OK, get out your homework from last night.
New Jersey State Senate leader Steve Sweeney thinks with Jersey City doing nothing but taking money from the rest of the state being an Abbott District since forever and should start paying for our own schools with the abatements Mayor Fulop can't stop giving out (One coming next week).
Mayor Fulop, via spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill disagrees (vehemently):
"While it took the senate president a week to write this letter and forward it to the press, the mayor is more than happy to debate (the) senate president on this at any time, without him being surrounded by an army of staff to draft memos," Morrill said.
To wit, this response from Sweeney's people:
Sweeney spokesman Richard McGrath said the letter "must have hit a nerve to elicit such a defensive reaction."
Itchy and Scratchy, using surrogates in the battle for who is the second most self-important Democrat behind likely nominee for governor Phil Murphy, are however battling over a serious issue. Let's dig down.
Mayor Fulop has never met an abatement he wouldn't support. His developer friends are getting rich while we the taxpayers pay more. Always plenty of do-re-mi for ridiculous, short-sighted and unnecessary abatements but none for Jersey City to put forward to supporting itself school-wise. Sweeney knows this is a winning issue around New Jersey. Fulop (and apparently Morrill) will be playing defense. This issue really nags outstate. JC gets all the new building and give money (and loans) to developers but refuse (over many mayors) to get off the state school teat.
Last September Mayor Fulop said he'd be open to some kind of revenue sharing but certainly not as much as the 5% Bayonne just put in place for similar deals. Trouble is Fulop won't give any concrete numbers as to what he's open to. Another way to stall, like he's done with the re-val, he simply does not want accountability to to truly make Jersey City a first class city by paying for our own schools, you know, something really important.
We hope that Bayonne's 5% PILOT money plan or something like it becomes state law.
Last word and salience from Jersey Journal reporter Terrence T. McDonald:
Last year Jersey City's PILOT program took in $127,800,476 from tax-abated properties. If all these properties were taxed conventionally, the total would be $211,967,791.