In a letter to the editor, Jersey City resident Jonathan Schwedel says voters should elect the “Change for Children” board of education slate to keep taxes stable.
Jersey City voters should carefully research all candidates in the upcoming election, with the school board being especially critical given its role in educating our youth and taxing residents.
There is plenty of debate about the causes of the school district’s funding shortfall, but what it ultimately boils down to is that Jersey City has one of the lowest property tax rates in the state.
No tax abatements have been signed in years, and the outstanding shortfall from PILOTs does not come close to covering what the city would raise in taxes if its rates were comparable to the rest of the state.
Unfortunately, neither competing slate in the upcoming school board election has offered a real solution to this problem. The Change for Children candidates are dedicated to keeping taxes as low as possible, while Education Matters wrongly focuses on PILOTs.
Even worse is that Education Matters’s proposed solution of empowering parent groups to create privately-controlled slush funds would dramatically increase funding inequality and segregation across the city.
It is easy to envision millionaire Paulus Hook parents spending lavishly on their children attending P.S. 16, while other city public schools languish in neglect. This would be an awful outcome for all, and must be soundly rejected.
Jersey City resident