Consolidation

The big talk coming out of the committees charged with reforming New Jersey’s property tax mess is to consolidate school districts and municipalities. But on Reporters Roundtable Friday Michael Aron indicated that most are looking at about $300 million saved from such consolidation, if it happens at all. The reporters seem to doubt whether it can actually happen.

I’ll never complain about saving $300 million, but that is not reforming a $20 billion property tax system.

And before we jump in the consolidation plan, Cape May Point, NJ would like you to consider the effect of forcing it to join Cape May City or Lower Township will have on its taxes. This is a community that has a 2.6¢ rate per $100 of assessed value for school taxes. That is correct: $26.44 in school taxes on a house assessed at $100,000. It is willing to pay full tuition for all the students it sends to neighboring districts.

As we noted previously, Cape May pays so much for its education that each student could attend The Lawrenceville School (long ago, I turned down their offer, ha!) and the city would save money rather than send the students to Lower Cape May Regional High School.

Dear reader, consolidation is not reform. Remember that as the same politicians who have spent your tax dollars and created the mess we are in try to convince you to consolidate services.

Governor Corzine is leading the charge. He wants to leverage the $600 million dollars he is collecting through taxing you an extra penny on each purchase you make into $7 billion to spread out to municipalities. At best, the state will save $300 million. How much will the vig interest on the $7 billion loan be?

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3 thoughts on “Consolidation”

  1. So, to these politicians “consolidation” = property tax reform? Perfect. Their plan is that we citizens and our local municipalities will make all the accommodations, all the compromises, all the sacrifices, exercise all the flexibility, give up a share of our sovereignity and local powers in order to solve the problem of runaway property taxes. And the state and county governments plan to do…precisely what? “Supervise” our accommodations, our sacrifices, our compromises? Throw us cookies of enticement…cookies that we had baked ourselves?

    What I want, what I demand, is for the state and county governments themselves to make all the economical consolidations, all the accommodations, all the compromises, all the sacrifices, give up some of their assumed power and sovereignity, to my benefit. They made this mess! And we are paying them to fix it, not to throw it back onto our backs!

  2. No one knows how much money consolidation will save because it hasn’t been done yet. Lots of people guess at an amount, or guess it will cost more, but these are just guesses until some towns actually consolidate, and we can measure the results. I say pick five towns, abolish them, wait five years and then measure the result. In fact, abolish cape May point just because its farthest away from everybody else.

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