Wednesday, April 22, 2009

NJ Schools Can't Economize

Yesterday, New Jersey Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman, a member of the Senate Education Committee, criticized the Corzine Administration’s policy that forbids local boards of education from lowering school taxes even if they are able to find savings in the school budget.
“I find it extremely disturbing that on a day when the entire state is voting on school budgets, which account for more than 60 percent of property taxes, that in many cases, the vote of the people won’t count,” Bateman stated. “This policy implemented by the Corzine Administration flies in the face of common sense.”
Published reports indicate that Lake Como and Pemberton Borough were able to find ways to cut costs and lower the tax burden on property taxpayers. In both instances, the Corzine Administration stepped in and forced the towns to maintain taxes at least last years level. Both districts are non-operating districts that send students to larger school districts.
“Countless other school may have refused to cut taxes for fear of running afoul of the law,” Bateman continued. “In these difficult economic times, with unemployment going through the roof, the State of New Jersey should be helping school districts save money. Instead, the Attorney General is suing districts to bar tax cuts; this is an absolutely ridiculous policy. This is undemocratic and undermines the fundamental principles on which this country was founded. Legislation is being drafted to correct this serious problem. I will work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure that this situation is fixed as quickly as possible.”

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