Proposals Unveiled

From NJ.com:

Panel unveils proposals to help reduce property taxes
By Tom Hester

One of four special joint legislative committees given the task of recommending ways to cut New Jersey property taxes has come up with a dozen proposals that focus on cutting school costs, encouraging shared services, and shifting the day of school board and fire district elections.

Sen. Bob Smith (D-Middlesex) co-chairman of the Committee on Government Consolidation and Shared Services, said that when the panel goes on the road to hold hearings on property taxes, he wants the public to react to specific proposals and not just complain about high taxes.

“I want them to focus on ideas, what they are willing to live with,” Smith said. “Are they willing to have lesser government? Are they willing to give up boutique government, especially if they have a chance to vote on it. They need to understand they are part of the problem. We have met the enemy and they are us.”

The package includes four bills related to creating either a single countywide school district or a “super” county schools superintendent. The bills would place purchasing, human services, curriculum, and contract negotiations at the county level.

Four other proposals involve having towns and school districts consolidate or share the cost of public services or consolidating. Of the four, three would encourage the action with promises of state aid, and one would create a state board that would mandate it.

Two other bills would move school board elections from April, and fire district elections from February, to the November general election to promote more voter participation. One of the two remaining proposals would call for a statewide referendum on moving the municipal responsibilities of tax assessment, health inspections, and animal care to the county level. The other would mandate more public disclosure of school budget information.

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One Response to Proposals Unveiled

  1. Andra says:

    Businesses do audits and hire consultants to study their systems and assess what works and what doesn’t work. Schools don’t seem to ever do that because their main function is daycare, really. I’ve said it here several times that my pet peeve is required foreign language instruction because its not one kid in a hundred who learns anything. But it doesn’t matter because the real reason they’re in school is to keep them off the streets and out of their parents’ hair.

    It’ll take the baby boom generation getting older and not having kids in school to demand that the politicians not take our money from us and throw it away on nonsense as though OUR lives have no value. Within the next 10 years, there will be a push back against all the stupid rhetoric about how we have to “invest” in order to make sure every child fulfills his or her potential, blah blah blah.

    I went to my 30th high school reunion about 10 years ago and there were only about 30 people there out of a class of 150 (it was just a picnic). But a lot of people still knew others from the class and it was so nice to here about so many of my classmates having done so well in life. These were kids from – at best – lower middle class families, maybe more like upper lower class. Mostly, they hadn’t done so well in high school gradewise. Theres something we’re missing about human nature and motivation, something that educators and education bureaucrats absolutely do not understand but they get to take our money and spend it unwisely.

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