New Jersey councilman urges state to create local 1% income tax to help fund $1 billion school budget

On Thursday, Jersey City Bergen-Lafayette Councilman Frank Gilmore began encouraging the state to investigate the possibility of creating a local income tax of as much as 1 percent in order to assist in funding the $973.8 million Jersey City school budget.

Gilmore announced his plan that afternoon to set forward a resolution at the upcoming April 13 city council meeting. Gilmore is looking to determine the amount of revenue that could be generated by instituting the tax.

“The reality is that our schools have to be properly funded in order to function,” he said last week to The Jersey Journal, pointing to the uphill battle to fill the gap as state aid lessens every year.

“You can’t keep overburdening the homeowners by constantly increasing their taxes, so we are trying to create a mechanism where everyone is shouldering the burden of funding our schools.” 

He added, “We are not looking to tax people who are essentially financially challenged, but we are looking to generate some funds that would go specifically to our schools.”

Gilmore continued on to say that he plans to reach out to Hudson County state legislators in order to push a bill that would let the city impose the tax measure. 

While JCPS Interim Superintendent Norma Fernandez noted that she does not have knowledge of Gilmore’s plan, she did say she knows “from the schools perspective that we need a steady revenue and funds we can count on year after year. We need the resources.”

In his Thursday announcement, Gilmore continued, “The unfortunate reality is that Jersey City’s youth are not a top priority for Trenton’s leadership. What’s being asked for is a tool that reinvests local economic growth into our youth and makes Jersey City public schools financially sustainable.” 




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