JERSEY CITY, NJ - A referendum that would have helped bolster arts in Jersey City has been withdrawn by the Fulop administration in order to minimize the impact on taxpayers in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is not an easy decision, and we have many more difficult decisions ahead of us as we work to recover from this health crisis,” Mayor Fulop said Thursday. “I’m confident that our vibrant arts scene will continue to see significant growth and support as we all work together, as Jersey City does, to get back on our feet.” 

Earlier this year, Fulop and other local officials proposed establishing a new Arts and Culture Trust Fund that would create a funding source for nonprofit arts organizations in Jersey City.

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Voters in the upcoming November election were to be asked to support a resolution establishing a two-cent per $100 of assessed value on property to finance the trust fund.

This proposal was modeled after local and county open space trust funds which support parks and other outdoor recreational projects around the city and had generated more than $3 million towards improvements and upgrades to city parks.

“We were the first to put out an actionable plan supporting sustainable funding to benefit our burgeoning arts industry and our residents, but the world is changed today and we want to minimize the impact on our taxpayers as much as possible,” Fulop said. “There is a lot of uncertainty between now and November, so we want to do the responsible thing and start making the tough decisions now so that we can better plan as we come to realize the full magnitude of the pandemic’s economic impacts.”

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