New Jersey Gov. Scraps Rail, Invests in Mega-Mall Instead

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie defunded the construction of the ARC Tunnel (connecting NJ to NY via increased rail service), claiming that it was fiscally irresponsible. Now, Christie is using state funds to finance the construction of a mega-mall.

From post on Sustainable Cities Collective:

"ARC would have allowed for 48 trains to operate per hour to and from New Jersey, up from the current 23. The ancillary effects would have rippled out to ease congestion, spur economic growth, and provide environmental relief to the most densely populated area in the country."

The deal that Christie gave the developer of the mega-mall project, the Triple Five Group, includes a financing package of at least $180 million. According to the post by This Big City, "Gov. Chris Christie has agreed to provide low-interest financing and to forgo most sales tax revenue for a period of time the developer [will be] able to use most of the sales taxes they collect to repay the loan, rather than contributing the money to the state budget."

"This isn't exactly a groundbreaking story of government corruption; in fact it's not corruption in the first. But what it is an inappropriate decision a time of forced and severe austerity for millions of Americans that Gov. Christie has decided to fund what amounts to a temple to profound consumption and, just a year before, defunded a project that would have improved life and finances for millions. And while the fiduciary gulf between the projects stretches into double digits the proximity of the two projects in geography and chronology speaks to a misplaced sense of fiscal right-mindedness."

Full Story: New Jersey Scraps Rail Investment, Builds a Mall Instead

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