A ruling by a New Jersey tax court that the Red Bull Arena soccer stadium in Harrison is a taxable property is a credit positive for that community, Moody’s Investors Service said.
Judge Christine Nugent’s Jan. 6 decision in Newark requires Dietrich Mateschitz, the energy-drink magnate who owns Major League Soccer’s New York Red Bulls, to pay $3.2 million of delinquent property taxes to the city — 7.4% of Harrison’s annual budget — and pay property taxes.
“The ruling is timely because disputes over local property-tax exemptions are on the rise in the state,” Moody’s said in a report.
Harrison faces a liquidity squeeze resulting from the town’s budgeting of property tax revenues from the arena in fiscal 2010 and 2011, which were not received during those years.
The town has received two downgrades from Moody’s over the past 13 months that have lowered its general obligation bond rating eight notches to a junk-level Ba3.