Jersey City, We Have A Problem.

JSQ Student Count - Scale VisualJersey City has been estimating the cost of its abatements incorrectly for at least eight years, and the impact to conventional taxpayers could amount to millions of dollars.

Here’s the problem: Jersey City has been under-counting the number of (a) residents and (b) public school students that will eventually live in each abated building.  The City has been using demographic estimates from the early 1990s instead of updating its estimates – as it should have done – in 2006 when a new demographic report was published by Rutgers University’s Bloustein School of Planning & Public Policy (“the Bloustein School”).  [The Bloustein School has not updated its report, thus the 2006 report remains the most recently available estimates.]

For example, the “JSQ 2” tower – one of three market rate rental buildings that will sit adjacent to JSQ PATH – was approved in November 2013 with only three public school students estimated to live in the building.  If updated estimates had been used, the number would have been closer to sixty-eight.  Each student carries a per-year cost of $3,005, thus the total impact to the City is approximately $195,000 in abatement cost that the City did not recognize when it approved the abatement.

Abatements have increased from 3% of our City budget in 1991 to  21% of the budget in 2013; there are 151 PILOTs listed in the 2014 City Budget.  They have been used since the early 1990s to help incentivize developers to build in Jersey City.  

To gauge the financial impact of this problem, I analyzed five abatements approved since July 2013 and found⁠1:

  • A total error of $1.2 million in incorrect cost estimates
  • Four out of the five abatements were shown to be a net-cost to the City if updated estimates were used.

Abatements are neither “all-bad” nor “all-good.”  When used appropriately, they can be beneficial for the City in alleviating blight.  But this error suggests our City leadership is neither in control of, nor aware of, the full scope of its own abatement processes.

Let’s get civic and break it down.

Jersey City: Dramatically Changed Since Early 1990s

Jersey City demographics are markedly different in 2014 versus the early 1990s.  More people live here, and more students attend our public schools.

In the early 1990s, much of the downtown waterfront residential property was not yet built, the light rail system did not exist, and the public schools did not yet have free Pre-K3 and Pre-K4 (free preK began in 1997-1998 with the Abbott V decision).  Since 1998, free preK has been an economic incentive for parents to stay in Jersey City at least through preK4 because in most of NJ – including neighboring, competing suburbs like Maplewood, South Orange, and Millburn – parents must pay for preschool.

Jersey City in 2014 is also larger than it was in the early 1990s.  US Census data shows the City’s population has grown 11% from 1990 to 2010.  The school district’s recently released demographic reports reveal that public school enrollment is expected to increase by 25% by 2017-2018, almost all in Prek through Grade 5. (see link, page 8, 16).

The City’s Error

Since the 1970s, the Center of Urban Policy Research at Rutgers University’s Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy has been publishing reports that help cities estimate the number of people who will live in residential buildings.  The most recent report was published in 2006. The City should have been using this updated report, but it hasn’t been; instead, the City has continued to use demographic assumptions from the early 1990s.  This has resulted in under-estimates of the residents and public school students who will live in abated buildings.

Members of the City Tax Office explained that they lack authority to change the estimates.  Further, they explained that while the City used to have a staff person dedicated exclusively to the abatement process, that person is no longer with the City.  The process now falls on individuals who must split their time between abatements and their existing duties.

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Click to enlarge

The City’s Hidden Expense is the Developer’s Hidden Gain

Generally speaking, if the number of residents and students is kept erroneously low, then the cost of the abatement is effectively at a discount to the developer. His profit margin will be higher because he is able to charge 2014 rents on a building that was purchased based on early 1990s cost estimates.

But if you increase your demographic estimates to reflect the upward growth in people and students, then the abatement becomes more expensive.  The developer then has to pay more in PILOT and administrative fees to cover the costs, and that will necessitate him to charge higher rents OR cut into the profit margin on the building. But the City benefits, because its cost estimates are more accurate, thus it is less likely to have net-negative abatements in the City Budget.

A Complex Problem, A Meaningful Solution

I believe it would be irresponsible and a further compounding of error to blame this problem on a single politician, Council body, or city office for many reasons, including:

  • The reality is that these abatements were approved over many years, through legal, democratic process.
  • The abatements were drafted by the tax office, reviewed by city administration officials, heralded as necessary by successive Mayors in office, and approved by successive City Councils.
  • Every approved abatement went through two City Council votes and the public had its right to scrutinize during each final vote.  Only a small fraction of the public has actually protested these abatements on a regular basis; the majority of the City is simply not tuned into this issue.
  • The people of Jersey City were put on notice years ago that abatements were problematic.  In 2009, New Jersey Policy Perspective released a report warning taxpayers about the flaws of abatements, and the report specifically called out Jersey City as a repeat abatement offender.   In 2010, NJ Comptroller A. Matthew Boxer released a report that also detailed the problems, highlighting many of the same issues as NJPP.  Both reports offered remedial steps.

The easy political “out” is for the City to simply adjust the multipliers and say “we fixed it.”  But this would not truly fix the problem; it would simply be a band-aid on top of a gushing wound.  A much broader, more comprehensive fix is required.

Here are some of my suggestions on what the public can do to help fix this problem:

  • Call for a moratorium on all abatements until a review of the abatement process can be performed by an independent party AND the public fully informed as to the results and outcomes of the review.  Some officials claim this will “freeze” development but any stall in development should be measured against the risk of approving flawed abatements that have multi-decade impact on the City and unfairly burden conventional taxpayers.
  • Call for greater transparency around abatements, including the digitization of all abatement data and town hall discussions on this topic.  Partnering with local community groups like Civic JC, Open JC, and Sustainable JC would likely advance this goal.
  • Call for the City to engage in a productive partnership with the Jersey City Board of Education (BOE) so that the City can fully understand the demands, dynamics, and future trends of our public school system.
  • Call for City Council members to read and consider the remedial suggestions offered by NJ Comptroller Boxer in his 2010 report, “A Programmatic Examination of Tax Abatements.
  • Call for City Council members to petition the Bloustein School to update its 2006 report, so that the City can use more current demographic estimates.
  • Finally, it is absolutely crucial that we support City Council members who are willing to abstain or vote against these abatements until the public can be given plain English explanations around each abatement.

Jersey City government contact information can be found here.

Post Script:

I raised my concerns to the City on May 8th, prior to publishing this article.  At the May 14th City Council meeting, a 20-year downtown abatement was up for a second ordinance (final) vote. At the meeting, I was informed by Mr. David Donnelly, an administration official who attends the Council meetings on behalf of the administration, that the estimates had been corrected.  Here are the details:

  • The City’s original estimate based on the early 1990s methodology was 1.5 students.
  • The 2006 Bloustein report stated the estimate should have been 20 students.
  • Mr. Donnelly stated that the City’s corrected number was 12 students.

When I asked if the City could present a documented methodology justifying the lowering of the 2006 estimates from 20 students to 12 students, I was told such a document did not exist.

During public comment I asked the Council to consider the fact that estimates were being changed last minute without any written documentation as to the justification or accuracy of the new estimates.  The Council ended up approving the abatement by vote of 6-3 (Lavarro, Osborne, and Yun voted against it).


1. Using documents obtained by the City tax office and the Rutgers University’s Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, I compared each abatement’s cost using 1990s assumptions versus 2006 assumptions.  My analysis and supporting documentation can be found in electronic format here.

My sincere thanks to the Jersey City Tax Office, who helped me understand this issue.


  1. Lorenzo RichardsonMay 20, 2014

    This is eye opening and reveals what many of us have been saying about abatements for years…they do not benefit the city, they benefit the investors of these development projects.

  2. Peter O'RMay 20, 2014

    That is quite interesting information about the census. However, the means you estimate the cost of abatements and reasoning is incongruent. The economic analysis is quite flawed. With a C.P.A. and M.B.A. education, you should know better.

    First, regarding, “The City’s Hidden Expense is the Developer’s Hidden Gain” – an abatement is a financial incentive for a firm to invest in the development of property. Without the abatement, the developer ‘s expected rate or return will be unacceptably low. The developer will instead invest in say Newark or New York City. The city offers the developer an abatement because it also provides the city benefits. The most obvious being more tax revenue. That is it is mutually beneficial to both parties. If the abatement was not beneficial to the city, it would not voluntarily offer it.

    How you calculate the “hidden cost”, i.e. education is flawed. The city does not spend $x per child in the Jersey City Public School District (JCPS). Instead, it provides an amount to the JCPS that is appropriated by the city council. Student head count may (very indirectly) influence the city’s spending for the JCPS, but it does not drive it. Historically, this has not been the case.

    However, NJS DoE and federal government spending on the JCPS is quite determined by student head count. That is, for each student enrolled in the JCPS, it receives $x per student. This is a gross oversimplification of the school funding formula. The important takeway point is that the state and federal government school funding formula’s greatest influence is student head count. For Jersey City municipal spending, not so.

    Since JCPS receives about 85-90% of its funding from the NJS DoE and federal government, this is an important detail. So how does this relate to local tax abatements?

    The accounting for tax abatements should focus on: marginal cost (MC) and marginal revenue (MR). For instance, if 68 new students are enrolled in the JCPS, the marginal revenue from the state & federal governments will be roughly $17,000 or more per student. I’ll argue that the marginal RE VENUE is greater than the marginal cost of enrolling these students – and by a significant margin.

    The school district will be better off fiscally with the 68 newly enrolled JSQ 2 tower students, than without. And this is still true even if the city does not contribute any additional $ on their behalf. Why? Because marginal revenue > marginal cost.

    As for city infrastructure, it is less clear if the tax abatement’s marginal revenue exceeds its marginal costs due to a lack of available information. That is will the abated building’s residents use more municipal resources than it pays for (e.g. sewer, trash removal, fire, police, etc). If you were able to vet that information out, and use marginal accounting, that would be a much better approach.

    1. brigdsouzaMay 20, 2014

      Peter – Thanks for your comments.

      1. What proof do you have that developers *need* abatements to build in Jersey City at some profit margin that makes their investment worthwhile? I’d love an objective opinion from a bank that does not have a financial interest on this issue.

      2. What’s the profit margin for an average developer? This would inform the argument about #1 above. If you have this information documented, I’d be interested to learn more.

      3. Why should a PILOT-ed building not contribute to the school tax levy the same as a conventional taxpayer? It’s a simple question and I’d be interested in your answer. We can scrape away a lot of the complexity and just focus on this question as a starting point re: the schools piece of this entire issue.

      4. Your analysis of the school funding is something I morally disagree with, frankly. State aid is meant to provide parity funding with other districts. So when Jersey City allows middle to upper-middle class residents to move into abated building yet those residents do *not* have to pay a school tax, the state aid is being warped from its intended purpose. Further, to suggest that a child may yield *profit* to the City because “MR” from the state > “MC” for what it costs to educate a chid is just wrong in my opinion. It’s warping state aid intentions.

      5. Not sure if you realize that I took the City’s analysis (not my own) and just updated the assumptions. Re: a ‘better way to analyze an abatement’ – I suggest you raise that with the Mayor or members of City Council. What I’m highlighting in this post is the official analysis on record, and if individual Council members are using the MC approach, then it should be put on record and transparent to all citizens.

      The biggest problem with abatements, in my opinion, is that politicians (and citizens too) over-complicate the issues and throw red herrings into the mix to confuse people. There are some basic questions we need to anchor around, in my opinion, which include:

      1. Why is the City using an outdated work paper from the 1990s and why is the City using assumptions from the early 1990s? This is dysfunctional and demonstrates a lack of oversight.
      2. Why are wealthier residents who can afford to move into market-rate, abated buildings not paying into the school tax simply because they are in an abated building?
      3. Why is abatement data not more transparent?
      4. If abatements are truly so necessary for places like 1st and Marin, why is a clear financial analysis not presented to the public showing that the “but for” argument is valid?
      5. How is it that City Council members can approve abatements when they know 3 kids in a 700-unit building (JSQ 2) is an absurd estimate?

      1. Peter O'RMay 21, 2014

        I was just commenting about the tax abatement and local school funding. Focused and intently limited scope. Whether abatements are needed, what is an acceptable profit margin, among the other issues you raise are all important concerns. They are worthy of their own discussion.

        The general baseline question I have, and it will depend on the details of each respective abatement contract, are the resident of the property sufficiently paying for the services they consume?

        1. brigdsouzaMay 21, 2014

          Peter – no, the abatements are not covering the municipal costs either. If you’re interested in the details, you can see the files at the link which is provided at the bottom of the post. I can talk you through it if you’d like, which is simple to understand once you’re oriented to the files.

          1. Peter O'RJune 10, 2014

            Per your suggestion, I consulted footnote #1 at the bottom of this webpage. Specifically, per the Fiscal Impact Statements from Jersey City Tax office, it indicates a net SURPLUS for 7 of the abated properties listed and a zero balance for the eight. Yes, there is a caveat.

            Your concern with those calculations is that it is using outdated census information. That is using information that is less favorable as in under-counting the # of students living in each residence. In turn, that may understate the expenditures for the new population of residents. No doubt that is a very valid concern.

            Note: I assume the tax office is correctly using “Public School Children (PSC)” in its calculation and not “School Aged Children (SAC)”, which includes private school enrollees.

            However, the same concern I stated before applies to the Jersey City Tax office’s calculations. They use a “classic average costing approach”. The keyword here is “average”.

            Using average cost does not tell a compelling story. Marginal cost does and it is much more credible. It is understandable why they would use average cost, as the information is readily available and is easy to calculate.

            To calculate marginal cost requires a lot more work than the simple arithmetic used. That requires much more work to perform; a big undertaking. Using marginal cost (and revenue) calculations is the proper way to perform an economic analysis of real estate abatements.

            I’m not convinced whether abated properties yield a net cost or surplus (i.e. marginal revenue is greater than marginal cost) for the city. I assert such because I do not see compelling numerical evidence (yet). That information is publicly lacking; it would be a good reason to commission a formal economic study.

            I would *speculate* that currently the marginal cost of new abatements is below average cost. (Again, it is not apparent if marginal cost exceeds marginal revenue) That is, as a resident of Jersey City, looking at things qualitatively, nothing immediately slaps me in the face as evidence that new residents are putting undue stress on local government services. My visual barometer may be off, but that’s my opinion.

          2. brigdsouzaJune 10, 2014

            Peter – Yes, the City is currently stating a surplus exists with each abatement. That is how they justify the abatement. However, if you adjust assumptions, the surplus becomes a deficit. That’s the core idea conveyed in my post. The City is on record with this assumptions error, per the May 14th Council meeting (David Donnelly admitted the City had been using incorrect demographic multipliers).

            The lack of clarity which you speak to in the remainder of your comment (“I’m not convinced whether abated properties yield a net cost or surplus”) points, in my opinion, to deficiencies with the current process.

            Re: the City’s current cost methodology vs. marginal cost methodology vs. any other methodology – there may be merits to various methodologies, I don’t disagree with your general point there, however the City needs, in my opinion, to take the lead and be transparent about what methodology works best, why it is optimal, and then explain in layman’s terms to the public why each abatement is justified going forward.

            As of right now, there is only one methodology on record. Therefore it is the *only* methodology that really matters. Since the City alone can drive this conversation forward, may I suggest you take this up with the Council directly at this point, since you seem to have proactive interest in this alternate methodology of marginal cost vs. averaging. THere are resources out there to aid you, like Open Jersey City, who you can partner with as you work with the City Council. The more feedback from the community, the better in my opinion. The key is that it all be transparent so that we can move together with consensus on such an important issue.

            Thanks so much for taking the time to comment.

    2. Sangeeta RanadeMay 21, 2014

      i’m concerned about the way you characterized the school funding formula. It’s very complicated and I would suggest you set up a meeting with the Business Administrator in the School District or someone from the DOE- I can get you a contact. You have been given wrong information about how it works. Our funding has 3 components
      – federal aid which is targeted towards specific programs and cannot be moved to cover costs outside of a very specific area of focus. This is funding that gets affected by things like the sequester and we have seen a consistent decline in this funding. In the past 3 years it has gone down by more than 20%
      – state aid- there is a per child component for PreK that is $12,840. All children K-12 are funded based on the previous year and it is a flat amount. It does not fluctuate with headcount. Charter school funding is per child and passes through the District, but traditional public school funding has been held flat from the State in the past 2 years and we expect it to be flat for the next 3 years. This means that our per child funding is going down y ear on y ear because we are a growing school district. This year we had 1000 more students than last year and we expect an additional 1600 students in the fall.
      – local tax levy- this is an absolute amount that can be increased no more than 2% from the previous year. If we raise this levy then it falls disproportionately on property owners across the City except the waterfront. It could be interpreted as a regressive tax.

      The District has been aggressively cost cutting. Last year we cut $30,000,000 from our budget (see the powerpoint presentation given at the budget hearing on the jcboe website), but we have to do more. I won’t complain about our resources because we have to live within the world we have, but you have mischaracterized how our budget works and the impact that abatements have on this City. We can’t just assume that an abatement benefits all of Jersey City. There are plenty of sensible ways to calculate if the economic growth generated by an abatement outweighs the costs, but I haven’t seen an analysis that shows the benefits. What Brigid did was take the City’s formula and use the updated multipliers. New development increases demand for public services. That cannot and should not be disputed. The question is how are we going to manage this. Every person living in Jersey City deserves a good school and we have a lot of work to do to make this happen, but underestimating how many children we will have in the school system doesn’t help the discussion or allow for effective planning.

      Brigid has done a service by combing through all of this data and you’re both reasonable people that want to get to a defensible answer so I’m not sure why you question her CPA or MBA. Don’t attack her credibility just because you don’t agree with her message.

      1. Peter O'RMay 21, 2014

        You are correct. There’s no disagreement here. School funding at the federal and state level is complex. Yes, my writing was a gross oversimplification to purposefully avoid a lengthy writing on the subject which is also getting off the original subject.

        However, the fact is their funding formulas are largely driven by census/student enrollment data. This is true for the JCPS, as a whole (in addition to PreK & Charter), with the NJ DoE’s District Factor Groups (DFG) and Socio-Economic Status (SES) school funding components to provide “remedy aid”. The state & fed have cut local educational spending, but it is effectively a reduced payout on a per student basis. Again, this is a gross simplification, but an accurate assertion to drive home the point relevant to tax abatements.

        I’m not intimately familiar with the JSQ 2 tower’s abatement details. It may be a bad deal for Jersey City, i.e. MR MC). Keep in mind without the new enrollees, state and federal funding would be further reduced. All this is notably from the perspective of Jersey City residents.
        For the rest of the State (outside of other Abbott districts) and federal taxpayers, they would disagree. While they heavily subsidize the JCPS district, local tax abatements have been used in the past to plug gaps in the municipal budget. The state and federal funding do not account for (penalize) local abatements given. With that, it is no small wonder why the city continues such practice. And with good reason as it is completely rational; there’s no incentive to cut back this local practice from the perspective of local education.

        One thing that has clearly changed for the better with the abatements is that they are shorter in duration. Couple that with more fiscal responsibility by the new Mayor and City Council, they are now being used more for its intended purpose, to promote economic development.

        And like the complex funding formula for NJS taxpayers subsidizing JCPS education, another lengthy discussion is surely whether tax abatements are fair to non-abated property owners.

        1. brigdsouzaMay 21, 2014

          What is your basis for this statement: “One thing that has clearly changed for the better with the abatements is that they are shorter in duration. Couple that with more fiscal responsibility by the new Mayor and City Council, they are now being used more for its intended purpose, to promote economic development.”

          Six abatements have been approved since July 2013 (excluding 272 Grove amendment and Salem Lafayette affordable housing). Two of the six were downtown, each for 20 years. I don’t understand the justification for abatements in downtown. Also, I’m wondering if there is a fact-based case that can be made for them, versus assertions made by politicians or developers, which seems to be the only basis for the claim “abatements are needed.” And by “fact-based case” I mean an independent financial analysis from a non-interested bank or lending institution.

      2. stateaidguySeptember 3, 2015

        You are wrong, Pre-K does depend on headcount and Jersey City has been getting another $3 million a year for the past few years. Other Abbotts that have lost Pre-K population have actually seen drops in Pre-K money.

    3. Daniel LevinJune 4, 2014

      Peter, how can you make these statements – “Without the abatement, the developer ‘s expected rate or return will be unacceptably low.” and “That is it is mutually beneficial to both parties. If the abatement was not beneficial to the city, it would not voluntarily offer it.” Not only are these statements completely subjective and ignores history, but Brigid has done a good job of proving false (what common sense already tells us.)

  3. JPhurstMay 20, 2014

    I’m looking at the chart on page 89 of the study, Northern Jersey/Public School Children. I get 67 and change if you calculate using “all values.” If this is luxury housing, however, and you calculate using above median values, the number of students is 29. 616 studio & 1 bedroom * 0.037 = 22.792. 84 2-3 bedroom * 0.078 = 6.552 22.792 + 6.552 = 29.344.

    Also, these charts combine own and rent. I suspect luxury rental would have slightly lower numbers though that is just intuition.

    1. brigdsouzaMay 20, 2014

      Joshua – thanks for this, appreciate the comparison. Yes, the assumptions of school-aged children attending public school are *lower* given *higher* income; that is implied in the report’s numbers as you’re pointing out. I think your point is valid – the numbers can change depending on if you assume the “Above Median,” “Below Median,” or “All Values” option is selected. I chose “All Values” because it was in the middle of Above/Below Median Income and there is no data to support one vs. the other (which there should be if one is to be selected, IMO).

      Also, just FYI, the appropriate multipliers are the “Statewide,” not the “Northern NJ”. See page 7 of the report, which instructs which set of multipliers apply to which housing types. “Larger (5+ Units) Multifamily – Rent” are noted as being “Statewide”-specific. All the developments I noted in my article are rentals. If you use the Statewide multipliers, they are a bit higher than the northern NJ ones (page 52 of report):
      Studio & 1-BR:
      All Values: 0.060
      Below Median: 0.069
      Above Median: 0.051
      All Values: 0.275
      Below Median: 0.432
      Above Median: 0.115
      All Values: 0.832
      Below Median: 1.103
      Above Median: 0.560
      I’m honestly not sure why the statewide are higher than northern NJ. Or why 5+ units rentals require statewide assumptions. It would be great to get the Rutgers people up to JC for an abatement forum to discuss all of this.

  4. JPhurstMay 20, 2014

    I’m not sure that page 7 declares what is an “appropriate” chart to use. The study does point out that in some areas data has to be combined at the regional level in order to have a large enough statistical size.

    As for choosing all values, that is a fair choice, but a subjective one that influences the outcome. “Market Rate” does not necessarily mean “Above Median” (and the study explicitly makes that disclaimer) but given that these are being marketed as luxury housing I think it’s probably more accurate.

  5. JPhurstMay 22, 2014

    The other question. How has this actually played out? How many public school students actually come from the abated properties? The school district cannot violate student’s privacy, but they should have the addresses of each student and, without publishing individually identifying information, be able to determine how many students from abated properties are in the school system.

    1. Sangeeta RanadeMay 22, 2014

      This is a great question and has been raised by many Board Members. Brigid- if you have a list of abated properties that finished construction more than 3 years ago then I will ask the District if they can run the numbers. I ask for ones that finished more than 3 years ago because presumably they are fully occupied now.

      1. brigdsouzaMay 22, 2014

        Open Jersey City ( has created a dataset of abatements. It’s a cobbled-together list, but is vetted to include ordinance #, abatement term, and some other qualifiers. This should suffice as a good starting point:…click on the blue “Explore” button to download or get a preview of the data.

        Sangeeta I’ll message this to you to ensure you have it.

        BTW – this is a great example of what makes Open JC such a fantastic community organization and resource. Please check them out if you’re not familiar with them. They are leading open government, open data efforts in Jersey City.

      2. JPhurstMay 23, 2014

        They are all individually listed in the budget. That is pages 51-58 in the 2014 introduced budget.

  6. Robert StillmanAugust 26, 2014

    Nice post, Brigid. It is impressive that you not only recognize the problem but have a solution. Sort of rare this day in age.

    For anyone reading this and considering a move to this area, know that the quality of life is really great and the schools are excellent. While there are clearly issues that need to be addressed and resolved, it is possible for your children to have great educational experiences.

    In addition to the great schools are charming boutiques, interesting restaurants, great views, parks and transportation in every direction. To learn more about apartments for rent in jersey city, nj visit Newport Rentals. They have a number of units, with various floor plans and amenities, that are all located in downtown Jersey City. The lifestyle can’t be beat.

    1. brigdsouzaAugust 28, 2014

      Robert – thanks for your comment. I think it’s important for anyone reading this to realize that “great schools” in Newport really means expensive private schools. Newport has no public school. Newport is zoned to PS 37 in Hamilton Park, so parents have to traverse the mall which means walking through or around the mall (a 20 minute walk across two very busy commuter streets) or driving around the Holland Tunnel/Route 78 (to the north) or around the mall (to the south).

      I agree Newport is an exceptional type of living experience (I’m a former renter and condo owner in Newport). The amenities are indeed excellent; from snow removal and street cleaning to the holiday season decorations. But Newport has its drawbacks; it is cut off from the rest of the City with the mall to the west and office buildings to the south. And it’s expensive, which anyone who does a bit of price-comparisons along the downtown waterfront will quickly realize.

      For families who want the convenience of a large rental building, but also want a neighborhood that is near PATH/ferry stops and also integrated with the rest of the City, I’d recommend checking out Grove Street area and Paulus Hook areas. Lots of comparable options.

      If Newport were to gain a public school, it’s value as a neighborhood would increase *markedly* in my opinion.

  7. stateaidguySeptember 3, 2015

    Jersey City’s student population growth has been relatively modest to negative. In 2006-07 JC had 32,000 students. Now it has 33,717. Compare this to districts like West Orange and South Orange-Maplewood, which have grown by 10% and 15% respectively and both get LESS aid than they got then. Whereas since 2006 Jersey City has gotten another $35 million for K-12 opex alone.

    If you want comprehensive data review this. JC’s student pop has fallen by almost 1% since 2009.

    1. Brigid D'SouzaSeptember 4, 2015

      Thank you for your comment. I’ll definitely take a look at the numbers you referenced. This post used a ground-up demographic study commissioned by the Jersey City Board of Education, so its numbers looking forward are I think valid. Particularly given the tremendous growth we’re currently seeing in Jersey City. Many assumptions are obviously at work, but the school enrollment is going up in PreK through Grade 5.

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