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Details emerge in city’s lawsuit deal with Port Authority

November 27, 2018

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) — Details emerged in a pending settlement of a $400 million-plus lawsuit filed by the city of Jersey City against the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey over what the city claimed were unpaid taxes on dozens of properties.

The city initially sued four years ago, claiming the bistate agency hadn’t paid taxes, or had paid far too little in payments in lieu of taxes, on 40 properties over a span of many years.

The Port Authority, which operates three major New York-area airports, toll bridges and tunnels, the PATH rail system and the ports of New York and New Jersey, as well as the World Trade Center site, had denied the allegations.

Four Port Authority-operated PATH rail stations are in Jersey City.

A preliminary settlement was reached in March, but more details emerged recently as the city council takes up the matter. A final vote could be taken next month. The Port Authority’s board of commissioners already has approved the settlement.

The Jersey Journal reports that under the settlement, the Port Authority will pay the city $17.8 million to purchase property for a PATH rail system substation; pay $1 million annually for the agency’s downtown office building; pay $4.8 million in payments in lieu of taxes for that property and two others for the period during which the lawsuit was pending, and split equally any revenue from the redevelopment of the 110-year-old Powerhouse warehouse downtown.

“This resolution is a big win for our city, bringing a renewed commitment to several important projects across the city,” Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement. “This has been four years of back and forth and we are glad it is resolved.”

At the time of the Port Authority board approval in March, board Chairman Kevin O’Toole said the agreement “represent a new chapter in our relationship with Jersey City, bringing greater stability and certainty between the Port Authority and one its most valued local partners.”

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This story has been corrected to show the Port Authority has already approved the settlement.

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Information from: The Jersey Journal , http://www.nj.com/jjournal

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