In the midst of dealing with a $2.2 million deficit that has recently caused 20 layoffs, the Bayonne Board of Education unanimously passed a resolution urging the city council to reconsider its current use and allocation of payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) funds.
The resolution requests “a fair and equitable percentage apportionment of said funds received from its PILOT agreement be allocated to the general budget of the district.”
Bayonne resident Peter Franco told the board that “under the PILOT agreement, 95 percent of the money goes to the city, five percent goes to the county and education gets zero percent.”
“In the case of the Resnick’s Redevelopment agreement, initially the board of education would have lost on $500,000. They came back with a resolution to give the board of education $180,000 over 25 years, but that’s hardly enough.”
Franco went on to say that Mayor Jimmy Davis’ administration has granted 18 tax abatements or PILOT agreements since taking office in July 2014, 14 of which were multi-mullion dollar, 25-year agreements.
Additionally, BOE Trustee Chris Munoz encouraged the board to become more proactive with the council meetings as stakeholders.
“This resolution is basically for the board of education to express, the trustees to express basically their disappointment by the PILOTS that had been distributed by the City of Bayonne and how that becomes a financial burden for the school district,” explained Trustee Chris Munoz.
Furthermore, Bayonne resident Michael Morris asked the board members to attend the next city council meeting because the financial agreement will be on the agenda.
Currently, the City of Bayonne will be allocating five percent of revenues received from PILOT agreements to the school district.
At the February 15 Bayonne City Council meeting, Franco expressed his concerns about the Resnick’s Redevelopment agreement.
City Business Administrator Joe DeMarco explained that the percentage will evolve as Bayonne reaches it full market share potential, as far as economic growth is concerned.
On Tuesday, the board of education voted to unanimously approve the measure, 8-0, with Trustee Theodore Garelick absent.