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Re: Jersey City school officials fret over plan to cut $8.5M in state aid
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Jersey City school board passes new budget

JERSEY CITY - After being faced with criticism earlier this week, the school board passed a new budget for the coming academic year during an emergency meeting Thursday night.

The district had less than a month to re-balance its budget when it lost nearly $8.4 million in state aid.

On Tuesday night, the board tabled a vote on the new budget over concerns of the city's Department of Recreation taking over middle school intramural sports. Board members said they were not presented enough information about how the new programs would be operated.

School officials scrambled in less than 48 hours to find more than $350,000 in the budget as to not change the current after-school programs.

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... rd_passes_new_budget.html


Posted on: 7/29 11:43
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Re: Jersey City school officials fret over plan to cut $8.5M in state aid
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Jersey City schools lose nearly $8.4 million in state funding

The state budget approved Monday night ended a three-day government shutdown, but it also left Jersey City's public school district looking for a way to make ends meet after it lost $8.4 million in state funding.

The cut in state aid comes as part of a school funding plan by Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto to give $146 million in aid to underfunded districts.

The 28,000-student district narrowly adopted a $681 million operating budget in April after making up a $23 million deficit. With school funding reform passing, local officials will have to make up millions of dollars for the next school year.

http://www.nj.com/jjournal-news/index ... y_schools_lose_nearl.html


Posted on: 7/7 11:19
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Re: Jersey City school officials fret over plan to cut $8.5M in state aid
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All I'm gonna say is this will not be the last state aid cut for JC.

Posted on: 7/6 22:39
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Re: Jersey City school officials fret over plan to cut $8.5M in state aid
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The final number came in a tad under the $8.5 million number, but now that JC has regained local control I'm sure it'll be no problem to ferret out some waste to manage that without staff cuts or tax increases.

Posted on: 7/6 17:07
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Re: Jersey City school officials fret over plan to cut $8.5M in state aid
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For 2016, Jersey City’s all-in (muni, county, school) tax levy
was $469,206,295. (not counting PILOT revenue).

The Equalized Valuation is $25.7 billion, so you have an all-in
Equalized tax rate of 1.8.

If Jersey City made up for the loss of $150 million of
Adjustment Aid and the Equalized Valuation didn’t increase,
the all-in tax rate would still only be 2.4, which is New Jersey’s
average.

However, in real life the Equalized Valuation is growing and
will significantly higher in five years than it is now, so Jersey
City is still likely to retain taxes below the state average.
Also, the Jersey City BOE does not have to make up for all the
losses of state aid with local taxes anyway.

If Jersey City’s state aid losses are limited to 1.5% of its
budget, then it would take decades for all of Jersey City’s
excess aid to be eliminated and Jersey City’s taxes will stay
below the state’s average for years to come.

Please remember (before you publicly worry about Jersey City)
that a complete redistribution of Adjustment Aid and $500
increase in total K-12 spending is not nearly enough to bring
up the underaided districts to 100% funding.

I respect Steve Sweeney a lot, but he has oversold his plan.
The deficit for 2015-16 is $2 billion and it grows annually, so
$700 million in redistributed aid plus $500 million in new aid is
not enough to bring every district to 100%.

Posted on: 6/23 13:01
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Re: Jersey City school officials fret over plan to cut $8.5M in state aid
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Quote:

ProdigalSon wrote:
It's revenue neutral for how long? Is it revenue neutral to both the BOE and the City?


The reval itself is revenue neutral. When it's done, everyone has new assessments and a new tax rate is struck that brings in the exact same amount of tax as before the reval. After that is business as usual. If there's a tax hike, they raise the rate. As usual, the BOE gets their cut of the levy.

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Bodhipooh wrote:
We normally agree 100% on the taxation and reval topic, but I think you are missing the point on this. I think the reval IS relevant with regards to school funding because if it comes out that our new rate is 1.8 (or, even lower, as some hope/expect) then it becomes much easier for other municipalities to argue that JC *is* getting a free ride at the expense of other towns with property tax rates that are much higher. Politically, I think it will be hard for JC to argue its residents are overtaxed and unable to absorb a school tax increase if the post-reval rate ends up being below two percent.

Good point. I don't want to sound like the people whining about the reval, but raising the rate from say 1.8% to over 3% seems like such a drastic measure I can't see how the state could impose it on a city of 250k without having tens of thousands marching to Trenton. Yes there are cities in NJ at 3%, but I don't know their stories. The reval will seriously negatively affect perhaps 10% of residents, this would affect nearly 100%.

Once again, I would love to see the numbers analyzed. I once looked at the "user friendly" BOE budget to see what district and charters spend on Special Ed, but it was impenetrable. There were line item terms used that Google could not define!!

Posted on: 6/23 11:18
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Re: Jersey City school officials fret over plan to cut $8.5M in state aid
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Quote:

brewster wrote:
Quote:

ProdigalSon wrote:
I'm pretty sure the reval is the first step in a series of school funding issues for the city.


Most of your post is reasonable, but this is not relevant. The reval is revenue neutral, the tax levy (the total take) is by law the same after as before. The reval is only about who already in the JC ratable tax base in pays what.

What I hate about this issue is the whole thing is a black box. JC sure isn't undertaxed, so how can we be so far short of being able to pay for our own schools? Is the JCBOE wasteful compared to similarly challenged districts? All we hear is partisan noise, I've never heard of a forensic accountant's analysis of the JCBOE budget.


It's revenue neutral for how long? Is it revenue neutral to both the BOE and the City?

I don't think they go directly hand and hand with one another, but the reval and JCBOE funding by the state and city are intertwined (along with a host of other issues).

And yes the numbers are staggering, and that is what I really think scares me. Look 8.5 million is a drop in the bucket of a 500 mil budget at 1.7%, and this is possibly going to cause floundering, just think if the laws change and the state reduces aide further, it's going to be shocking, but not totally unfair.

It's certainly an interesting topic, I am curious as to how JC and the State will navigate it.

Posted on: 6/23 9:16
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Re: Jersey City school officials fret over plan to cut $8.5M in state aid
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Quote:

brewster wrote:
Quote:

ProdigalSon wrote:
I'm pretty sure the reval is the first step in a series of school funding issues for the city.


Most of your post is reasonable, but this is not relevant. The reval is revenue neutral, the tax levy (the total take) is by law the same after as before. The reval is only about who already in the JC ratable tax base in pays what.


We normally agree 100% on the taxation and reval topic, but I think you are missing the point on this. I think the reval IS relevant with regards to school funding because if it comes out that our new rate is 1.8 (or, even lower, as some hope/expect) then it becomes much easier for other municipalities to argue that JC *is* getting a free ride at the expense of other towns with property tax rates that are much higher. Politically, I think it will be hard for JC to argue its residents are overtaxed and unable to absorb a school tax increase if the post-reval rate ends up being below two percent.

Posted on: 6/23 8:30
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Re: Jersey City school officials fret over plan to cut $8.5M in state aid
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Quote:

brewster wrote:
Quote:

ProdigalSon wrote:
I'm pretty sure the reval is the first step in a series of school funding issues for the city.


Most of your post is reasonable, but this is not relevant. The reval is revenue neutral, the tax levy (the total take) is by law the same after as before. The reval is only about who already in the JC ratable tax base in pays what.

What I hate about this issue is the whole thing is a black box. JC sure isn't undertaxed, so how can we be so far short of being able to pay for our own schools? Is the JCBOE wasteful compared to similarly challenged districts? All we hear is partisan noise, I've never heard of a forensic accountant's analysis of the JCBOE budget.


The state shovels about $450 million every year to the JC BOE. You'd need some forensic accountant to find that shortfall if it all disappears.... So you're absolutely correct ProdigalSon. And it's the reason the state ordered JC to do the reval. They couldn't reduce aid to the JC BOE knowing the local tax system was so inequitable.

It's sad to see the level of denial here about this issue. After the State reduces aid to the JC BOE, property taxes will increase as an inevitable consequence. Some people are going to be badly caught out because they've drunk the “but the reval is revenue neutral” Kool-Aid..... The real story is what comes AFTER the reval.

Posted on: 6/23 4:27
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Re: Jersey City school officials fret over plan to cut $8.5M in state aid
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Quote:

ProdigalSon wrote:
I'm pretty sure the reval is the first step in a series of school funding issues for the city.


Most of your post is reasonable, but this is not relevant. The reval is revenue neutral, the tax levy (the total take) is by law the same after as before. The reval is only about who already in the JC ratable tax base in pays what.

What I hate about this issue is the whole thing is a black box. JC sure isn't undertaxed, so how can we be so far short of being able to pay for our own schools? Is the JCBOE wasteful compared to similarly challenged districts? All we hear is partisan noise, I've never heard of a forensic accountant's analysis of the JCBOE budget.

Posted on: 6/22 23:10
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Re: Jersey City school officials fret over plan to cut $8.5M in state aid
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The suburban towns that shoulder the cost of the Abbott's really don't get any relief from this, it's more underaided towns like Bayonne that get a little more cash. JC can't really complain, after all, it's all about being fair.

Posted on: 6/22 22:00
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Re: Jersey City school officials fret over plan to cut $8.5M in state aid
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I can't believe any of the politicians in JC would ever touch the school board with a 10 foot poll. There is a gaping wound that can be inflicted on JC by the state, 8.5 million is bad and going to leave the town scrambling. 217 million would cause a disaster. A further increase would be Great Depression sized calamity. I'm pretty sure the reval is the first step in a series of school funding issues for the city. I'm not even sure how residents can think it's fair that other towns shoulder 95%+ of their school budgets, yet this town can get by paying 15% or less?

It's insane that any politician would tout return of local control of the school board as a positive. It's clearly more rope for JC to hang itself by.

Posted on: 6/22 21:46
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Re: Jersey City school officials fret over plan to cut $8.5M in state aid
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My big observation about Jersey City and state aid is why the school administration and BOE have been so quiet about redistribution whereas Fulop and the City Council (including Michael Yun) have opposed it. If you read the article, JCBOE members do not have the fury about losing state aid that Toms River and Brick do.

It's possible that the administrators and JCBOE members actually are progressives who understand that other towns have greater needs than Jersey City. If so, I commend them.

Fulop, on the other hand, is a lying _______.

Posted on: 6/22 14:34
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Re: Jersey City school officials fret over plan to cut $8.5M in state aid
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Yvonne wrote:
This city has divided into two sections - one who gets more taxes and the other who is tax protected.


Whoops!! You left out those dramatically underpaying.

What's also not shocking is the land portion of the assessments bear no resemblance to reality. I have a recently reassessed 20x100 heights lot with a $16k assessment. That puts FMV at around $50k. Does anyone believe that? 500k houses are being bought there as teardowns.

Posted on: 6/20 13:42
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Re: Jersey City school officials fret over plan to cut $8.5M in state aid
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stateaidguy wrote:
The abated properties do pay school taxes on the land they own, so there is a small contribution to education.

However, the way the PILOT law is written, the total payment (land taxes + PILOT fees) is a fixed amount, so if land taxes increase, PILOT fees decrease.

It wouldn't be a large loss, but higher school taxes on the land would mean lower PILOT fees to the Jersey City municipality.


Quote:

Yvonne wrote:
If the city taxpayers are required to make up this $8.5 million, one one cent will come from tax abated buildings.


Thank you state guy, however, my point is an additional tax will not be paid by abatements. Land taxes do not go up as a rule, it is the improvements (buildings.) If a property is spot assessed, then land taxes would be affected. I am aware that land taxes are not abated but again but they are the smallest part of any tax bill. This city has divided into two sections - one who gets more taxes and the other who is tax protected.

Posted on: 6/20 12:43
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Re: Jersey City school officials fret over plan to cut $8.5M in state aid
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The abated properties do pay school taxes on the land they own, so there is a small contribution to education.

However, the way the PILOT law is written, the total payment (land taxes + PILOT fees) is a fixed amount, so if land taxes increase, PILOT fees decrease.

It wouldn't be a large loss, but higher school taxes on the land would mean lower PILOT fees to the Jersey City municipality.


Quote:

Yvonne wrote:
If the city taxpayers are required to make up this $8.5 million, one one cent will come from tax abated buildings.

Posted on: 6/20 12:02
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Re: Jersey City school officials fret over plan to cut $8.5M in state aid
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bodhipooh wrote:
Quote:

Yvonne wrote:
If the city taxpayers are required to make up this $8.5 million, one one cent will come from tax abated buildings.


But, meanwhile, most of those abated taxpayers against whom you often rail are paying higher taxes than most of the DTJC homeowners. Ain't that something?! Of course, not a peep from you about that.


That is not true, you can always find some building that is paying high taxes, I can. There is a row house on Montgomery St, 2 family that is paying $43,000 in taxes and another one on Barrow St, paying $33,000 in taxes. These homes are on Van Vorst Park. They are not typical, just like it is not typical for tax abated properties to pay more. Actually, according to the Tax Assessor of JC, he said condos in JC actually pays more. He was referring to non abated or expired condos that had tax abatements. The point being, those abated properties will not have their taxes increased, something you are trying to deflect.

Posted on: 6/20 11:42
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Re: Jersey City school officials fret over plan to cut $8.5M in state aid
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Yvonne wrote:
If the city taxpayers are required to make up this $8.5 million, one one cent will come from tax abated buildings.


But, meanwhile, most of those abated taxpayers against whom you often rail are paying higher taxes than most of the DTJC homeowners. Ain't that something?! Of course, not a peep from you about that.

Posted on: 6/20 11:24
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Re: Jersey City school officials fret over plan to cut $8.5M in state aid
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If the city taxpayers are required to make up this $8.5 million, one one cent will come from tax abated buildings.

Posted on: 6/20 8:46
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Jersey City school officials fret over plan to cut $8.5M in state aid
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Jersey City school officials fret over plan to cut $8.5M in state aid


Posted on: 6/20 0:23
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