Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli (R-16), a top Republican candidate for governor, is again attacking Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop by claiming a new city abatement policy designed to help the public schools “only adds insult to injury” for taxpayers.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“Despite Jersey City’s revitalization, however, it continues to have its greatest expense – public schools – paid for by taxpayers across the state. In fact, more than 70 percent of Jersey City’s school budget is paid for by state residents,” Ciattarelli said in a statement.
“A blatantly unfair and terribly flawed state school funding system is the reason, with Jersey City’s grossly generous state subsidy approximating half a billion dollars.”
On Wednesday, Fulop announced that he had signed an executive order that would give the Jersey City Public Schools 10 percent of the revenue of all future tax abatements, a move that was praised by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Marcia Lyles.
However, Ciattarelli, who has previously went after Jersey City’s school funding formula, said called the local legislation “a small baby step” that “only only adds insult to injury for taxpayers across the state.”
“This new PILOT policy is such a small baby step forward it only adds insult to injury for taxpayers across the state, not to mention Jersey City residents who do not get the tax breaks,” the Assemblyman said.
“Considering that the vast majority of municipalities pay 70 percent or more for their schools through property taxes, Mayor Fulop’s offer of 10 percent is ridiculous, especially when underfunded school districts across the state are sacrificing library space to create more classrooms.”
Ciattarelli and Fulop feuded on and off last year as it appeared Fulop would be seeking the Democratic nomination for governor, but that ended in September when the mayor endorsed Phil Murphy for governor and announced he would be seeking re-election.
“I long for the day the Mayor stands up and boasts how Jersey City is no longer dependent on state subsidies. Until then, I will continue to advocate for reforming of our current school funding formula and tax abatements.”
A city spokeswoman did not immediately return an email seeking comment.