Tax relief for NB, Secaucus as state funds Meadowlands Tax Sharing Program
The newly-signed state budget includes $7.3 million in direct property tax relief for several Hudson and Bergen county municipalities, including Secaucus and North Bergen, by fully funding their annual contribution into the controversial Meadowlands Tax Sharing Program this year, announced Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Secaucus).
Secaucus and North Bergen had been hurt in past years by the Meadowlands Tax Sharing Program, and they had been protesting the fact that they had such a large contribution. Established in 1973, the program has was created to compensate municipalities whose wetlands could not be developed. Neighboring towns who were able to reap the benefits of development, like Secaucus, were forced to give into a pool that was split with the other towns.
This year, the “sending” towns will not be forced to pay into the program, while the “receiving” towns will still get their usual payments thanks to a budget deal the speaker negotiated with Gov. Chris Christie.
“The tax sharing program has been an unfair burden on many municipalities for far too long and I am proud to see the state budget remove this unnecessary expense and provide direct property tax relief to residents,” said Speaker Prieto, who has championed the tax sharing issue in the legislature for several years.
Under the adopted budget, 100 percent of the tax sharing payments will be assumed by the state for the first time ever. A previous agreement struck in last year’s state budget picked up 80 percent of the cost, providing significant relief but still leaving many towns with large expenditures. Speaker Prieto fought to have the full payment included in this year’s budget and is continuing to negotiate for a permanent solution that would remove the tax sharing payments forever while still making sure that “receiving” towns are made whole.
The Tax Sharing Program has come under fire in recent years for being antiquated and creating an unfair burden on the “sending” towns, which include Secaucus, North Bergen, South Hackensack, Moonachie, Lyndhurst, Little Ferry and Carlstadt. The “receiving” towns that will now be compensated by the state are Kearny, Jersey City, Rutherford, Ridgefield, North Arlington and East Rutherford.
Herb Klitzner retires after nearly 30 years with township
North Bergen Township Attorney Herb Klitzner is retiring after nearly 30 years of service to the township. Klitzner, who was hired as township attorney in 1985 when Mayor Nicholas Sacco first took office as a commissioner, will be succeeded by Thomas Kobin of Secaucus-based Chasan, Leyner and Lamparello. June 30 was Klitzner’s last day of duty as township attorney.
“Herb Klitzner’s total devotion to North Bergen and the years of service he gave to the township will never be forgotten,” said Mayor Sacco. “He has been one of the key figures in my administration and has been instrumental in the revitalization of North Bergen into one of the model urban communities in the state. He will be greatly missed but I believe we will be in excellent hands with Tom Kobin.”
An experienced attorney in governmental matters, Kobin is a partner at Chasan Leyner and previously served as the attorney for North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue, as well as other government entities. He holds a Juris Doctorate degree from Seton Hall University and has been practicing law for nearly 20 years.
Senior citizen movie matinee on July 11
Come watch the hilarious movie Last Vegas about older friends who take a break from their day-to-day lives to throw a bachelor party in Las Vegas for their last remaining single pal. Starring Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, and Kevin Kline. Refreshments are provided free. The movie will screen at 12 p.m. on Friday, July 11 at the North Bergen Public Library Kennedy Branch, 2123 Kennedy Blvd.
Palisades Medical Center’s Casino Night takes place August 21
On August 21, 2014, The Waterside Restaurant in North Bergen will be transformed into a Las Vegas-style casino during Palisades Medical Center’s 8th Annual Casino Night. The event will begin with dinner from 6 to 7 p.m. Gambling will take place from 7 to 10:30 p.m., followed by the drawing of a Super 50-50 and other raffle prizes.
Casino Night admission is $100 per person and includes a buffet dinner, beer, wine, soda, and casino chips for guests to try their luck at blackjack, poker, craps, roulette and more. Additional casino chips may be purchased throughout the evening, and guests redeem chips at the end of the event for raffle prize tickets.
All Casino Night proceeds will support technology and equipment upgrades in PMC’s Maternity Center to provide high-quality care for mothers and babies.
Casino Night is planned and organized by the Palisades Medical Center’s Auxiliary, a team of dedicated volunteers that works throughout the year to support the Palisades Medical Center Foundation.
For tickets or for more information, contact Denise Whitley at (201) 854-5011 or visit www.palisadesmedicalfoundation.org.
Summer programs at library begin July 7
Library Director Sai Rao is pleased to announce that the library’s annual summer programs for both the main library and the Kennedy branch will begin on Monday, July 7. Registration is open to North Bergen and Guttenberg residents. Register in person at both the main library and the Kennedy branch. Proof of age and residency are required. Registration is limited. For more information call (201) 869-4715 or visit www.nbpl.org to view the program listings. The main library is at 8411 Bergenline Ave. The Kennedy branch is at 2123 Kennedy Blvd.
Bird walk and butterflies slide show on July 6
Enjoy summer on this free two-hour guided nature walk in DeKorte Park in Lyndhurst. Participants will walk around parts of the park, looking for shore birds, raptors and other choice birds. The walk starts at 10 a.m. on Sunday, July 6 outside the Meadowlands Environment Center.
Later that afternoon, join a 30-minute talk and slide show about butterflies, and then go looking for butterflies around DeKorte Park. Participants will meet in the Meadowlands Environment Center at 1 p.m.
Both events are sponsored by the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission (NJMC) and the Bergen County Audubon Society (BCAS). Check meadowblog.net for last-minute weather updates. Participants will have to sign a standard liability release that is good for NJMC/BCAS events throughout the year. To RSVP, call (201) 230-4983.
Pontoon boat rides for seniors on July 7
Experience the Hackensack River like never before. One-hour pontoon boat cruises for seniors will depart from River Barge Park in Carlsdadt at 5:30 and again at 6:30 p.m. on July 7. Meadowlands Environmental Center (MEC) guides will discuss the natural and cultural history of the river and the region and point out breathtaking flora and fauna along the way. Dr. Angela Cristini, director of the MEC, will discuss the ecology of the river while you wait to depart. Remember to bring your camera and your sneakers. Rain date is July 15. Note: The boats cannot accommodate wheelchairs. Advance registration and payment of $7.00 per person required. To register call (201) 777-2431.
Marine Mammals in New Jersey – seniors program on July 10
Join staff from the Marine Mammal Stranding Center (MMSC) and learn about the lives of marine mammals and sea turtles, and the problems facing these creatures and their environment. MMSC staff will discuss the role the Brigantine-based organization plays to help overcome these problems and what you can do to help these sea dwellers that call New Jersey home. This free event takes place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 10 at the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission Science Center, 3 DeKorte Park Plaza, Lyndhurst. Registration is recommended and appreciated. To register call (201) 777-2431.