Jersey City Mayor Balks at Tax Break for Kushners

In Jersey City, the Kushner family’s involvement in the project has stirred up opposition among liberal and progressive residents of Jersey City who are critical of Mr. Trump’s policies, especially his stance on immigration. One activist group has campaigned to “evict Trump-Kushner,” demanding that the city refuse any tax breaks to companies that Jared Kushner has a stake in.


Nicole Meyer, third from left, at an event to find investors for a luxury apartment complex project in New Jersey. Over the weekend, Ms. Meyer mentioned her brother Jared Kushner’s service to the company while she pitched the project to prospective investors in China.

Albee Zhang/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

In his brief posting, which linked to a story in The New York Times about the investor roadshow in China, Mr. Fulop indicated that he had found fault with the terms of the requested tax abatements.

Mr. Fulop, who faces re-election this year, gained widespread attention when he accused state officials of refusing to meet with him in retaliation for his declining to endorse Mr. Christie for re-election in 2013. Emails that came to light in the George Washington Bridge lane-closing investigation showed Mr. Christie’s aides scheming to freeze out Mr. Fulop.

Some critics of the mayor charged this week that the opposition to the tax break was aimed at appeasing liberals who disapprove of Mr. Trump.

“It’s 100 percent political,” said Bill Matsikoudis, a former Jersey City corporation counsel who is running against Mr. Fulop. “He’s trying to throw a bone to the progressive, very anti-Trump people in Jersey City.”

Mr. Matsikoudis, a Democrat, said he could not recall a request for a large tax abatement being turned down in Jersey City, whose leaders have used tax breaks to lure developers to its growing financial district on the west bank of the Hudson River. But he added that the package of tax breaks the Kushner group was seeking appeared to be quite rich even by the standards of the Fulop administration.

Asked about his reasoning, Mr. Fulop and his senior staff declined to comment for publication, nor have they released the abatement application. A copy of the application posted by shows that the developers intended to apply for a tax abatement that would last at least 30 years, as well as $30.4 million in bond financing, from the city.

The tax breaks would require an ordinance passed by the City Council, which has not yet taken up the matter. But in his posting, Mr. Fulop said, “I don’t foresee the council voting in favor.”


Jared Kushner, a White House adviser and President Trump’s son-in-law.

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