East Rutherford, New Jersey, has asked a court to rule that the New York Giants owe them millions in unpaid property taxes — but if the town wins, it will be other New Jersey taxpayers who will foot the bill.
Here’s the situation: The gigantic Meadowlands complex (which holds the New Meadowlands Stadium, the IZOD centre, a horse track, and other facilities) is exempt by law from local property taxes, because it land is owned by the state. (Specifically, the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority.)
However, certain buildings within the complex — including the Giants’ practice facility, which has a named sponsor — are now privately owned. So East Rutherford, like all cash strapped municipalities, wants everyone to chip in. They want the Giants to pay more than $2.5 million in back taxes and fees.
Unfortunately, the Giants lease agreement states that NJSEA has to cover any property taxes. (The team makes a flat “payment-in-lieu-of-taxes” to the borough every year instead.) That was one of the incentives that was given to keep the team (and their sparkling new stadium) in the Meadowlands.
The Mayor of the borough realises this puts taxpayers in a tough spot, but says “I cannot stand up here and defend a terrible agreement for the state of New Jersey.”
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