SOMERVILLE, NJ – State Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli, R-16th has accepted a challenge from Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto to debate school funding reform and suggested two debates immediately after Memorial Day.

Ciattarelli, a Republican candidate for the GOP Gubernatorial nomination, has made school funding reform a major component of his campaign.

He issued the following statement:

Sign Up for E-News

“Speaker Prieto may not realize the severity of the property tax crisis confronting suburban communities like Manville, or Woodbridge, or Delran, or Egg Harbor Township.  Let’s debate in one of those towns, and I am happy to hold another in Jersey City or Hoboken. When a $400,000 home in one of these communities pays more in school taxes than an $800,000 townhouse in Jersey City, something is terribly wrong and unfair about that system," Ciattarelli said.

“I understand the speaker feels compelled to defend his constituents, but he’s also defending a system that is rigged against the vast majority of taxpayers in this state," he added. "It might not be popular to say, but the fact is that there is no property tax crisis in Jersey City or Hoboken.  There is, however, a property tax crisis facing hundreds of other hardworking, middle and working class towns around the state, and I am more than willing to be their voice in this debate.”