JERSEY CITY, N.J. (PIX11) – From The Heights to Downtown, Jersey City homeowners are paying the price.

On sites like Reddit and NextDoor, people have voiced their disdain for a sharp increase in their property taxes, which in some cases was thousands of dollars. 

Downtown Councilman James Solomon has heard from many of them in person.

“The one word I used to describe it was unacceptable,” said Solomon. 

The office of Mayor Steve Fulop said the increases were imposed by the Board of Education and not city administration. Their statement continued:

“In Jersey City, public schools have their own separate tax levy and Board of Education members are the only ones who decide the schools’ budget and increasing the school tax levy. In fact, taxes for many residents on the municipal side have either decreased or remained stable thanks to the Fulop Administration’s aggressive financial policies. When the BOE raised taxes by $1,000 in 2021 during the height of the pandemic, Mayor Fulop allocated one-time COVID relief funds to successfully offset the BOE’s massive tax hike. A year later, the schools raised taxes yet again in 2022, this time by $1,600 per average household. We share taxpayer’s frustrations and will continue to push the BOE for more accountability.”

Jersey City Public Schools Superintendent Norma Fernandez told PIX11 news in a statement:

“State Aid to the JCPS was reduced by $51 million this year. That brings the total lost revenue under the School Funding Reform Act S2 Legislation to over $276 million since 2018. The legislation has a formula for determining state aid based on income, ratables, and other factors. Jersey City’s valuation is high, and the state expects the city to contribute a fair share. As the chief school administrator, I must continue to advocate for all the children in the public and charter schools to have a thorough and efficient education as stipulated in the constitutional amendment that requires the state to provide maintenance and support for a system of free public schools for New Jersey’s children. The proposed budget solves the reduction in state funding, an increase of $38 million in contributions to charter schools, and an increase in salaries, benefits, materials, and supplies. Based on the current calculations, local taxpayers may see a reduction of $51 dollars a year.”

Solomon, who represents parts of Downtown, said the council voted 7 to 2 in favor of the budget late last year. Solomon was of the two who voted against it.

“In the last two years, Jersey City municipal taxes have gone up about 15% over two years,” said Solomon. “That’s too much.”

He said he believes other council members had qualms with the increase but felt they couldn’t delay passing the budget any further.

“I voted against the budget because I thought it was an unacceptable increase,” said Solomon. “But I’m going to work as hard as I can with everybody to spend everyone’s money responsibly and prevent future increases.”