"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, October 05, 2006

“Let Them Pull the Trigger”

Now that it should be apparent county school consolidation will not produce meaningful savings and therefore, property tax reductions, Governor Jon Corzine has come up with a new reason for the money grab – “diversity”.

He said consolidation to make government more efficient could produce "a more natural sharing of both responsibilities and mixing of our children."
A “natural sharing” of resposniblities is defined as higher taxes for those already paying the lion’s share at federal, state and local levels. The “mixing of our children’ concept is thrown in there to lay the ground work for calling anyone who opposes this power and money grab a racist. Nice try, but the race card has been overplayed.

Expert after expert has testified before state property tax committees that county school consolidation would not bring about meaningful cost reductions and might well increase costs. As we have repeatedly pointed out - the 31 Abbott school districts already have the advantages cited by the champions of county school consolidation – from centralized administration to transportation. Yet, the 31 Abbott school districts spend an average of 30 percent more per student as compared to the rest of the state.

For example, taken as a total, Somerset County school districts are much less costly and more efficient than the Newark school district on every measure. Newark’s average cost per student is 39 percent higher and administrative costs are 65 percent greater than Somerset County’s.

Democrats aren’t willing to admit where the inefficiencies are occurring in New Jersey’s education system even though the evidence is overwhelming. The state’s Abbott school districts are the definition of wasteful and inefficient – pathetic student achievement while spending more than any other schools, not just in the state, but in the entire country.

The Abbotts are gobbling up 56 percent of school property tax relief while accounting for just 22 percent of the state’s student population. State income tax revenue, funds that may only be used for property tax relief, has increased 61 percent since 2003. Yet, property tax relief has not increased for all but the Abbotts and a few other special cases. Inequitable allocation of property tax relief is one of the major problems that must be solved if we want meaningful property tax reductions.

Democrats know these facts, but are looking to keep the gravy train rolling under the pretext of “property tax reform” and now “diversity”. They’ve tapped out state taxes so it’s on to the local governments they don’t control and the big jackpot – property tax revenue. Just think what the politicians and their buddies could do with control of 21 consolidated county school districts and $20 billion in property taxes. Sen. Bob Smith (D-Middlesex), co-chairman of the Joint Legislative Committee on Government Consolidation said:

"Put the decision in the hands of the citizens and let them pull the trigger."
The tax eaters - urban voters and public employee union members – are itching to pull that trigger. Tax shifting, by way of bribes or at the point of a gun, will not reduce property taxes. It’s time for taxpayers to disarm these Mafia-like dons and their band of thieves. Hold politicians accountable for the waste, fraud and abuse of taxpayer dollars in the urban centers - then watch your property and state tax bills decline.


At 2:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should write this up, in a consolidated blog entry, and try for an Instapundit.com link.

You need to make as much noise about this as possible.

At 8:43 AM, Blogger John Pangia said...

You can spend all the money you want, spend it anywhere you want, but you hit the nail on the head when you said "it’s up to the students, with encouragement from their parents",

Population is fluid, there's always been a 'wrong side of the tracks', and the line of the tracks keeps moving. At it's core, quality of life has more to do with what happens 'in' the home, not where the home is located.

On some streets in South Philadelphia, the row homes have white marble steps. At one time homeowners would scrub those steps till they shined. Now you can't see the steps because of the garbage piled around them. Sections of Camden, NJ, used to be considered 'genteel', steeped in Victorian architecture, fronted with intricate craftsmanship, enough to inspire the poet Walt Whitman when he lived there. It's still around if you can manage to look past the grime.

The 'tony' neighborhoods of today could well be on the wrong side of the tracks tomorrow. It happens all the time, everywhere. Conversely, downtrodden blocks somehow get reborn, empty factories become urban lofts, and it never has anything to do with government spending. Just take a look at the 'projects' in any major city if you think that's not the case. They just take poverty off the street corner and move it to the 14th floor, which changes nothing about the home environment behind all those doors.

John Pangia at Exit 4

At 9:29 AM, Anonymous Victor said...

No doubt, the writer is completely right.


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