McGreevey: “Jersey City Cannot Afford Pompidou”

Jim McGreevey stated, “Jersey City cannot afford the prospect of the Pompidou satellite location in Jersey City. There are greater and more pressing concerns facing Jersey City, including: property tax and rent stabilization, the reconstruction of the Charlie Heger Ice Rink at Pershing Field, recreational facilities for our youth, as well as grappling with the need to repair our schools.

The bullet points below set forth the various costs associated with the Pompidou satellite location in Jersey City, which are prohibitive to Jersey City property taxpayers.

• The Pompidou satellite location, which was announced in 2021, has been delayed
numerous times. Although initially estimated to open in early 2024, the museum is now
scheduled to open in early 2026.

• The State of New Jersey has appropriated a total of $58 million to Jersey City and the
Jersey City Redevelopment Authority. None of these funds has thus far been expended.

• Jersey City purchased the 110-year-old Pathside Building in Journal Square for nearly
$10 million in 2017. In 2018, the Redevelopment Authority issued $10 million in debt
with a one-year maturity that has been renewed annually. The interest on this debt is 6.5
percent and has been accruing since the debt was issued.

• The Pathside Building needs significant repairs and restoration, which is estimated to cost
between $10 million and $30 million.

• The Memorandum of Understanding between Pompidou, Jersey City, and the
Redevelopment Authority requires the City and the Authority to pay Pompidou a total of
€29.36 million, or $31.76 million, at the corresponding exchange rate as of February
2024, including a total yearly fee of €4.95 million. This annual fee includes a fee of €1.95
million, excluding taxes, to merely use the name “Centre Pompidou.”

• The cost of operation of Pompidou, which may cost between $5 million and $15 million,
will also fall to Jersey City and the Authority. These costs only add to the already sizable
burden that falls to taxpayers.

Jersey City must refocus its efforts on issues that directly affect its residents and working
families, including expansion of recreation opportunities, renovating school infrastructure,
managing traffic and congestion, balancing the City’s budget, ensuring quality education, and
stabilizing property taxes and rent.

• Property taxes rose by 42 percent from 2021 to 2023, with the average residential tax bill
increasing from $7,409 to $10,560.

• The total number of taxes collected by the City has more than doubled since 2013. The
greatest increase came in the years 2022 and 2023, with raised taxes increasing by over
$350 million in those two years alone.

• According to the New York Times, August 2023, Jersey City had singularly the greatest
change in rent, year-over-year, of 23.3 percent for a one-bedroom apartment, placing the
cost at $3,390.

• According to ApartmentAdvisor National Rent Report, the median monthly rent for one
bedroom in Jersey City was $1,649 in 2021 and, in 2024, is currently $3,073, which is an
increase of over 86 percent during that period.

The Pompidou satellite location is an unnecessary cost to Jersey City and will worsen the potentially vulnerable financial position in which the City currently is. The significant funds required for the Pompidou museum in Jersey City will be better used to address financial liabilities, which the City must urgently address. We must live within our means.”

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