NEW JERSEY 101.5

Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop has announced he is suing the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for hundreds of millions of dollars in underpaid taxes from property the Port Authority owns in the downtown area.

Grove Street PATH Station in Jersey City. (Flickr User Paul Lowry)

Fulop says he's filing a lawsuit because the PA has ignored his attempts to discuss the issue.

This is hardly the first time the Port Authority has been accused of being unresponsive.

"We have asked the Port Authority for legitimate document inquiries, and on many occasions, the Port Authority has just ignored us. The Port Authority has, in my opinion, outlived its usefulness and grown to be too large to be competently managed," said New Jersey Assemblyman John Wisniewski, who Chairs the Assembly Transportation Committee.

He said the Port Authority believes it is answerable to no one.

"It is, in fact, answerable to no one, and is an agency that is out of control," Wisniewski said.

Wisniewski pointed out that the Port Authority is involved in transportation issues, the way they should be, but they also run a real estate empire and have a very healthfully paid staff that has an average salary of over $100,000, which includes janitors.

"There is an institutional bureaucracy that has become part of the Port Authority, that is sclerotic, at best, and is unresponsive in its unresponsive in its worst days."

The bottom line, said Wisniewski, is the fact that the Port Authority is only answerable to the Governors of New Jersey and New York is an outdated model, and their mission is outdated, as well.

"We need to make the Port Authority answerable to the people who are paying the freight for the Port Authorities existence," he explained.

A Port Authority spokesman declined to comment on litigation that is pending.