PATERSON - The mayor of Paterson says it's time that Passaic County take on more of the city's financial burden as the county seat.
Mayor Jeffery Jones says county buildings, including the courthouse, jail and Passaic County Community College are tax-exempt, but would amount to $5.7 million a year in tax revenue.
"If they were on the tax roll, if I got 5 percent, my burden to the taxpayer would be less," Jones says. "Two percent would make it less."
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The city of Paterson paid the county $45 million in taxes in 2013, yet the average household income in Paterson is $30,000.
As county seat, Paterson businesses benefit from people coming in to use courthouse or college, and Jones says the burden is unfair.
The mayor says when he sends that bill to the county freeholders, he expects a conversation to start.
"It needs to be real," he says. "They'll need to do some assessments. They'll probably offer that they're not obligated to do anything more, or legally they can't."
For that reason, Jones wants state legislators in on the conversation.
Jones made the announcement one week before a re-election bid in which he will face six other candidates.