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Re: Will Jersey City and Hoboken ever lose Abbott District Status?
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Jersey City council OKs contract with lawyers to fight school funding changes

By Terrence T. McDonald | The Jersey Journal
Email the author | Follow on Twitter
on March 09, 2017 at 1:04 PM, updated March 09, 2017 at 1:31 PM

JERSEY CITY -- The City Council last night unanimously approved a measure authorizing a $70,000 contract with a Morristown law firm the city says will help fight possible changes to the state's school funding formula.

The vote was taken at the end of a nearly four-hour meeting. There was no discussion among council members about the contract with Riker, Danzig, Scherer, Hyland & Perretti.

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


Posted on: 3/9 14:32
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Re: Will Jersey City and Hoboken ever lose Abbott District Status?
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Union City is also hugely supported by state taxpayers, but they do a much better job with education-the reason being motivated parents. And Union City spends much less per student than JC as well.

Posted on: 3/8 13:02
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Re: Will Jersey City and Hoboken ever lose Abbott District Status?
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Monroe wrote:
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bodhipooh wrote:
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dtjcview wrote:
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hero69 wrote:
so bullsh_t artist fulop is gonna hire a lawyer to fight changes in school funding. if fulop was so concerned about school funding, he would stop cheating the school system and non-abbot school districts by stopping all of his freaking abatements.

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


The best school systems on the planet are federally funded. I don't think JC is doing anything wrong by taking advantage of local credits in what is basically a f%%ked up system. I'd be entirely happy if local whiny moms and pops pay full sticker price for the education of their kids. But I see neither happening....


People will often say things like the above, but it is somewhat a bad comparison. For example, most European countries are similar in size and population to American states. For them to have a central government controlled education system makes perfect sense, because almost all of them are tiny and their populations more homogeneous. We have over 300 MM people in this country, with a population that is anything but homogeneous and spread out over vastly varied geographical areas. It simply doesn't make sense to have centralized education.

Now, having said that, I do wonder why we spend SO MUCH MORE money per pupil in this area and achieve LESS. How is it that states in other areas are able to deliver on better schools, better education, while spending a lot less? Something needs to be done about graft, corruption, inefficiencies, etc.


While graft, corruption, and inefficiencies are all a big part (this is JC/Hudson County), don't forget the cost per student factors in mandated PreK, ESL and other aids for children of illegal aliens (as well as some legal immigrants), mandated school breakfast and lunch, etc etc. And you could spend 30K per student and not overcome single parent households, parent apathy, etc.


My experience in these matters is limited to three states in which I have resided, and I am always surprised by the stark differences. In Texas (and in other SW states) they have large hispanic populations, and often time there are many students from poor families, so free school lunches and breakfasts are all part of their reality, as well as ESL (not sure about PreK, but I am pretty sure that is not an option today, and it certainly was not some years ago) and they spend a lot less per student on a yearly basis, but their schools are incredibly well maintained, new schools are built regularly to accommodate the population increases, and these new buildings are incredible. Their school districts keep parents involved by making it possible to keep track of your kid's progress and overall you definitely get a lot more for your tax dollar investment. I just don't understand how we are spending so much in NJ and getting so little in return.

Posted on: 3/8 12:18
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Re: Will Jersey City and Hoboken ever lose Abbott District Status?
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bodhipooh wrote:
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dtjcview wrote:
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hero69 wrote:
so bullsh_t artist fulop is gonna hire a lawyer to fight changes in school funding. if fulop was so concerned about school funding, he would stop cheating the school system and non-abbot school districts by stopping all of his freaking abatements.

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


The best school systems on the planet are federally funded. I don't think JC is doing anything wrong by taking advantage of local credits in what is basically a f%%ked up system. I'd be entirely happy if local whiny moms and pops pay full sticker price for the education of their kids. But I see neither happening....


People will often say things like the above, but it is somewhat a bad comparison. For example, most European countries are similar in size and population to American states. For them to have a central government controlled education system makes perfect sense, because almost all of them are tiny and their populations more homogeneous. We have over 300 MM people in this country, with a population that is anything but homogeneous and spread out over vastly varied geographical areas. It simply doesn't make sense to have centralized education.

Now, having said that, I do wonder why we spend SO MUCH MORE money per pupil in this area and achieve LESS. How is it that states in other areas are able to deliver on better schools, better education, while spending a lot less? Something needs to be done about graft, corruption, inefficiencies, etc.


While graft, corruption, and inefficiencies are all a big part (this is JC/Hudson County), don't forget the cost per student factors in mandated PreK, ESL and other aids for children of illegal aliens (as well as some legal immigrants), mandated school breakfast and lunch, etc etc. And you could spend 30K per student and not overcome single parent households, parent apathy, etc.

Posted on: 3/8 10:13
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Re: Will Jersey City and Hoboken ever lose Abbott District Status?
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dtjcview wrote:
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hero69 wrote:
so bullsh_t artist fulop is gonna hire a lawyer to fight changes in school funding. if fulop was so concerned about school funding, he would stop cheating the school system and non-abbot school districts by stopping all of his freaking abatements.

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


The best school systems on the planet are federally funded. I don't think JC is doing anything wrong by taking advantage of local credits in what is basically a f%%ked up system. I'd be entirely happy if local whiny moms and pops pay full sticker price for the education of their kids. But I see neither happening....


People will often say things like the above, but it is somewhat a bad comparison. For example, most European countries are similar in size and population to American states. For them to have a central government controlled education system makes perfect sense, because almost all of them are tiny and their populations more homogeneous. We have over 300 MM people in this country, with a population that is anything but homogeneous and spread out over vastly varied geographical areas. It simply doesn't make sense to have centralized education.

Now, having said that, I do wonder why we spend SO MUCH MORE money per pupil in this area and achieve LESS. How is it that states in other areas are able to deliver on better schools, better education, while spending a lot less? Something needs to be done about graft, corruption, inefficiencies, etc.

Posted on: 3/8 10:09
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Re: Will Jersey City and Hoboken ever lose Abbott District Status?
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hero69 wrote:
so bullsh_t artist fulop is gonna hire a lawyer to fight changes in school funding. if fulop was so concerned about school funding, he would stop cheating the school system and non-abbot school districts by stopping all of his freaking abatements.

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


The best school systems on the planet are federally funded. I don't think JC is doing anything wrong by taking advantage of local credits in what is basically a f%%ked up system. I'd be entirely happy if local whiny moms and pops pay full sticker price for the education of their kids. But I see neither happening....

Posted on: 3/8 7:31
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Re: Will Jersey City and Hoboken ever lose Abbott District Status?
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Jersey City to hire lawyer to fight school funding changes

By Terrence T. McDonald | The Jersey Journal
Email the author | Follow on Twitter
on March 07, 2017 at 12:50 PM, updated March 07, 2017 at 1:05 PM

JERSEY CITY -- Facing renewed threats of cuts to state funding for its public-school system, Jersey City wants to hire a law firm the mayor's spokeswoman says will "protect" the city's interests if state lawmakers move to slash state aid.

A resolution on Wednesday's City Council agenda would award a $75,000 contract to Morristown-based Riker, Danzig, Scherer, Hyland & Perretti to represent the city in the expected battle over state funding for schools.

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


Posted on: 3/7 20:59
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Re: Will Jersey City and Hoboken ever lose Abbott District Status?
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so bullsh_t artist fulop is gonna hire a lawyer to fight changes in school funding. if fulop was so concerned about school funding, he would stop cheating the school system and non-abbot school districts by stopping all of his freaking abatements.

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

Posted on: 3/7 15:58
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Re: Will Jersey City and Hoboken ever lose Abbott District Status?
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What else should one call Steve Fulop's statements other than "bullshit"?

From the point of view of taxes and state aid, it is irrelevant if only one section of Jersey City is thriving because Jersey City IS A SINGLE ENTITY FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF TAXES.

Even if only 15% of Jersey City's residences are worth more than $1 million, they would comprise approximately half of the residential valuation, with other high-value properties filling in the great large majority.

On top of that, Jersey City has above average amounts of commercial and industrial property. Whereas the average town in New Jersey is 84% residential in valuation, Jersey City is only 62% residential. Although officially Jersey City's property is "only" 25.3% commercial, it has billions of dollars in off-the-books PILOTed property that is disproportionally commercial. (see "Property Type Extremes")

So the fact that parts of Jersey City are still poor is not relevant from the point of view of taxation and state aid. The SFRA formula takes into account a comprehensive picture of a district's tax base (except PILOTed property, which is invisible) and any heightened level of disadvantage in students.

Posted on: 2/23 13:54
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Re: Will Jersey City and Hoboken ever lose Abbott District Status?
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stateaidguy wrote:
Steve Fulop is a liar, bullshit artist, and hypocrite.

http://njeducationaid.blogspot.com/20 ... hypocrisy-from-steve.html

Fulop claims state aid redistribution is about helping rich suburbs, but he's wrong. The biggest beneficiaries would be towns like Clifton, Bayonne, and Bloomfield.

Even when middle-class suburbs would gain aid, they desperately need it.

Read about Delran whose per pupil spending is barely $12k.

http://www.burlingtoncountytimes.com/ ... e6-b49d-4b0009fa55d6.html

Read about Egg Harbor Township.

http://www.shorenewstoday.com/egg_har ... 53-9e5e-065b6d0d43b2.html


You have Yvonne on your side. Congrats, in this post you name calling you took things to a new level. And not a higher one.

But I do appreciate your analysis.


I do not curse or use inapproriate language. I consider that wrong, besides that become the message, the tone someone uses. I prefer the message is heard, not the inappropriate language.

Posted on: 2/23 12:11
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Re: Will Jersey City and Hoboken ever lose Abbott District Status?
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stateaidguy wrote:
Steve Fulop is a liar, bullshit artist, and hypocrite.

http://njeducationaid.blogspot.com/20 ... hypocrisy-from-steve.html

Fulop claims state aid redistribution is about helping rich suburbs, but he's wrong. The biggest beneficiaries would be towns like Clifton, Bayonne, and Bloomfield.

Even when middle-class suburbs would gain aid, they desperately need it.

Read about Delran whose per pupil spending is barely $12k.

http://www.burlingtoncountytimes.com/ ... e6-b49d-4b0009fa55d6.html

Read about Egg Harbor Township.

http://www.shorenewstoday.com/egg_har ... 53-9e5e-065b6d0d43b2.html


You have Yvonne on your side. Congrats, in this post you name calling you took things to a new level. And not a higher one.

But I do appreciate your analysis.

Posted on: 2/23 12:00
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Re: Will Jersey City and Hoboken ever lose Abbott District Status?
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Steve Fulop is a liar, bullshit artist, and hypocrite.

http://njeducationaid.blogspot.com/20 ... hypocrisy-from-steve.html

Fulop claims state aid redistribution is about helping rich suburbs, but he's wrong. The biggest beneficiaries would be towns like Clifton, Bayonne, and Bloomfield.

Even when middle-class suburbs would gain aid, they desperately need it.

Read about Delran whose per pupil spending is barely $12k.

http://www.burlingtoncountytimes.com/ ... e6-b49d-4b0009fa55d6.html

Read about Egg Harbor Township.

http://www.shorenewstoday.com/egg_har ... 53-9e5e-065b6d0d43b2.html

Posted on: 2/23 10:37
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Re: Will Jersey City and Hoboken ever lose Abbott District Status?
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brewster wrote:
Thanks SAG, but the discrepancies in the numbers is making my head explode.

JC 2015 Equalized Valuation= 21,661,162,459
therefore levy at 2.2291%= 496,257,231

So what is the $217m you said on you site was the "regular municipal tax levy"?

Does it make sense to you that the 146 abated properties represent 30% of the entire value of the city?


The 146 properties could easily be 30% of the entire value of the city.

Many of the PILOTed buildings are skyscrapers and skyscrapers have crazily high valuations. If one PILOTed office building is worth $300 million that alone would be 1.4% of Jersey City's total valuation.

The 2.2291% ETR has county, school, muni, and even library and county and open space taxes combined into it. If you combine all of the different taxes JC taxpayers pay and divide by the Equalized Valuation, you'd get a figure that was in the low 2% range.

If you see discrepancies it might be because JC's Equalized Valuation is growing so rapidly and people might be using recent figures from 2014 or 2015 that are now out of date.

It might also be due to there being certain relatively small, obscure taxes that sometimes are neglected in calculations (like library, open space, and even a $5,429,458 "school levy as required by municipal budget" (I have no idea what that is))

See "Property Tax Tables" > Tax Summary to see all of the property taxes you pay.

http://www.state.nj.us/dca/divisions/ ... urces/property_tax.html#1


I have been saying that for a long time about the 30% but no one cares.

Posted on: 2/22 22:36
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Re: Will Jersey City and Hoboken ever lose Abbott District Status?
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Posted on: 2/22 21:42
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Re: Will Jersey City and Hoboken ever lose Abbott District Status?
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brewster wrote:
Thanks SAG, but the discrepancies in the numbers is making my head explode.

JC 2015 Equalized Valuation= 21,661,162,459
therefore levy at 2.2291%= 496,257,231

So what is the $217m you said on you site was the "regular municipal tax levy"?

Does it make sense to you that the 146 abated properties represent 30% of the entire value of the city?


The 146 properties could easily be 30% of the entire value of the city.

Many of the PILOTed buildings are skyscrapers and skyscrapers have crazily high valuations. If one PILOTed office building is worth $300 million that alone would be 1.4% of Jersey City's total valuation.

The 2.2291% ETR has county, school, muni, and even library and county and open space taxes combined into it. If you combine all of the different taxes JC taxpayers pay and divide by the Equalized Valuation, you'd get a figure that was in the low 2% range.

If you see discrepancies it might be because JC's Equalized Valuation is growing so rapidly and people might be using recent figures from 2014 or 2015 that are now out of date.

It might also be due to there being certain relatively small, obscure taxes that sometimes are neglected in calculations (like library, open space, and even a $5,429,458 "school levy as required by municipal budget" (I have no idea what that is))

See "Property Tax Tables" > Tax Summary to see all of the property taxes you pay.

http://www.state.nj.us/dca/divisions/ ... urces/property_tax.html#1

Posted on: 2016/9/10 14:23
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Re: Will Jersey City and Hoboken ever lose Abbott District Status?
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Thanks SAG, but the discrepancies in the numbers is making my head explode.

JC 2015 Equalized Valuation= 21,661,162,459
therefore levy at 2.2291%= 496,257,231

So what is the $217m you said on you site was the "regular municipal tax levy"?

Does it make sense to you that the 146 abated properties represent 30% of the entire value of the city?

Posted on: 2016/9/10 12:32
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Re: Will Jersey City and Hoboken ever lose Abbott District Status?
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1.
Hoboken is a ultra high-tax base rich district that gets K12 state aid like it's working class.

JC is a middle-tax base district that gets K12 state aid like it's a desperately poor, blightzone. (more below)


Can you define your terms like "ultra high-tax base"? Is this Equalized Valuation/student population or Equalized Valuation/total population, or what? It's hard to see how JC can be "middle" when "Jersey City's students are much poorer than average".


"Ultra high tax base" is just a term I use. There's no official definition to it.

But I like to call a district "ultra high tax base" if its tax base per student exceeds Millburn's since Millburn is the richest (large) suburb.

For 2015-16, Millburn had $37,000 in Local Fair Share per student or $1.9 million in Equalized Valuation per student. (Millburn shouldn't get state aid either)

Hoboken had $70,000 in Local Fair Share per student or about $4.6 million per student.

Local Fair Share is a hybrid measurement of tax base that the state is supposed to use to calculate Equalization Aid. It depends on Equalized Valuation and on Aggregate (not mean) Income.

It might seem strange that the state factors in income, but if state aid were based on property wealth alone it would actually be very bad for Hudson County where there is a relatively low ratio of income:property wealth. Conversely, it would be very good for South Jersey and rural areas, where the ratio of income:property wealth tends to be higher.

Anyway, tax base per resident would result in a very different ordering of relative wealth than tax base per student.

"It's hard to see how JC can be "middle" when "Jersey City's students are much poorer than average"."

There are many districts where there is a large difference between the strength of the tax base and the wealth of the students.

There are Jersey Shore districts with poor students but tens of thousands in LFS per student.

There are rural districts where the students are solidly middle class, but the tax base is very weak.

Divergences like these between tax base and student demographics result from different towns having different compositions of residential and non-residential property and different age structures where there might be proportionally a lot or proportionally very few kids in the public schools.

So Jersey City's students are 70% FRL eligible, which is about the 45th highest in NJ, but Jersey City has higher percentages of commercial and industrial property than the average NJ town and proportionally very few school-aged kids for its population.

Thus Jersey City's Local Fair Share per student is just somewhat below the state's average and if PILOTed properties were factored in, Jersey City would be above average.

Posted on: 2016/9/10 10:26
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Re: Will Jersey City and Hoboken ever lose Abbott District Status?
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Since 2010, tax abatements granted from the Schundler Administration has expired. Whenever a tax abatement expires, the ratable base increases. In 2010, the ratable base was around $5.7 billion. It is slightly pass $6 billion now, this is the reason the spending Fulop is doing is hidden, the higher ratable base is absorbing it. My problem is the new tax abatements this administrations is doing knowing the threats from the state. I mentioned Councilwoman Osborne said the state will not cut aid, however, Councilman Rivera made a comment during a tax abatement hearing that made no sense. He said he wished the abatement (he was voting on) was 30 years instead of 20 years. The only one who understand the numbers well is Michael Yun, too bad there are not 4 more of him on the council. The reason the state will be successful in making cuts has to do with the population around the state. Poor children also live in the suburban areas. A study was done after the collapse of the mortgage scams. The suburbs are receiving food stamps and the default of homes are still high.

Posted on: 2016/9/10 10:17
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Re: Will Jersey City and Hoboken ever lose Abbott District Status?
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Yvonne wrote:
Nearly $3 billion is missing from the ratable base due to tax abatements. This means, the average taxpayer is paying higher taxes due to these missing ratables. If these ratables were included, then our taxes would be around $50.00 per thousand instead of $77 per thousand.


Also, please reference your source for $9B of market value being in abated properties. Seems high considering the entire equalized value of the unabated is is $21.6B


The $9 billion in Equalized Valuation figure came from me.

I did the calculation in 2015 after it was released that if JC's PILOTed properties paid taxes, they would pay $198,589,915 (to the county, schools, muni)

Since JC's Equalized Tax Rate is 2.291%, I just divided 198,589,915 by .02291 and got $8.6 billion.

Since the $198,589,915 number came out in July 2015 I think it's a fair extrapolation to say that by now with more PILOTed properties being completed and appreciation in the existing ones, that by now the PILOTed properties would be worth at least $9 billion.


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


Posted on: 2016/9/10 10:06
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Re: Will Jersey City and Hoboken ever lose Abbott District Status?
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Yvonne wrote:
The information comes from the County, they have a chart that shows the ratable base which is $6 billion and there is a chart that show what is not included in the budget. It is also part of the Friendly Budget that the state requires cities to show. The total value of tax abatements are listed there. I do not make up this information. By the way, I call the County Tax administer every year to go over this information.


Yvonne, perhaps you're right about there being $3B in abated assessed value! The state report in 2010 said $2B. But here's some numbers from StateAidGuy about the properties you say are ripping us off. According to your arithmetic we'd probably lose quite a lot to the County in trading a dollar in PILOT for a dollar of levy.

Quote:
PILOT payments in Jersey City are equal to more than half of Jersey City's regular municipal taxes. Jersey City's regular municipal tax levy is only $217.5 million but it gets $119.2 million from 146 PILOTed properties.


217.5+119.2=336.5
217.5x(77/50, Yvonne's claimed increase of 54%)=334.95

Seems odd that it's so close, that the abated properties are paying exactly what they would if they were ratables, but that's what these numbers say. Don't claim it's wrong without your own numbers.

Posted on: 2016/9/10 1:01
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Re: Will Jersey City and Hoboken ever lose Abbott District Status?
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val7101 wrote:
You call the County Tax administrator every year? Seriously?


Yes, I do not want to use information that is not accurate. The numbers also change every year.

Posted on: 2016/9/9 18:40
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Re: Will Jersey City and Hoboken ever lose Abbott District Status?
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You call the County Tax administrator every year? Seriously?

Posted on: 2016/9/9 18:05
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Re: Will Jersey City and Hoboken ever lose Abbott District Status?
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Yvonne wrote:
Nearly $3 billion is missing from the ratable base due to tax abatements. This means, the average taxpayer is paying higher taxes due to these missing ratables. If these ratables were included, then our taxes would be around $50.00 per thousand instead of $77 per thousand.


You can't just keep saying things that aren't true again and again. That's Donald Trump's job. You keep saying taxes here are high and that abated property pay nothing. Neither is true.

Please prove this statement that our not very high taxes would go down. Contrary to your continually stating they pay nothing, abated properties DO pay, it's called PILOTS. Many of these PILOTS are far more than the 1% of value you were paying on your VV Park Brownstone. Were these properties to suddenly be ratables, the net gain in tax isn't the entire tax as you claim above, it's the difference between the tax and the PILOT.

Also, please reference your source for $9B of market value being in abated properties. Seems high considering the entire equalized value of the unabated is is $21.6B


The information comes from the County, they have a chart that shows the ratable base which is $6 billion and there is a chart that show what is not included in the budget. It is also part of the Friendly Budget that the state requires cities to show. The total value of tax abatements are listed there. I do not make up this information. By the way, I call the County Tax administer every year to go over this information.

Posted on: 2016/9/9 17:28
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Yvonne wrote:
Nearly $3 billion is missing from the ratable base due to tax abatements. This means, the average taxpayer is paying higher taxes due to these missing ratables. If these ratables were included, then our taxes would be around $50.00 per thousand instead of $77 per thousand.


You can't just keep saying things that aren't true again and again. That's Donald Trump's job. You keep saying taxes here are high and that abated property pay nothing. Neither is true.

Please prove this statement that our not very high taxes would go down. Contrary to your continually stating they pay nothing, abated properties DO pay, it's called PILOTS. Many of these PILOTS are far more than the 1% of value you were paying on your VV Park Brownstone. Were these properties to suddenly be ratables, the net gain in tax isn't the entire tax as you claim above, it's the difference between the tax and the PILOT.

Also, please reference your source for $9B of market value being in abated properties. Seems high considering the entire equalized value of the unabated is is $21.6B

Posted on: 2016/9/9 16:49
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Re: Will Jersey City and Hoboken ever lose Abbott District Status?
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stateaidguy wrote:

1.
Hoboken is a ultra high-tax base rich district that gets K12 state aid like it's working class.

JC is a middle-tax base district that gets K12 state aid like it's a desperately poor, blightzone. (more below)


Can you define your terms like "ultra high-tax base"? Is this Equalized Valuation/student population or Equalized Valuation/total population, or what? It's hard to see how JC can be "middle" when "Jersey City's students are much poorer than average".

Posted on: 2016/9/9 15:34
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Re: Will Jersey City and Hoboken ever lose Abbott District Status?
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Ralph_Abutts wrote:
Not paying for local schools is misleading. Abatement property owners do pay local taxes/contribute local revenue which supports municipal expenditures, including its schools. If they did not pay, then the City would not be able to pay for its schools, police, fire, etc. PILOT and prop tax revenue are commingled funds.

While Jersey City's schools are heavily State funded, the City does spend quite a bit on low income housing. Those outside the city may cry foul about Abbott Funding, but they should look at themselves in the mirror when it comes to the lack of affordable housing they spend within their town. That is, they may pay for Abbott, but save $ with their NIMBY lack of low income housing spending.

Additionally, quite a few NJ suburban residents are employed in Jersey City. Without Jersey City, there would be less State income to fund their hometown schools and Jersey City schools.





Sorry, your math is wrong. First the county not city sets the tax rate which is based on ratables. Nearly $3 billion is missing from the ratable base due to tax abatements. This means, the average taxpayer is paying higher taxes due to these missing ratables. If these ratables were included, then our taxes would be around $50.00 per thousand instead of $77 per thousand. Secondly, tax dollars are not paid to the schools from abatements. That is a fact. If the state reduces the funding no one living in tax abated building will have their rents or payment to the city increase to make up for missing state tax dollars.




Posted on: 2016/9/9 15:28
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Re: Will Jersey City and Hoboken ever lose Abbott District Status?
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Monroe wrote:
'Christie/Abbott' regime??

Christie wants Abbott to go away, no?


I was being a little facetious, but I think "Christie/Abbott regime" is a legitimate exaggeration.

Christie doesn't like Abbott (neither did Jon Corzine), but the state aid distribution is still dominated by NJ Supreme Court orders made in the 1990s.

Under Abbott, the Abbott districts were entitled to state aid that would bring their spending above what DFG I and J districts spending, meaning whatever Mountain Lakes, Livington, and Princeton spent, the Abbotts had to spend more than that. The NJ Supreme Court, quite literally, also said that Abbott unwillingness to pay higher taxes and Abbott inability to pay higher taxes, were the same thing, so the Abbotts all took a long tax increase holiday in the Abbott era and let the state pick up the slack.

Later, the Abbotts even got the right to get "supplemental funding" for whatever plausible educational project they could think of.

SFRA's passage in 2008 technically erased Abbott privileges for K-12 aid, but all their aid up to that point was grandfathered in.

In 2011 the NJ Supreme Court disallowed cuts to the Abbotts, but allowed cuts to all other districts. Christie obeyed this dictate and thus let the Abbott spending advantaged actually increase.

Aside from K-12 aid, the Abbotts also continue to have a monopoly on Pre-K and get 100% state construction funding.

So even though Christie doesn't like Abbott, he hasn't succeeded in changing the distribution. (nor has he really tried.)

What Christie has done since 2012-13 is flat-fund all districts, including ones getting way more than they need, like Asbury Park. Under Christie, the only thing that determines a district's aid is what it got the year before.

So I think speaking of a "Christie/Abbott regime" is a fair rhetorical flourish.


Posted on: 2016/9/9 14:25
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Re: Will Jersey City and Hoboken ever lose Abbott District Status?
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Yvonne wrote:
Hoboken has less than 3,000 kids enrolled in school, JC on the other hand has around 30,000. Hoboken has some tax abatements, JC on the other hand has one third of the properties under some sort of tax abatement, meaning no money goes to the local school system. Removing Abbot from Hoboken would be a hiccup, but removing Abbot in JC would be the loss of many homes and major cuts to the local school system. But our mayor and council first concern is for development, not the homeowner paying taxes.


People (including me) often talk about Hoboken and JC being districts that should lose state aid because they've become wealthier, but on close inspection there are big differences between Hoboken and JC.

1.
Hoboken is a ultra high-tax base rich district that gets K12 state aid like it's working class.

JC is a middle-tax base district that gets K12 state aid like it's a desperately poor, blightzone. (more below)

2. Hoboken's tax abatements have zero distortion on its state aid. Jersey City's tax abatements have a large distortion of its state aid. (more below)


K-12 Aid
I'm glad Yvonne mentioned that Hoboken has fewer than 3,000 students, because that fact combined with Hoboken's having over $13 billion in Equalized Valuation is why Hoboken should lose not only its Adjustment Aid, but all of its state aid.

In Local Fair Share, Hoboken has $67k per student. That's double what Millburn, Prinecton, and Paramus have.

If Hoboken lost its $5.5 million in Adjustment Aid the increase in its taxes would be imperceptible. Even if Hoboken lost all $10 million of its K-12 aid the increase would only be $600 for someone with a $1 million property.

And that $600 increase is assuming that Hoboken wouldn't make cuts. Hoboken now spends about $23,000 per student and it could make cuts before getting anywhere near core educational services. That poor owner of a $1 million condo in Hoboken might not see a $600 tax increase after all.

However, no one is talking about taking away Hoboken's Sped Aid, Transportation Aid, Security Aid, and Interdistrict Choice Aid. Thus, even if Sweeney's plan is passed and implemented, Hoboken will still get about $2000 per student.

Hoboken people sometimes defend Hoboken's state aid by saying that Hoboken's students don't represent the city at large. That might be true, but it's irrelevant, since Hoboken's tax base is so enormous.

Jersey City, on the other hand, is slightly below average in tax base, with about $10.2k per student (not counting PILOTed propety). Since Jersey City's students are much poorer than average (70% FRL eligible), the state calculates a high Adequacy Budget for JC of about $21,000 per student. If JerseyCity got exactly what SFRA's formulas recommend, it would get about $9200 per student.

$9200 per student is still pretty high, but what JC actually gets is $13,600 per student, which is almost as high as Paterson and Newark (who are both underaided)

Finally, it should be noted that JC might have 30,000 kids, but that's nto a lot in proportion to JC's population. Paterson is much smaller than JC but has almost as many kids and actually a greater number of FRL-eligible kids.

PILOTs

PILOTing only distorts state aid in a real way when a district gets Equalization Aid. Hoboken gets no Equalization Aid, so its PILOTing doesn't affect its state aid. The PILOTing hurts Hudson County, but not the state.

This is because Equalization Aid = Adequacy Budget - Local Fair Share

If a district's Local Fair Share exceeds its Adequacy Budget, it does not get Equalization Aid.

If the district's LFS exceeds Adequacy budget by 10%, 50%, or 300% it doesn't matter. The district still doesn't get Equalization Aid.

Hoboken's Local Fair Share is about $180 million. Its Adequacy Budget is about $46 million. So if Hoboken "hides" more wealth behind PILOTs it doesn't matter. Hoboken's Equalization Aid will be $0 no matter what.

Jersey City on the other hand, is much poorer than Hoboken and would get well over $200 million in Equalization Aid even if SFRA were properly run. Every time JC PILOTs something it hides the wealth from the formula for state aid and sustains a level of aid that is not justified based on JC's real wealth.


Posted on: 2016/9/9 14:16
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Re: Will Jersey City and Hoboken ever lose Abbott District Status?
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Not paying for local schools is misleading. Abatement property owners do pay local taxes/contribute local revenue which supports municipal expenditures, including its schools. If they did not pay, then the City would not be able to pay for its schools, police, fire, etc. PILOT and prop tax revenue are commingled funds.

While Jersey City's schools are heavily State funded, the City does spend quite a bit on low income housing. Those outside the city may cry foul about Abbott Funding, but they should look at themselves in the mirror when it comes to the lack of affordable housing they spend within their town. That is, they may pay for Abbott, but save $ with their NIMBY lack of low income housing spending.

Additionally, quite a few NJ suburban residents are employed in Jersey City. Without Jersey City, there would be less State income to fund their hometown schools and Jersey City schools.






Posted on: 2016/9/9 13:09
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Re: Will Jersey City and Hoboken ever lose Abbott District Status?
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Hoboken has less than 3,000 kids enrolled in school, JC on the other hand has around 30,000. Hoboken has some tax abatements, JC on the other hand has one third of the properties under some sort of tax abatement, meaning no money goes to the local school system. Removing Abbot from Hoboken would be a hiccup, but removing Abbot in JC would be the loss of many homes and major cuts to the local school system. But our mayor and council first concern is for development, not the homeowner paying taxes.

Posted on: 2016/9/9 11:02
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