The American Dream Mall or the American Nightmare?

By Erica Jedynak | The Save Jersey Blog

This week, the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority and Local Finance Board are considering the approval of floating $800 million in bonds to bail out the American Dream Mall Project (formerly known as the Meadowlands Xanadu). At a time when there are budget constraints for road repair and pensions, it is of serious concern that the State of New Jersey is considering such a large corporate welfare handout to the third developer for this mall project. The project has failed for (12) twelve years, cost $1.9 billion, and remained an eye sore for local residents. With opposition to this project coming from across the ideological spectrum from everyone to the Sierra Club to Americans for Prosperity, New Jersey should reject all calls to put more taxpayer dollars at risk for this “Monstrosity in the Meadowlands”.     

Furthermore, in the unlikely the mall becomes a successful venture, investing in the project will still be a bad deal for taxpayers. As Senator Michael Doherty has written:

“Under normal circumstances, after the mall opens, Triple Five would pay the state a number of taxes, including sales taxes, generated by the American Dream Meadowlands. Under New Jersey’s Economic Redevelopment Grant program, however, the state will take just a portion of that tax revenue and pass the rest onto the bond investors to pay back the bonds.

As a result, $1 billion in tax revenue collected at the American Dream Meadowlands mall will not be sent to Trenton to fund essential state programs, but will be diverted to the bond investors.  This diversion of tax revenue will certainly leave a big hole in future state budgets.”

The Local Finance Board is scheduled to meet Wednesday at 10:00 AM at the Department of Community Affairs Conference Room #129/235A, 101 South Broad Street, Trenton; and will consider the American Dream Mall Project at 11:25 AM.