Tonight’s City Council Meeting on the Payroll Tax/School Funding

Dear PS16 Parents,

If you are planning to attend tonight’s City Council meeting about the Payroll Tax, that will take place at 6PM at City Hall, please find some helpful instructions and background information below.

For those coming with kids tonight (from Brigid D’Souza on Facebook):

  • We’ve got some amazing community support to help keep the kids engaged in what might be (for some at least) their first civic action! Check out the signs that Amy Wilson (local resident, artist, and art professor in NYC) is contributing – pictures are below! There is a “Thanksgiving” theme but kids will also be able to make their own signs, and write letters to Council about what their schools mean to them.
  • A core parent team will be onsite at 5:45pm – keep an eye out for us when you arrive. We’ll help direct you to the Kid Friendly Zone where there’ll be opportunity to do arts & crafts, create their own signs, and get some onsite lessons in civics. Kids are encouraged to participate in the Council Chambers, but just be forewarned: the Council President & City Clerk will not permit running or lots of noise — so parents/caregivers just FYI.
  • The meeting will officially begin between 6pm and 6:15pm. The public speaking portion related to the payroll tax may not begin until 6:45 at the earliest. So — there may be a wait time. Lots of listening opportunity for kids & adults alike.
  • When the ordinance comes up, it’s a “wait in line” process. It’ll be evident once it starts. No need to call ahead to speak.

Below is the background information about the Payroll Tax, and the dialogue around it – compiled by https://jerseycityed.com/

Jersey City Council Meeting – Tuesday, November 20, 2018 – Payroll

Tonight at the Jersey City Council meeting, the Payroll Tax proposal is on the agenda and open to public comment. There is no doubt that there will be both strong support and opposition to this new proposed tax on all private employers’ payrolls of non-Jersey City residents (the tax is not levied on individual employee’s wages). The tax revenues are intended to support the budget gap that Jersey City Public Schools face as the State of New Jersey begins to withdraw the funding that has long supported the city’s public schools.

For more information, check out the following links:

Mayor Steven Fulop has expressed his support on social media, saying:

  • 1% is a small tax, which will be shouldered by large companies like Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan
  • Newark and NYC have payroll taxes, which would mitigate any negative impact to Jersey City’s competitiveness
  • Small businesses hire locally, and there is an exemption for businesses that have Jersey City resident employees
  • Jersey City schools are underfunded by $150m
  • The payroll tax would help to avoid a 35% increase in property taxes
  • The payroll tax would help to avoid significant layoffs of Jersey City Public Schools faculty and staff

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