Members of activist group Jersey City Together told the city council a tax reval is about “justice” and “fairness” for many families and residents at last night’s meeting.
“One house is worth half a million dollars, probably more today, the other house worth $175 000, right now both of these houses are paying the same taxes of $6,733.80 per year,” said Rev. William Sweeting.
He presented two photos to city council to help address the current inequalities of tax distribution.
“The actual value of the home, one of the houses, the one on Greenville, is paying three times the property tax rate of the house on 1st Street in Downtown Jersey City. We believe this is an issue of justice and fairness and we hope that you as our elected officials will address it that way.”
These examples were both three-story homes, one in Downtown Jersey City and the other in Greenville. The estimated sale of the home on First Street was $530,000 in 2013, while the home on Greenville sold for $175,000 in 2015.
Both homes had the same equal assessed value of $90,000, according to Sweeting.
“We mapped more than 5,600 recent sales to show the median way this is affecting residence and neighborhoods and how it may affect people’s real taxes after a reval is done.”
Sweeting also asked the council members to attend one of the Jersey City Together briefings on the subject to listen to their constituents and perhaps find a way to work together.
“I’m certain that members of the city council have taken your presentation at heart and we’ll certainly look to see which gatherings we can attend,” said Jersey City Council President Rolando Lavarro.
Ward D Councilman Michael Yun told Sweeting, “I’ll join your every meeting, good job.”
This presentation was not new to Councilwoman-at-Large Joyce Watterman and Ward C Councilman Richard Boggiano who attended the launch meeting of Jersey City Together this past Monday.
During the launch meeting Rev. Alonzo Perry Sr., of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, used the same presentation when he asked Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop if he would support the tax revaluation.
Rev. Perry reminded those in the meeting that taxes are “not political, this is unfair.”
In light of the Hudson County Board of Taxation calling for a tax reval in Bayonne by 2019, Mayor Jimmy Davis called the scenario a “purely political” play by opponents who are out to hurt the current administration.
Davis allies turned enemies Peter Cresci and Pat Desmond played a role in getting the matter heard by local tax board, with Cresci denying that the decision had nothing to do with politics.