JERSEY CITY, NJ - In an effort to save local taxpayers over $1 million as residents continue to face the economic impact of COVID-19, Mayor Steven M. Fulop has proposed the elimination of the Jersey City Open Space Trust Fund tax for 2020.
On Wednesday Fulop asked the council to do away with the proposed arts tax trust fund referendum scheduled to appear on the November ballot.
The open space trust fund – modeled after the highly successful Hudson County Open Space Trust Fund – imposed a 2-cent additional tax for every $100 of assessed value on property and is designed to help pay for the upkeep on the more than 60 parks in the city.
Fulop’s request comes as part of a series of proposals, all part of the Jersey City COVID-19 Community Relief Program, to freeze rents for all rent-controlled buildings, minimize financial burdens for needy families and seniors by improving access to food and other necessities, and to provide financial support for small businesses and nonprofits with a 100 percent match on the state grants. The Jersey City COVID-19 Community Program is also taking private donations to support the most impacted, with a goal of raising $3 million.
“My job as Mayor is to protect the wellbeing of our residents, and that includes their financial wellbeing as we encounter unprecedented times with a lot of uncertainty ahead,” Fulop said. “We remain committed to preserving our parks and open space and will continue to do so, but right now it’s critical to relieve the financial pressures our taxpayers are currently under as much as possible.”
Saying that city officials “recognize the importance of our parks and open space now more than ever,” Council President Joyce Watterman added that “every little bit helps at this point” and her belief that taxpayers will appreciate the effort since “they’ve seen little to no reprieve from the federal level.”
Councilman-at-Large Daniel Rivera said that he looks forward to parks being filled with kids playing once again, but “until then we’ll continue our work on the local government side to assist our residents in every way possible.”
“Jersey City remains at the forefront of preserving and expanding green infrastructure citywide, and will continue to make positive steps in that direction for the benefit of the community overall with the funds that have been collected up to this point,” Ward B Councilwoman Mira Prinz-Arey said.
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