Bayonne Flashpoint: O’Donnell and Davis Tangle on Tax Abatements


SOUTH PHILLY – It is all agony all the time early in Bayonne, where Newark Mayor Ras Baraka’s strong position in the May nonpartisan election has caused eyes to drift eastward, to that maritime town defined politically right now by Mayor Jimmy Davis versus former Assemblyman Jason O’Donnell (D-31) for the mayoral throne.

At issue today?


O’Donnell’s campaign today released a direct mail piece from when Jimmy Davis was a candidate for mayor that claimed he would “end unnecessary 30 year tax abatements that the homeowners have paid for.”  This follows the release this week of a video in which now Councilman Juan Perez described these same 30-year abatements as his biggest concern when he was a candidate on the Davis Team ticket four years ago.  The video link and transcription are below.

Davis, Perez and the rest of his Council Team and implement tax abatements Team O’Donnell argues will cost city taxpayers for decades while shorting education funding for all Bayonne children. 

“Mayor Jimmy Davis, Juan Perez and the rest of their Council Team have already proved they will say anything to win an election,” said O’Donnell.  “Jimmy’s Team worked to convince people four years ago they wanted to lower taxes and get rid of abatements right before they won and started handing out those tax breaks for wealthy out of town developers.  In between the tax giveaways, and the taxpayer funded settlements, our friends and neighbors will all be paying The Jimmy Davis Tax for generations.

“Now, with weeks left before the election, the Davis Team is trying to convince voters that they care about taxpayers and about creating Bayonne jobs for Bayonne residents,” the challenger added. “After four years in office, their actions speak louder than their words.  This May 8th, Bayonne taxpayers have a chance to switch course and vote for real character and commitment for our future.”

The Davis Campaign shot back with a statement.

“Mayor Davis would like to thank the O’Donnell campaign for pointing out that he’s kept his promises to revitalize Broadway, stabilize taxes and finally get MOTBY redevelopment moving, which is exactly why Bayonne residents are going to vote to re-elect the Davis Team in May,” said spokesman Phil Swibinski. “The fact is that Mayor Davis’ economic development agenda is revitalizing Bayonne and the proof is everywhere you look, from the $2.5 billion in new investment coming to the city to the $10 million in new tax revenue, to the thousands of jobs being created and sharp increases in property values. No amount of spin from the O’Donnell campaign can change these facts, and Bayonne residents aren’t going to be fooled by his negative attacks.”

Perez video: What in Bayonne concerns you the most right now? 

Candidate Juan Perez: Right now it’s mostly the taxes.  Those taxes gotta come down, and also the abatements.  Those abatements.  People should pay their fair share.  These people getting these 30 years abatements, they should be paying what the senior citizens are paying here in Bayonne, the same thing. Because it’s not fair that the seniors are burdened with the taxes and the people here that live in Bayonne are burdened with the taxes while these guys are getting these abatements and getting off scot-free. It’s just not fair.

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  • John P DiPasquale

    Really O`Donnell you being Ex mayor Smiths right hand man during his 6 year reign of massive mismanagement and some would say corruption have the nerve to talk about all these tax abatements that the city is locked into for the term because of you and the rest of the last administrations blunders tell me if you get in what job do you have plans for Mark Smith in your Administration we are still trying to dig out from that last term

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