SECAUCUS AND BEYOND – Secaucus Mayor Michael Gonnelli and four other mayors from the Meadowlands region are refusing to offer municipal services during the Super Bowl 2014 and will not provide any police, fire, or any other municpal services, they have said.
This stance comes after a meeting on Feb. 6 between mayors from Carlstadt, Little Ferry, Moonachie, Secaucus, and South Hackensack – all payers into a state Meadowlands tax sharing municipal pool, which was developed in the 1970s as a way to offset the loss of tax ratables for towns that can’t develop due to environmental reasons. There are 14 towns in the Meadowlands District. The mayors from paying municipalities have long battled to change the formula and have pressed the state to find other sources of revenue to compensate the towns.
The Giants and Jets have rejected proposals to require a surcharge on tickets or parking in order to offset the costs incurred by municipalities as a result of the stadium according to the statement.
In a written press statement, Gonnelli “made it clear that he would lead a concerted effort to make sure the region’s towns do not participate in any Super Bowl planning or activity that will require the towns to pick up any costs.” He called the lease signed between Acting Governor Dick Cody and the New York Jets and New York Giants “a slap in the face to each and every taxpayer in the state of New Jersey.”
According to the statement, the NFL teams reportedly receive $425 million, pay $6 million for 75 acres of property, and keep all parking revenue.
“How do you give away state assets and property without proper compensation?” said Gonnelli.
According to the statement, the state was left with $230 million in stranded debt from the old stadium that is being paid for by tax dollars.
“The teams have never been good corporate neighbors to the region,” said Mayor William Roseman of Carlstadt. “Every football game, every concert is nothing more than a nightmare to the towns that are either next to the stadium or towns that endure the event day traffic congestion.” According to Roseman each event requires overtime expenses for the police department, which is funded through taxpayers.