in Lieu of Taxes, or PILOTS.
Venezia said he called the forum to dispel misinformation about PILOTS.
The presentation included comments from Dan Mariniello of the NW Financial Group, the Hoboken firm representing Bloomfield in redeveloping the Annie Sez property in Bloomfield Center. Mariniello said a New Jersey law (N.J.S.A. 40A:20-1) allows municipalities to grant PILOTS to projects that would otherwise be unable to be financed. He asserted that PILOTs can stimulate the local economy and attract private investment within the municipality.
In the forum, Venezia and Mariniello said Bloomfield Center that the town has been trying to redevelop for 24 years, would still be at a stand still.
Glenn Domenick, Director of Bloomfield Community Development, provided details about specific projects within the township.
“I arranged the forum because even though decisions to approve a PILOT are discussed and voted on at public meetings, there is a lot of false information being circulated about this issue,” Venezia said. “Each development project is unique and consequently, each request for a PILOT is decided on a case by case basis.”
He continued: “When we approve a PILOT, we must not only consider if it benefits the town financially, we must ask if the project will have other long term benefits to the taxpayers… Will this project create jobs? Will this project be an economic generator for our community? Will this project increase residential property values by making the town more desirable to live in? Will this project stimulate additional positive development that will bring further benefits to the taxpayers?”
Venezia added the redevelopment projects will also create construction and permanent jobs for Bloomfield residents.