EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ- The East Brunswick Republicans released the following statement condemning Mayor Cohen and his council candidates for using public office to enrich developers at the expense of East Brunswick Public School students. By supporting PILOT Programs, Cohen and Councilman Jim Wendell divert funds from our public schools to the detriment of our students and teachers:
“East Brunswick is noted for the superior quality of its educational system. This fact drives and sustains the relatively high property values of our homes. PILOT programs, (payment in lieu of taxes), allow developers to make payments directly to the Township and these payments do not make provision for the school system to receive any monies.
The PILOT program allows municipalities to exempt developers from property taxes for a set period, when making improvements to existing buildings or creating new projects in areas in need of redevelopment, aiming to encourage commercial, residential, and industrial development. Developers would pay an annual service charge to the municipality instead of regular real estate taxes.
While this is wonderful for the Township (increasing revenues substantially) and for the Developer as these programs usually increase the property value of his property, they take away needed revenues from our cherished schools.
Suggestions have been floated by the Administration that the Edgeboro portion of the Redevelopment Zone, as well as potentially other areas, be offered PILOT programs to smooth the way for projects to begin.
Rather than wait for this to become a fait accompli, we call upon Mayor Cohen and the Democratic candidates to publicly and unequivocally reject this course of action.”