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School board members blast Paterson for owing $20 million in tax money | Paterson Times

School board members blast Paterson for owing $20 million in tax money

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The municipal government is six months in arrears in transferring collected tax dollars to the school district.

School officials said the city is late in paying $20 million to the district. The city collects $41.5 million from property owners on behalf of the school district.

“They are six months behind, but we still have to pay our bills,” said school board vice president Nakima Redmon. “It’s not fair to us. We still have to operate as a business to pay our bills on time. We’re suffering.”

Business administrator Richard Matthews said the city’s lack of payments has created cashflow problems for the district. Matthews said he met with municipal business administrator Vaughn McKoy and finance director Marge Cherone in late February to find a solution to the perennial problem.

The city gave him a six months payment plan, said Matthews. He said the plan was for the city to pay three months in March, but the district only received one month’s payment.

Matthews said a second meeting is scheduled for Mar. 22.

The municipal government has always been late in paying the school district. For example, in Mar. 2018, the city was six months late in paying the school district.

“That’s just straight irresponsible to be six months behind in payment. And frankly unacceptable,” said school board member Manny Martinez.

“We need our money. Right now, we’re operating in the red,” said Redmon.

“Can we charge them interest on that money that they owe us? Because if I were behind on paying my sewer bill, they’re going to charge me interest on that,” said school board member Joel Ramirez.

“We haven’t charged interest, but we can charge them interest,” replied Matthews.

“Something needs to happen. We need to do something and make them respect us,” said Ramirez.

Municipal officials said it’s less about respect and more about the city’s own fiscal problems. For example, the city is waiting on the state government to provide $33 million to balance its own budget.

The city is nine months into the fiscal year.

Mayor Andre Sayegh said the city is getting its transitional aid. Once it receives the funds it will make payments to the school district.

Municipal officials have told Matthews the city will become up-to-date on payments in May.

“Are we paying all our bills on time?” asked longtime school board member Jonathan Hodges.

“Yes. By law we have to pay within 60 days,” replied Matthews.

Hodges cautioned the district in going after the municipal government.

“You want to be circumspect when you go after the city. We’re in the same boat that they are,” said Hodges. “Money to help close their budget comes from the state and they don’t get their money on time.”

Email: jay@patersontimes.com

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  • Unc

    The Mayor spend that money and he should be in Jail for playing games with City funds!!!

    • bigron

      Yeah, he spent it on your mother. Got her stuffed for a night of hardcore boning.

      • Unc

        He couldn't handle my Moms, She'd kill em!! LMFAO Sucker

        • bigron

          Kill him with hot passion? Heard he told her he was the mayor and heard her leather panties drop.

          • Unc

            Shes waiting for you to get off his dick!

          • bigron

            Touche.

      • Dominick Perez

        Don't slander people.

  • ana

    The City collected the funds from the Taxpayers. The Mayor is supposed to pass the taxes collected to the BOE, not to use it for something else. That's misappropiating funds which is illegal. #StopCorruption

  • Dominick Perez

    It's funny how these thieves somehow think it's "their" money lol

  • SamiAm

    Every mayor we have is crooked the Paterson police I caught one Paterson cop sleeping in the car why there was a guy with a gun try to shoot someone on Mcbryde Avenue cops don't come until after

  • Miss jamaica

    BOE members this is not how this is to be handled. I hope you all can communicate better between each other. Reading this article make me wonder what really going on. The tone of the conversation sound caddy.
    Any outstanding money owe is usually pay
    Every municipality gets funding around the same time usually the new fiscal year.

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