For the past thirty years, I have been writing letters to the editor on the fact that the school aid Jersey City was not etched in stone. It was primarily given to Jersey City based on a high poverty rate, but the development of the waterfront has changed that; more middle class and higher income people live here. On paper Jersey City is not as poor as it once was.
Unfortunately, our political leaders through many administrations have given away the Board of Education funding with tax abatements, pleading this was necessary yet ignoring the fact that the rest of Hudson County and parts of Bergen County were also going through a similar renaissance without using tax abatements and did not destroy their school funding.
Now, we are between a rock and hard place. It is a necessary evil to impost a payroll tax to protect the homeowners, some who have felt the harsh reality of the 2018 revaluation and have seen their taxes double and triple.
I especially blame Mayor Fulop, who gave longer and more tax abatements and have increased our bonding debt. He knew that the state was going to change the law but his administration kept on giving tax abatements like it was Halloween candy.
The state of New Jersey also shares some of this blame. In the middle 1970s, taxpayers voted yes to an income tax to fund public education. We, the public, were told this would replace property taxes. We were lied to. The same can be said for the 1966 sales tax and lottery. Yet with all of this money, the pensions are not being funded. This is the reason why so many leave this state and go elsewhere; our government is out of control with spending.