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.
Upcoming concerts in Buchmuller Park
The Secaucus 2014 Summer Concert Series continues on July 10 with The Skyliners. Featuring performances from over 50 years of hit songs, they will appear at 7 p.m. in Buchmuller Park.
The Summer Concert Series is co-sponsored by the Secaucus Reporter.
Also upcoming this month are Neil & the Diamonds, a tribute to the music of Neil Diamond, on July 17; The Blushing Brides, a tribute to the Rolling Stones, on July 24; and British Invasion—More than Just the Beatles! on July 31.
Fashion Delivers provides generous donation to the needy
The Town of Secaucus distributed an extremely large and generous donation from Fashion Delivers on Thursday, July 3 in the Secaucus High School gym.
The donation consisted of bedding, sheets, pillows, comforters, drapes, and more. The donated items were distributed not only to Secaucus families in need, civic groups, and shelters, but also to neighboring Hudson County and South Bergen families in need, civic groups, and shelters. Community officials from the recipient communities were in attendance to distribute the goods.
Church to host feast/carnival in September
Immaculate Conception Church (ICC) has set the dates for a feast/carnival to be held in Buchmuller Park from Friday, September 4 to Sunday, September 7. The hours of operation will be from 6 to 11 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and from 2 to 11 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
“ICC’s carnivals in the past have been huge successes with gaming booths, rides, food and fun for all ages,” said Councilman Gary Jeffas, one of the volunteers helping to organize the event. “This year's event promises to be even bigger and better with the addition of ‘feast’ characteristics, which will be explained in more detail as the event draws closer. What can be counted on is that everyone attending will enjoy themselves. Although this event is two months away, I urge all residents and their friends to put this date on their calendars so it is not missed.”
Because the feast/carnival runs for four days, the need for volunteers to man the gaming booths, cook the food, and do other chores associated with an event this size and scope are always needed and welcomed. “Volunteers do not have to commit to helping all four days,” Jeffas said. “Anyone with any time to give to help with this undertaking is invited to contact me at (201) 744-8639 or the church office at (201) 863-4840.”
Library hosting Residents’ Art Display in July
The Secaucus Public Library and Business Resource Center is hosting a Residents’ Art Display during the entire month of July. Secaucus residents ages 18 and older are displaying their art and photographs in the Panasonic Room.
Previous Resident Art Displays have included hand-made dolls, quilts, ceramics, pottery and other art forms. “Sometimes people think of art as only paintings, but art is expressed in many forms,” said Library Director Jenifer May. “Photography is another very popular art form. Many people knit or embroider beautiful items that are also truly art.”
A reception for the artists displaying their work is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 23.
Bird walk and butterflies slide show on July 6
Enjoy summer on a 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.
Corrections: In last week’s edition, the photos for the story “Secaucus soldiers of yesterday honored’ were misidentified. The photo on page one was Anthony Mongelli, and the photos on page nine were Tony Argenziano with Councilman William McKeever; and Tony Argenziano, John Cingirre, and Anthony Mongelli.