CivicParent Profile picture
Sep 30, 2018 12 tweets 5 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
1/A bit abt last 20 years of property taxes in #JerseyCity & how it can inform problems w school funding in 2018.
This is #JerseyCity’s 3 tax levies (Levy=amount raised by property taxes to help fund the budgets).
Red line is city tax. Green is County. Orange is @jcps_district
2/Notice how much city taxes have gone up in last 20 yrs. last 10 yrs in particular. The school tax have gone up, but at at slower clip. This slower growth results in smaller base on which to increase local revenue in ‘18
3/now let’s look at smaller suburbs nearby. Like Montclair (smallish city), & Maplewood, small town w few businesses to pay taxes. Some diversity but not as much as JC, and more homogenous wealth than JC (which has disparate wealth ie very wealthy & very poor)
Montclair & Maplewood pay more in school tax than they do in city tax...typical for many NJ suburbs. Not as much density so less need for some public resources required for density. That’s part of it. But Schools=paramount & help drive property values up or down.
4/Going back to #JerseyCity, our challenge is increasing the orange line UP. We will have limited capacity to do that in the short term. For same reason Reval was hard for many in DTJC in short term: annual tax expense s/be gradual increases over time. The big challenge is...
5/...NJ is reducing our state school aid in phased increments over next 7 yrs. We‘re abt to lose more $ in next 7 years from state ($175m) then we currently raise in local school tax ($125m) we need other $ stream in shorter term at least until the levy can grow bigger...
6/ that’s why #PayrollTax has been proposed. A new source of $ from businesses (not residents) that can help get us thru next few years.
Businesses don’t like it of course. But it’s needed.
Parents, taxpayers need to be clear on the need. To pressure deep pockets to contribute..
Btw I’ve got all tax data on my site in filterable form here:…
You can check out any town and see their taxes for last 20 years. Part of larger project I am working on.
Ultimately we need to pay more locally for our schools. There is a lot of history and debate about fact that NJ has this system based on funding school via local property tax & how that’s not ideal. That’s a legit debate but the paradigm is not likely to change in near term.
While JC’s city tax went up in last 10 years, JC also abated more than any other town in NJ; we now have ~$11B of real estate locked up in abatements, none of which pays school tax. So “we can’t afford our own schools” rings hollow to some in burbs given that history of subsidy
And my issue w BOE & City not talking openly about this is: this is too big to backroom-deal, politick-out-of. We are on an 8-month clock. Public schools are a public good and they must be funded. This requires a public dialog. It’s a huge & complicated problem.

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More from @CivicParent

Sep 28, 2018
This picture tells a story, but it doesn't show the backstory.
This during the BOE meeting at Snyder HS auditorium, which I attended w another JCPS parent & also to support @Harshal623 who, along w Teacher @jnaatus, is driving a civic effort to get filtered fountains in McNair.
I signed up to speak during public comment last night. I wanted to ask a question on record about Special Education. I've been learning about the potential impacts of under-funding for those students from parents. Before publi comment began, this happened:
So when I got up to speak, I asked my planned Q, but I also asked: "You spent 30 min debating $5K, but you have a $30 million cut next spring & none of you are debating that. Why? And related Q: when will we start to see earnest dialog & details from BOE re: #PayrollTax"?
Read 19 tweets
Sep 28, 2018
1/If anyone is wondering why the #PayrollTax is needed in #JerseyCity to help fund @jcps_district schools, here's a thread. This is admittedly complicated & fraught w/ legacy & external issues (eg 2% cap) but ultimately public can/should engage & understand this LOCAL problem.
2/ I created a #NJ #PropertyTax dashboard to show property tax history for last 20 years in NJ. Here's the link:…
Drill into #JerseyCity (w/in Hudson County). And you'll see tax base growth & also property tax levy growth for City, County, & BOE.
3/ Notice tax base growth of #JerseyCity from 1988 to 2017 (lower left chart). We have largest tax base in entire state in '17. On lower right, notice City property taxes (red line), which correlates somewhat w/ tax base growth (it's going up)...
Read 7 tweets
Aug 30, 2018
1/ FYI: @JC_Gov Tax Base value now $34B, post-Reval (note: this excludes abated property). 2018 tax levy of ~$125M assumed a base of about $29B.
Applying same rate on $34B = $136,000,000. @JerseyTogether UFB is here:…
@stateaidguy @CouncilmanYun
2/ I don't understand Abatements data-doesn't make sense to me. Will call Tax Office tomorrow to inquire. Tab 6 Abatements still has $2.7B, which was pre-Reval (24% ratio) value. Monaco North building alone is still valued at $20M - same value it had in 2015. @Civic_JC
3/ Here's the "Assessments" summary from "UFB-5 Tax Assessments" tab and it shows summary of Tax Base (on left). On Right shows exempt properties incl "Other Assessments" at $11B. That's presumably the abatements (that makes sense for post-Reval value). @EllenXSimon @cjkovach16
Read 6 tweets
Aug 9, 2018
1/The #HudsonCounty freeholder meeting is packed. Many here due to controversial #ICE contract. These are your freeholders:
Jerry Walker
Albert Cifelli
Anthony Romano
Anthony Vainieri
William O’Dea
Caridad Rodriguez
Kenneth Kopacz
Joel Torres
cc @StPaulsChurchJC @MigrantCenterJC
First time at one of these meetings. Space is large, each freeholder has designated seat similar to City Council. Like city/BOE meetings they are doing student awards and such upfront before ongoing business/votes. cc @TheLocalJC @JerseyTogether @NJ08forProgress @Mahmoud4Congres
FYI there are 21 counties in NJ.
566 municipalities roll up into those counties.
Hudson County has about 15 or so towns including #JerseyCity, Bayonne, Hoboken, more.
Read 21 tweets
Jun 26, 2018
2/ NJ Legislature reps huge to our schools because they can advocate at state level for proper funding of our schools, including a) forcing accountability of city (e.g. PILOT reform) & b) allowing for new revenue mechanisms (e.g. payroll tax directed to school coffers)
3/ Some of our NJ reps on twitter here:
District 31: @AswMcKnight @NicholasNJ31
District 33: @RajMukherji
Are any other D state reps on twitter that I'm missing here? @Amy_DeGise @NJ08forProgress
Read 8 tweets
Jun 21, 2018
@EllenXSimon @JCEA_jerseycity TBH-I’m 1 of many parents who advocate more than the JCEA on this. The bar isn’t that high, frankly. That JCEA leadership isn’t more on top of this really big, really pressing challenge is frankly concerning and increasingly noticeable. And it begs lots of Qs.
@EllenXSimon @JCEA_jerseycity I see lots of amazing teachers online who call attention to legit concerns like expenses-and parents have MUCH to learn & should IMHO listen. But I see more teachers as individuals than I do the union as an org w coalition power & I don’t understand why that is
@EllenXSimon @JCEA_jerseycity And twitter convo won’t IMO bridge this understanding gap esp when dialog gets polarized...but maybe more coalition-building & relationship building would. I love my teachers & want to support them which means solutions sooner vs later on long term sustainable LOCAL funding
Read 4 tweets

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