New Jersey Governor Chris Christie today launched the Fairness Formula website, www.nj.gov/taxrelief, encouraging people to take simple online action to help lower their nation-high property taxes. Yesterday, the Governor announced his proposal to ensure equal funding for all New Jersey students and to provide hundreds and thousands of dollars in annual property tax savings for the vast majority of families throughout the state.
“For far too long, New Jersey residents have been so overburdened by property taxes, their families have been divided as grandparents and college graduates are forced to live in affordable states,” said Governor Christie. “The biggest driver of New Jersey’s nation-high property taxes is the ineffective and unfair state school funding formula. Today, we should all come together to finally lower property taxes and save students from being trapped failing schools.”
This interactive website contains five tabbed sections: Inequity in NJ Schools; The Fairness Formula; NJ Property Tax By the Numbers; Your Property Taxes, a tool which provides residents with their maximum potential property tax savings and; Join the Movement, a call to action for New Jerseyans to help lower their property taxes.
Governor Christie’s Fairness Formula is an equal per-pupil funding plan that would provide tax fairness for all residents and better public education for every New Jersey student. Under the formula, the state would provide equal funding, meaning each public school district would receive $6,599 per enrolled student, while continuing aid for special needs students.
Graduation rates prove that educational success cannot be bought with excessive spending by a select few chronically failing school districts, which have received billions more in state taxpayer dollars over the past three decades than hundreds of successful school districts. The statewide graduation rate is 90%, with 27 of the 31 Abbott districts falling below that average.
The current school funding formula allows failing school districts to spend as much as $33,699 per pupil in tax dollars, while high-performing school districts spend less than half of that per student.
Since taking office, one of Governor Christie’s highest priorities has been to protect taxpayers and create property tax equity for all New Jerseyans. Under Governor Christie, property tax increases have been capped under 2%, having averaged an increase of just 1.9% per year. New Jersey property taxes had increased 70% in the decade of Democrat governors who preceded Governor Christie.