Two candidates in the New Brunswick school board election are leading a charge to stop the city’s entrenched political machine from granting a multi-million dollar tax break to an out-of-state developer who wants to build a luxury apartment building without paying taxes to fund education.
Nancy Love and Jad Kaado are opposing the city government’s proposed tax exemption agreement on the grounds that it will hurt the finances of the school system.
Love and Kaado are two of the seven candidates who filed to run for the nine-member New Brunswick Board of Education (BOE) in the April 17 election. since the city’s voters approved the switch to an elected board in 2012.
“Instead of investing the city’s resources into luxury apartment developments, we should be investing in our schools because the children are our future,” said Jad Kaado, a lifelong N ew Brunswick resident who is running for Board of Education for the first time.
An ordinance authorizing the mayor to sign the proposed agreement is scheduled for a public hearing at Tuesday’s City Council meeting at 6:30pm in City Hall, located at 78 Bayard Street.
The two candidates are encouraging residents to attend and speak out against it.
Under traditional property taxes, the building’s owner would pay approximately $2.3 million per year, and roughly $900,000 of that would go to the city’s schools.
But if the “Long-Term Tax Exemption” proposed by the City Council is approved, the building’s owner would pay a discounted Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) for a 30-year period, saving about $700,000 per year and redistributing that payment so that none of it goes to the school system. The school district would still be responsible for educating any children who live there.
The company that would benefit from the discount is Landmark Properties, based in Athens, Georgia.
They have already received approval from the city’s Housing Authority and Planning Board to build the 21-story development, which will contain 186 apartments, 111 parking spaces, and 2,000 square feet of retail space.
“We need to be supporting New Brunswick businesses and New Brunswick schools, not wealthy out-of-state developers. This money could be used for more busing, more counselors, and for an expanded curriculum,” said Love, who is asking her opponents and the other members of the New Brunswick Board of Education to join her in opposing the tax break.
“I call on the Board of Education to join me in opposing the City Council’s decision because it will negatively impact our school community,” said Love.
For more information about Nancy and Jad, visit changefornewbrunswick.com
Previously, the board members were appointed by the city’s Mayor. Since the switch, only the establishment candidates have prevailed in the elections.
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