(WEST ORANGE, OCTOBER 16) - Schundler For Governor Campaign Spokesman Tom Gallagher today issued the following statement:
“Jim McGreevey ought to take a page out of Sergeant Joe Friday’s book from ‘Dragnet’ and stick to just the facts.
“McGreevey’s Version: The state had to bail out Jersey City’s school district with $1.2 billion because Mayor Schundler declared Jersey City a ‘Distressed City.’
“The Facts: ‘Distressed City’ is a term used for cities that participate in the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs’ municipal aid program. The money earmarked for cities through this program DOES NOT go to the education systems of the cities. Further, Jersey City’s school district is controlled by the state government, not the Board of Education, not the municipal government of Jersey City and definitely not the mayor’s office. The state government took over control of Jersey City’s schools in 1989, three years before Bret Schundler even won his first mayoral election.
“As a legislator in Trenton, Jim McGreevey joined Governor Florio to raise taxes $2.8 billion per year and redistributed that money to the Abbott school districts, including Jersey City. But that wasn’t enough for Jim McGreevey. The man who claims to have the leadership qualities necessary to be Governor is nothing more than a machine politician who’s perfected the art of dealmaking. Jim McGreevey cast the deciding vote to extend the Quality Education Act, which was funded by the Florio/McGreevey tax increase, in exchange for a promise of more government aid to Woodbridge.
“McGreevey’s Version: The average residential property tax bill in Jersey City is more than twice that of the average property tax bill in Woodbridge.
“The Facts: The average residential property in Jersey City is a 2-3 family home while the average residential property in Woodbridge is a single-family house. Therefore, there should be no surprise that the average residential tax bill would be higher in Jersey City. Today, the tax levy is lower in Jersey City than it was when Bret Schundler first became mayor nearly ten years ago while the tax levy in Woodbridge is up 59% since Jim McGreevey became Woodbridge’s mayor at about the same time.
“Jim McGreevey statements about Jersey City are disingenuous and completely distort the truth. If you want your next Governor to play fast and loose with the numbers to cover his tax-hiking tracks, then meet your new best friend - Jim McGreevey.”