The stories about the grand opening of the W Hotel on the Hoboken waterfront omitted any mention of the fact that this is a tax abated building. Of course the W is celebrating, I get a 47 percent tax hike, or 23 percent as the mayor likes to say, and the W Hotel did not. Those on the grand celebrity guest list were drinking down my tax dollars. Do they really need to do that? It wasn’t always this way in Hoboken. Tax abatements, while rampant for years in Jersey City, are a relatively new phenomenon here in Hoboken. Tax abatements had been a few and far between until the Hudson County Democratic Party introduced this campaign fund raising scheme to Mayor David Roberts. Anyone in attendance at Hoboken City Council meetings can attest to that. I can recall precisely when that happened; but I cannot recall any recent development project which has not been granted tax abatement.
People debate the necessity and value of tax abatements from a financial viewpoint but I have an alternative analysis. Why emulate the actions of the HCDO and those in Jersey City? What have tax abatements brought to Jersey City? Crime is rampant and in recent weeks there has been a rash of murders. Jersey City is on the verge of bankruptcy (as in Hoboken) and all the “money” stays on the waterfront. All of this was given to Jersey City courtesy of the ruling Hudson County Democratic Organization which has been in power there for many years. This is the same political party that can boast of having a County Executive and three members of the County Freeholders thrown into jail within a few short years.
What does the HCDO have to offer Hoboken? There must be something or why else would Dawn Zimmer put HCDO co-chair Carol Marsh on her ticket? (I know Carol has stepped down while she is running for office.) And what about Dawn Zimmer strategist County Employee Michael Lenz? And what about the help County Exec. Tom Degise and Jersey City Councilman Bill Gaughan gave Dave during her run for Council? Common sense tells us that nothing comes free in this life and I certainly hope that the HCDO’s plans for Hoboken include something more than they have given to Jersey City.
I urge anyone who is on the fence to not vote for County control of Hoboken. Vote for Beth Mason. Mason has fought for all of the people of Hoboken for many years as a Councilperson and deserves to be mayor. Beth is supported by “old” and “new” Hoboken alike. She has gone out of her way to tend to the needs of all segments of our population. Beth Mason is familiar with the issues and works to solve them. She knows the importance reducing expenses but maintaining service, providing transportation for seniors, cutting the enormous budget, reducing taxes and fixing the Hoboken sewer system. Give Beth Mason a chance, she will get it done. Vote for Beth for Mayor!
Bob Du Val