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What is your plan, candidates, for homeowners?

Dear Editor:

Several years ago, the Jersey City school budget was in the $650 million range, now the proposed budget is $814 million and will continue to grow. The state has said it will cut $250 million in state funding over a seven-year period and now we are several years into their promise. So, Jersey City is facing more financial crisis that no one running for office is addressing the raising taxes for homeowners.

According to the news articles and social media, candidates are pushing affordable housing. But affordable housing is exempt from school taxes. Therefore, candidates’ proposals mean major tax hikes to the taxpayers of Jersey City who do not have an abatement or are exempt from rising taxes under rent control. Jersey City rent control is governed by the Consumer Price Index, not tax increases.

Additionally candidates, what are your plans on the rising bond debt especially terminal leave? Should the city still bond for employees leaving the city or should Jersey City follow other cities that put a cap on terminal leave?

Will you still allow the mayor to transfer vacant buildings to the Redevelopment Agency instead of being sold to the public?

The 2020 census show Jersey City increased its population nearly 50,000 residents since 2010, I strongly doubt there will never be enough housing many candidates want. After all, Jersey City is the place where immigrants are placed and Gov. Phil Murphy said New Jersey will take more immigrants. Will you tell Gov. Murphy, Jersey City is already at its limit and he should place immigrants in his own community in order to balance the tax burden?

While city council members’ salaries went from $36,180 to $60,000 by 2022, public speaking was cut at meetings, will you restore public speaking prior to when the present council-president took office?

Finally, my question to candidates what will you do for homeowners? Will you continue to allow homeowners to lose their homes in tax liens and ignore the unfair burden of carrying the city’s taxes for everyone? 5,000 basically small property owners went into tax lien for 2020. By comparison, Bayonne had 189 tax liens but if their population was similar to Jersey City, that would be approximately 700 property owners in lien. So, what is your solution on the fair tax burden for Jersey City?

Yvonne Balcer

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