Newark North Ward Councilman Anibal Ramos Jr. is sponsoring legislation that would provide relief to city residents to offset a property tax hike called for in the city’s school budget.
The measure, which is scheduled to be voted on Wednesday (May 4), urges the administration of the City of Newark to ensure that the proceeds from any Newark Public School building sold through the Newark Housing Authority in 2016 and 2017 be used to offset the increase in the tax levy for the state-controlled school system.
Although the city’s state-controlled school district’s budget increased only slightly, the city’s contribution to the budget increased by more than 10 percent, which would increase the school portion of the tax bill by as much as 6 percent.
Part of the reason for the increase was a $72 million deficit left by former Superintendent Cami Anderson.
In February, Newark Schools Superintendent Christopher Cerf unveiled a plan to sell 12 Newark Public School properties, including 10 schools through the Newark Housing Authority.
At the time, Cerf said all proceeds from any eventual sale would go to the district's capital improvement fund. However, the resolution, if passed by the City Council, would ensure the money is used for tax relief.
“Taxes are going up because of poor decisions on the part of the state officials who run our school district,” Ramos said. “Our taxpayers should not have to suffer because of that. This resolution provides the tax relief that our citizens deserve.”