Monday, March 24, 2014

Urban Enterprise Zone: Senate Bill 1738 PENDING APPROVAL

Thanks to our Borough Clerk Sercan Zoklu  who within one day got back to me about Senate Bill 722 and and put me in touch with Senator Paul A. Sarlo regarding the introduction of new Senate Bill 1738, see link below.

Please write, phone or email Senator Paul A. Sarlo's office, contact information below

Dear Mr. Puibello:

Senate Bill 722 was not passed.  I have re-introduced the bill for the current legislative session.  The new bill number is Senate Bill 1738 -  The bill would qualify Cliffside Park for a UEZ, which would exempt half of the sales tax.

If this bill were to pass, it would take effect immediately.


Paul A. Sarlo
Senator, District 36

Office of Senator Paul A. Sarlo
496 Columbia Boulevard
Wood-Ridge, NJ 07075
(201) 804-8118 phone
(201) 804-8644 fax
Twitter: @PaulASarlo

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Urban Enterprise Zone 3.5 % Sales Tax, What about Cliffside Park

One of the biggest benefits of having a 3.5 % sales tax  for the commercial areas around the The Cliffside Park Town Centre Project, also known as the "pit," would be more the saving to the shoppers who do shop, and the future shoppers looking to shop, so save 3.5% on their purchases, pumping money in the shops along Anderson Avenue and Palisade Avenue.

I don't own a car so I walk and I've noticed stores open and close as many as three times in three years, wouldn't 3.5% sales tax possible help struggling businesses.  Both Anderson and Palisade Avenues have the NJ Transit 156 and 159 bus routes, and on Anderson Avenue, there are the every 3 minute jitney buses some as many as five at a time drive by every 3 minutes, so there's no shortage of ways to travel to Cliffside Park to shop in a Urban Enterprise Zone offering 3.5% savings on the sales tax.

What are some of the benefits to businesses:

1. Reduced Sales Tax, currently 3.5%
2. Tax Free purchases on certain items such as Capital Equipment, Facility Expansion upgrades and
     personal property.
3.  Financial Assistance from agencies such as NJEDA
4.  Subsidized unemployment insurance costs for employees earnings less than $4500/quarter.
5.  Energy Sales Tax Exemption for qualified manufacturing firms with at least 250 full-time employees.
6.  Tax Credit Options up to $1,500 for new permanent full time employees hired OR up to 8%
     Corporate business Tax Credits on qualified investments.

So the question remains, couldn't Cliffside Park, with it's "pit", smack in the middle of town benefit from have a 3.5% sales tax?

Related Links:

State of New Jersey Urban Enterprise Zone TAX Questions and Answers

NJ Businesses in Urban Zones Get a Tax Break

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Cliffside Park Town Centre Update, Until then support our Local Merchants

With warm weather last weekend, on my way to Rite Aide I saw two old timers looking in one of the many port holes offering passer by's the invite to look in and see the progress.  I asked when do you think it will be finished, the reply was I hope in my life time.  This sentiment isn't just for our old timers, but of the many businesses along Anderson Avenue, town center , not misspelled, just not the posh French Centre used in the sale to all those who will reside there..

In looking back in previous articles in the Cliffside Park Citizen, I found the following.

In 2010, "Months leading up to the November 2010 election, campaign literature was boasting that the work will be begun"

On May 11, 2012, " John D, Mitchell Chairman of the Board of Chosen Freeholders and a Cliffside Park Resident said, ""the patience of residents and business owners is running thin.""

Here we are today, March 14, 2014 Title reads: "Should be ready October 2015, says Maer"  (source: North Jersey.Com).

The meaning of the word should, implies let's hope for the best,

How do you know our local businesses are hurting, count the number of them selling NJ State Lottery, marketed to merchants to generate badly needed foot traffic until the "pit" is no more.

How can  residents help, pick a night to dine once a week or every other week.  What should local Merchants do, organize a Cliffside Park Local Chamber of Commerce

Our elected officials provide up to date information, please visit and visit the many helpful Quick Links.

We all are awaiting the completion, until then get out and support our merchants, if unable to get out many deliver.

I'm a resident activist in  Cliffside  Park with 17 years experience.  In addition to this blog on civics, I'm a Consumer Activist, Educator, Certified Peer to Peer Specialist on mental health and HIV.  In 2013 I was awarded a Behavioral Health Fellowship , I'm available to speak publicly and one on one about both. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Politicians need to Master SimCity, It shouldn't Just Be Signatures and Votes, I can do that!!!

In reading, "Luxury Fort Lee high-rise transforms Bergen County skyline"

It's nice to see the vacant lot developed, I just hope the town received perks from developer, like new school to handle the over crowding mentioned by some that responded.

I've been meaning to chime in but work, two jobs keeps me off my site and I'm all about communities and those who live in them.

The folks being run over articles last year.  Jam cell phones in dense areas zones, the technology is there, what more important freedom to talk on cell phones or freedom to breathe as when you are hit by a car and die, you are breathing no more.

As far as pedestrian safety Fort Lee and the commuters who commute through and don't shop anyway is a light rail system or monorail designed with parking hubs, picture a 4 leaf clover and make Fort Lee for residents only and emergency vehicles, cycling, scooters.   I know pipe dream, but not with our up and coming younger generation who have the ability.

There's so much we could be doing, all of the above creates jobs, saves lives, builds new schools.

I used to tell City Hall in Boston politicians that SimCity should be a prerequiste for being elected, that if you can't win at that game how could you operate a town.

From my Boston site, circa: 1997   testimonials:

"I must say, of all the neighborhood groups and individuals I have had contact with this first year on the job, the Back Bay NAG, has to be the most effective one man operation, to rectify a major problem practically single handed." 
James Cahill, Director Code Enforcement City of Boston

"Instrumental and effective, Steve Puibello and the Back Bay NAG have proved to have the pulse of the city on the quality of life issues that effect us all."
Boston City Councillor Maureen E. Feeney Chair,
Committee on Government Operations

Gift to His Honor the Mayor of Cliffside Park and the Cliffside Park Housing Authority
the slide show...I didn't build the building, I volunteer and live there.

I'm a resident activist in  Cliffside  Park, I blog on civics and mental health, the trick is staying active.  If you like what you read, reach out to me.  I can't do it like I used to, but I gladly coach anyone over a cup of coffee, your treat.