"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance

 and a people who mean to be their own governors

 must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."

Thursday, July 13, 2006

On Lowering New Jersey Property Taxes

Advocates want quicker action on lowering property taxes. The only way to reduce property taxes is to reduce spending and provide a more equitable distribution of New Jersey State property tax relief in the form of school and municipal aid.

Property taxes in New Jersey exceed $18 billion. Choose whatever percentage you’d like to reduce your property taxes, multiply by that $18 billion, and you’ll have the number of billions by which the state would need to raise taxes to reduce property taxes. Raising state taxes to reduce local property taxes is a losing proposition. (See History of New Jersey Property Tax Relief)

Now consider the facts:

New Jersey spends 57 percent more per public student than the national average.

New Jersey’s 31* Abbott school districts spend 30 percent more per student as compared to the rest of state. Average per-pupil spending in New Jersey school districts is $11,056. Abbott districts average $14,287, led by Asbury Park's $18,893.

In 1998, the Abbott* average cost per pupil was $8,438, the state’s average cost per student was $7,979. By 2006, the average Abbott cost had grown 69 percent, to $14,287.

Abbott districts have spent at these high levels without any requirement to raise their local levy [property taxes] beyond the amount raised in 1998. That has resulted in significant increases in per pupil spending in Abbott districts without any corresponding increase in local property taxes [in the Abbott districts].
The 31* Abbott school districts will receive over 56% of property tax relief (state aid) for public schools in 2007 and yet make up only 25 percent of New Jersey’s public school enrollment.

Without cost containment and an equitable distribution of state property tax relief, taxes will continue to soar.

* Thirty-one of the state’s 566 municipalities are designated as “Abbott” for the purposes of “property tax relief” related to education aid and “needy” for the purposes of “property tax relief” related to all other municipal aid. The 31 municipalities designated as “Abbott” and “needy” were not subjected to the zero growth in state “property tax relief”, as other had the rest of the state for the past four years.



5 Comments:

At 8:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your bang on the right topic. Until the Abbott spending is corrected there is little chance of tax relief in this state.

 
At 9:37 PM, Blogger Mr. Apropos said...

I think it is unwise to dare a NJ politician to raise taxes by $18 billion. They may take you up on it. And, it would be "okay" because, you know, it would be "for the children!"

 
At 11:44 AM, Blogger Jack Grimes said...

Someone please clarify this for me..

If Income tax revenues must all go towards Municipal and School Aid, and income tax revenue is set to increase this year, then how can everyone's Municipal and School Aid have zero growth?

I can understand the Abbott districts getting increases that eat up the yearly revenue increase leaving all other districts with zero-growth.

But if the Abbotts are zero growth, then where does the increase go?

 
At 12:24 PM, Blogger Enlighten said...

The additional “property tax relief” goes to teacher pension and benefit costs from all local school districts including the Abbotts.

 
At 3:29 PM, Anonymous Ezra said...

The dude is totally right, and there is no suspicion.
site

 

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