To the Editor:
There was a time in Bayonne when our city was called the Peninsula of Industry. This was because from the 20s to the 50s there were up to 20,00 jobs throughout our city. There were manufacturing industrial jobs galore! A person could quit his or her job and cross the street and get another one. Industry and manufacturing paid up to 60 percent of city taxes. Property owners now pay up to 60 percent or more of city taxes.
Today our city officials are instituting with home developers to build new buildings that will prevail with apartments. We are told that 8,000 apartments will be rented in these new structures. Please let me put this in its true perspective.
Eight thousand new apartments may increase our city population by almost 20,000 people, including children. There are now about 30,000 buildings of various sizes on 3.5 square miles of land. This will overload the parking on city streets because these new buildings will not prevail with off street parking for vehicles in these apartments. At the present time, try to find a parking spot after 6 p.m. on city streets.
The increase in population will result in imploding our public school system. This means that new schools will have to be built. We are told it costs $16,000 per student. New schools could cost up to $100 million. Then we will need more teachers, support workers, more school buses and equipment. Another problem is where is the land available to build these schools?
Then with the increase in population we will also have to build another firehouse. This will mean more firefighters will be needed with new equipment. There will be more police needed, resulting in more equipment. We will also have more city workers hired, garbage and water rates will increase etc.!
Our city officials tell us Bayonne is in a building boom that will increase in new tax rates. In all truth this building boom will result in doom and gloom for city property owners. Our city officials glee in their so-called boom, which will cost property owners over $200 million in new debt. This will by far exceed any new taxes obtained from this building boom.
If I am wrong in the facts that I have presented, than I ask our city officials in rebuttal to show me how I am wrong. When all is said and done how can our city survive when tax abatements are given out, tax exempt property increases and property owners pay an increase every year in taxes?
LEONARD R. KANTOR