New Jersey Taxpayer Hell Story #1,835,412
This is how property tax relief through school consolidation has worked out for those communities:
When Central Regional was created, the towns agreed that it would be funded on pupil enrollment, or per-pupil funding. But when the Legislature revised the school-funding laws in 1975 requiring the conversion of all regional district tax levies to be apportioned based on the equalized value of real estate, it evolved to the point where Seaside Park was paying $51,500 per pupil during the 2005-2006 school year while the other towns in the district paid an average of $10,000 or less per pupil.This is exactly why Democrats are pushing for the consolidation of schools into 21 county school districts. Their plan offers no actual savings, but would ratchet-up property taxes for some and produce “property tax relief” for others. The county plan would consolidate the political power of the purse into the hands of 21 Governor appointed county school superintendents. The first step was taken with the introduction of two bills in the state’s legislature - A-4 and S-10.
The state’s income tax was created in 1975 to provide “property tax relief” through state aid to school districts. You can see how well school consolidation and the state’s income tax have worked out for the people of Seaside Park, Seaside Heights and Island Heights - communities that voted overwhelmingly to break from Central Regional. These taxpayers are trapped.
The state forced Seaside Park taxpayers to bear a disproportionate portion of the burden to educate the students of the district. One count claims that by virtue of the number of Berkeley's registered voters — 30,975 — Berkeley has "absolute power to block the attempts of any of the other constituent districts seeking withdrawal from, or dissolution of, Central Regional, as well as the power to block any attempt to change the apportionment method."As a last resort, the people of Seaside Park are asking a Superior Court judge “to compel state Education Commissioner Lucille E. Davy to dissolve the Central Regional School District, permit Seaside Park to withdraw from it or change the district's funding formula”.
"It's unfortunate that they are pursuing it after it was voted down," said Central Regional School District Superintendent David Trethaway.“The people have spoken – make the other guy pay!” Tyranny of the majority in action. Seaside Park property taxpayers are shelling out $51,500 per student while another town in the same school distinct pays only $5,500 per pupil. Care to guess which one? We’ll give you a hint.
Berkeley Mayor Jason J. Varano said, “I feel they're just wasting the school administration's time and money when they are supposed to be concentrating on providing our students with the best education possible."Spending someone else’s money - isn’t it great!
We wish the taxpayers luck with their lawsuit, but history has shown New Jersey’s courts to have a decidedly anti-taxpayer bias. The only way out of this taxpayer hell is to move.