SOMERVILLE, NJ – Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli, R-16th is continuing his criticism of Payments in Lieu of Taxes, but is gratified that a proposed Jersey City Council ordinance would require PILOTs to be used to fund local public schools.
The ordinance would commit 26 percent of the payments to Jersey City schools.
“It's good to see that Jersey City Council members oppose Mayor Steve Fulop’s exploitation of PILOTS to perpetuate Jersey City’s dependence on state school aid,” said Ciattarelli, a candidate for the GOP Gubernatorial nomination in the June 6 statewide Primary.
“When New Jersey taxpayers pay 83 percent of Jersey City’s school budget, it is only right that PILOTs also support public schools. What all elected officials should know is that in most New Jersey communities, 70 to 90 percent of the average property tax bill is for school funding.”
Ciattarelli has discussed dedicating at least 70 percent of PILOTs to local schools.
“This is a non-partisan issue,” said Ciattarelli. “There are plenty of legislators on both sides of the aisle who represent vastly underfunded suburban school districts that have not enjoyed the same revitalization and development opportunities as cities like Jersey City and Hoboken. This ordinance indicates that a consensus is starting to emerge that it is terribly unfair that PILOTs contribute no revenue for local public schools.”
Last month, Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop suggested dedicating only 10 percent.
Ciattarelli responded: “A 10 percent dedication is an insult to state taxpayers who subsidize 83 percent of Mayor Fulop’s school district budget, and the Council’s proposal admits it. Twenty-six percent is a step in the right direction, but is way too little. When it comes to PILOT reform, we still have a long way to go.”