Every municipality must pay for services that are then consumed by its residents. These services include: Police force (eg the JCPD) Fire department Road maintenance for city roads (a note on roads...in Jersey City, Ocean Avenue, Eerie Street, and Manhattan Avenue are city roads, thus they are maintained with city funds...however JFK Boulevard is a...Continue reading
Every municipality is funded by a mix of income streams, including: Property taxes (everyone pays property tax...you either pay it directly if you're a property owner, or you pay it to your landlord. Your rent includes the cost of property tax) State Aid Local Revenues - these are user-fee income streams like marriage licenses, pet...Continue reading
This is a guest post from Jersey City resident and mortgage industry professional Susan Kulakowski. Susan reached out to me after reading my last post, “Property Revaluation 501: Mapping & Color Coding Jersey City Home Sales by Assessment-Sales Ratio.” She analyzed the map’s underlying data and provided a ward-specific lens into the upcoming property revaluation. She offered...Continue reading
This post is part of an ongoing series about property revaluation in Jersey City. I partnered with CivicJC to create an interactive map to help residents visualize 2015 property sales in Jersey City and their corresponding taxes. Recent property sales are informing because they are used as a proxy for market value when establishing the city’s annual equalization ratio. Click here to...Continue reading
This is part of an ongoing series about property revaluation in Jersey City. Note: this post presumes an understanding of the equalization ratio, which I previously wrote about in “Property Revaluation 101: the Equalization Ratio.” With Jersey City officials recently announcing that they would finally move forward with a property revaluation, a common question has emerged: “is my home currently under-assessed,...Continue reading
This is part of an ongoing series about property revaluation in Jersey City. Please note, an update given new state tax data reported in 2017: the 2016 equalized tax rate is reported to be 1.86%. This is the best predictor of what the new tax rate will be, post-Revaluation. I’ve been asked by a few people: “How...Continue reading
This is part of an ongoing series about property revaluation in Jersey City. In my last post, I explained how Jersey City’s low equalization ratio was a cause for revaluation. The reason: when a city’s equalization ratio is low, its market values have grown out of sync with its assessed values, and that opens the door to potential tax...Continue reading
This the first post in a series about property revaluation in Jersey City. Jersey City has been growing at a breakneck speed for the past fifteen years. As a city grows, it is required to stop along the way and revalue its real estate. This process is termed “revaluation.” Revaluation is about ensuring that tax assessed values –...Continue reading
This is my 2nd article in a series about property taxes in Jersey City. The 1st article, “Jersey City Rising,” is available here. The General tax rate in Jersey City has increased 67% over the past seventeen years, from 4.46 in 1998 to 7.43 in 2014. Over this time period, there has been no City-wide revaluation, so this...
Jersey City is a community on the rise. In the past ten years, dozens of new buildings have risen towards the sky along the waterfront, more residents are moving in, and public school enrollment is on the upswing. But as buildings, residents, and school enrollments have risen, so too have property taxes; for the average Jersey City...Continue reading
I sent this letter to the City Council members this morning. If you live in Jersey City and have similar concerns about funding variable interest rates, please feel free to copy/paste this letter and send from your own email account, or call your Council reps. Contact info is provided below the letter. Background on Open Letter On August...Continue reading
Jersey City currently rents office space at several locations other than City Hall for a total of about $2.7 million per year. To cut costs and give residents a single location (other than City Hall) to access services, the City wants to create a City Hall Annex (“the Annex”). A key question has become: how much money should the City pay for the new space?...Continue reading
On Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 7:30pm, the Hamilton Park Neighborhood Association (HPNA) will host Mayor Steven Fulop for Q&A during their monthly meeting. One issue likely to be discussed is the community building at 180 9th Street — aka “the Cordero Annex” or “the former Golden Door Charter School.” The building has been the subject of contention in recent months due to...Continue reading
Jersey 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...Continue reading
The post below – originally published in November 2013 on my other blog – is a primer for an upcoming article that will show how the “Bright & Varick micro units” are now sitting squarely at the intersection of public schools, taxes, and abatements in Jersey City. Stay tuned as we connect the dots in Jersey City… The “Bright &...Continue reading
Last night at 6pm, inside Martin Luther King, Jr. (PS 11) school on Bergen Avenue, three new members of Jersey City’s Board of Education (“BOE”) and one incumbent member were sworn into office. The Board of Education is the governing body over the City’s 35+ public schools, which serve more than 28,000 students each year on...Continue reading
This letter was emailed to the Mayor and all nine City Council members on December 26, 2013 at 11:04am. Date: December 26, 2013 From: Brigid D’Souza, Yoo Lee, Matt Schoenfeld Subject: Concerns Regarding Basic Life Support (“BLS”) Emergency Medical Services (“EMS”) Contract To: Mayor and...
The Jersey Journal reported on Friday, December 13, 2013 that Mayor Fulop and his administration want to change Jersey City’s EMS provider. I wrote a separate blog post here that goes into more background about both providers. The Jersey City Medical Center (JCMC) is the current EMS provider, and their current contract expires on December 31,...Continue reading
I often hear friends say “I don’t understand Twitter…” and then list a litany of reasons of why Twitter stinks. But if you live in Jersey City, then here is one reason you should use Twitter: to follow Jersey Journal reporter Terrence McDonald. Twitter is a tool, like anything else. You may not have much to...Continue reading
The genesis of CivicParent.org…. I live in Jersey City and on November 14, 2013 I learned that Mayor Fulop’s first abatement – the 3 towers planned for Journal Square – would not include dedicated funding for Jersey City public schools. I also learned that five City Council members, all of whom were Fulop-endorsed candidates, approved...