Letter to the editor: Pennacchio responds to Roy Messmer

parsippany focus

parsippany focusDear Mr. Messmer:

In response to your recent letter you sent my office and also shared with Parsippany Focus, I would like to reiterate my stance on PILOT programs and the negative effect they are having throughout the state.

Myself and my Republican caucus have stood entirely ready to have corrected this abuse by local governing bodies.  As you know, the state statutes governing the creation and use of PILOT programs are weak to non-existent. For years I have called for such oversight to occur.  Unfortunately, the main beneficiaries of PILOT programs (Democrat Districts) are the same people who would be required to change this abuse.  Below, please find a history dating as early as 2011 showing my efforts where I have made my stance on the misuse of pilots perfectly clear:

https://observer.com/2011/05/senator-says-municipal-tax-abatements-still-unregulated-and-not-transparent/amp/

https://savejersey.com/2017/04/pennacchio-jersey-citys-new-plan-little-late-years-pilot-abuse/

https://www.njherald.com/20170412/gop-state-senators-propose-reforms-for-nj-school-funding#//

Most important to me regarding the misuse of PILOT programs is that they are not factored in as part of the State education formula which the State uses to allocate aid to local school districts.  This allows a city like Jersey City to have well over $1 billion in these “gifted PILOTs” off their tax records and have their subsequent educational needs provided by the State’s taxpayers.  Jersey City’s abuse of the PILOT program and its subsequent gaming of the education formula is a bohemith compared to any attempt Parsippany has had with their own PILOT programs.  Keep in mind however, Parsippany, unlike Jersey City, receives only a fraction of its education dollars from the State.  Regardless, all programs should be looked at.

I was saddened to hear of your recent move out of State because I’ve always known you to be a strong advocate for your community and the taxpayer.  To that end, I would hope that we can still work together regardless of where you call home. Wishing you a happy holiday season.

Sincerely yours,
Senator Joe Pennacchio
Senate Republican Whip

 

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