NJ’s next governor needs to tackle the American Dream project
What a disaster.
The plans for this spot go back to 2002 when disgraced Governor Jim McGreevey was still in office. (before he hired his alleged lover with few qualifications to advise the states homeland security office) The challenge is at several levels.
First of all the state of NJ despite having billions of dollars of debt, budget deficits and woefully underfunded pensions, gave away $400 million in tax breaks to the foreign company Triple Five to build a mall. What's worse is they agreed to issue $800 million in bonds with bondholders being repaid through sales tax revenue when and if the mall opens.
All this of course contingent on the company securing private financing. Seems investors are as skeptical as I am. Even if it opened eventually, who's coming to NJ to go to a mall? And what about NJ shoppers who already have choices? If they choose to skip the local store and go to the "Great Boondoggle in the Meadowlands" (hmm, that could be a hashtag) then the tax revenue won't go to the state, it'll go to the bond holders.
The reason politicians are supporting it? They want to create the temporary construction jobs to satisfy the unions who send them millions in contributions. Let's hold the candidates for Governor accountable and ask each to pledge to make better decisions on projects like this. Start with no tax dollar giveaway, then sell the land to a private developer. Let the eventual profit maker put up the money!
Maybe this should be the site of the relocated Port Authority bus terminal...just thinkin' out loud...