The Exclusive "Interview" (Part 3: Financing & Taxes)

 The Exclusive "Interview" Part 3

(PART 3: Finances & Taxes)

Q: What is the tax impact/benefit to Sayreville? 

  • Riverton will energize the area economically by bringing in exciting new retail, restaurant, office, and hotel options. It will generate thousands of local jobs and reinforce Sayreville as a destination by creating a new downtown for the way people live, work, and play today. Economic analyses have demonstrated that the new taxes and fees generated by the project will far outweigh the incremental cost of services provided by the Borough. 

Q: How will Riverton affect the Borough of Sayreville economically? Will property taxes rise for the residents of Sayreville? 

  • Riverton is required to prepare and submit a fiscal impact analysis demonstrating the economic benefits generated for the Borough by the project, including any PILOT payments, outweigh the burdens incurred by the Borough for providing municipal services, ensuring that for the residents of Sayreville, their property taxes will not increase as a result of the development. 

Q: Why are public financing mechanisms necessary for this project to progress? 

  • The Sayreville Waterfront Redevelopment Plan, passed into law by the Mayor and Council in 1999, specifically acknowledged that PILOT financing would be required to facilitate redevelopment of this blighted and environmentally challenged former industrial site. The primary cost factors mandating public financing support include: remediation of environmental contamination; stabilization of historical dredge fills; construction of a complete municipal grid (all new roads and utilities); and delivery of public amenities, including waterfront public spaces, performing arts spaces and municipal offices, and other contributions to the Borough, including payments for a community center, municipal water system improvements and fire facilities. Without public financing mechanisms, redevelopment of this site would not be economically viable, and this project would not move forward. 

Q: Does PILOT funding reduce tax allocations to schools? 

  • PILOT funding will not reduce allocations to schools. The school board will continue to receive its share of the land tax on Riverton, which would be expected to increase over time. By state law, PILOT proceeds are split 95% to the borough and 5% to the county. Under the Redevelopment Agreement and the Master Financial Agreement for the PILOT, Riverton has committed to provide over $20 million toward school capital funding, in addition to covering projected increases in school operating expenses, through the PILOT payments. 

Q: Will the tax arrangement (PILOT) keep money away from the schools? Why can't the project just be on the regular tax rolls? Why are special favors needed? 

  • PILOT agreements are negotiated by municipalities to bring forth the development of underutilized, economically challenged properties. PILOT payments provide incentive for investment in infrastructure and facilities that create public benefit over a long period of time. In this case, the total investment in the area is expected to be $2.5 billion or more. Riverton currently contributes approximately $1MM per year in land taxes on the site. The Sayreville Board of Education will receive its normal share of land taxes over time, separate and apart from PILOT payments to the Borough and County.

See Part 1: Creating Riverton
See Part 2: Life at Riverton


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