Following reports that Jersey City will now share a portion of its tax abatement revenue with its school district, Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Morris, Passaic, Essex) said the plan is too little, too late.
“I and my Senate Republican colleagues have been pushing for PILOT money to go to local schools for years. We even included it our proposal for school funding reforms just last week,” said Senator Pennacchio, Vice-Chair of the Senate Select Committee on School Funding Fairness. “So, it’s great to see Mayor Fulop seriously consider our suggestion, but Jersey City owes it to its students to contribute more instead of leaving the rest of the state’s taxpayers stuck with the bill.”
Jersey City owes it to its students to share more of its PILOT revenue with its schools. https://t.co/Q8m1nojdB6
— Sen. Joe Pennacchio (@joepennacchio) April 6, 2017
According to a report by NJ.com, Jersey City will share 10-percent of the annual service charges it collects from long-term tax abatements with its public school district. However, the plan only applies to future PILOTs and still falls far behind the revenue the district would collect if the payments were coming from normal property taxes.
In Jersey City, local school taxes account for much less than what would be considered its “fair share,” and the city’s school district receives more than $420 million in state aid, according to a report by NJ.com.
In a plan to address school funding reforms and provide tax relief, New Jersey Senate Republicans included a proposal to distribute tax abatement revenue in the same proportion as property taxes, ensuring that school aid is apportioned fairly.
“Jersey City and other municipalities have gamed the school funding formula for years,” Senator Pennacchio said. “Mayor Fulop’s grand gesture of returning a fraction of their future abatement tax money to the school district is too little, too late. That ship has sailed. I believe no less than 100-percent of ratables and their taxes should be included in any formula the Committee on School Funding Fairness puts out. Pay your fair share Mayor; my towns do.”