Would you support merging municipalities and schools?

From the Home News Tribune:

Majority in poll would link towns

A majority of state residents say they are willing to merge municipalities and school districts to cut local property taxes, a new poll shows.

They say they might even accept higher state income taxes.

But there’s a catch: they want to see huge cuts in property taxes: 50 percent.

The new poll by Monmouth University/Gannett New Jersey newspapers shows residents are willing to support dramatic changes in government and taxation.

For example, 7 in 10 respondents would support the combining of municipalities or the creation of countywide school districts to cut property taxes in half.

But if the savings is just 25 percent, support drops to about 6 in 10.

Cut the savings to 10 percent, and fewer than 4 in 10 would support such mergers.

Ray Kulberda, a Republican from Franklin Township, said he supported school mergers if it could cut property tax bills by 10 percent. “You know they can merge the school systems. I’m in favor of one school district per county. Right now our superintendent is the highest paid superintendent in Somerset County — he’s up close to $200,000 a yer plus perks,” said Kulberda.

But Kulberda was cool to the so-called SMART bill, which supporters say would issue the equivalent of a 50 percent tax credit to every homeowner and renter by raising the income tax on residents earning $50,000 a year.

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10 Responses to Would you support merging municipalities and schools?

  1. James Bednar says:

    From the Courier Post Online:

    State school funding may increase

    Lawmakers are focusing their efforts toward lowering property taxes, but they could be on the path to spending more on schools.

    After a hearing of the state panel on school funding, co-chairman Assemblyman Herb Conaway, D-Burlington City, said preliminary Department of Education numbers presented Tuesday on the costs of an “adequate” education seem to indicate more state aid is necessary, not less.

    He wouldn’t explicitly say that should translate to income or sales tax increases, but was insistent that more dollars must be found.

    “There’s not a big mystery here,” Conaway said.

    Later, Senate President Richard J. Codey, D-West Orange, hinted that selling an asset could be an alternative, ruling out sales or income tax increases. As governor, he had hinted at selling the New Jersey Turnpike

  2. James Bednar says:

    From the Press of Atlantic City:

    State panel debates cost of education

    Is $8,500 per year enough to educate the average public school student in New Jersey?
    The variety of responses to that proposal at a state hearing Tuesday offered a glimpse of why developing a new funding formula for state school aid is harder than a question on the state high school math exam.

    Like Goldilocks rummaging through the three bears’ house, state legislators examining how the state’s 600 public school districts operate speculated that some spend too much and some spend too little.

    But, there is still no agreement on what might be just right.

    The state Department of Education took a stab at it Tuesday, offering an overview of more than two years of work in determining just what a basic education should cost.

    Using two different methods, the report suggested a base cost of about $8,000 per student in K-8 districts and almost $8,500 per year in K-12 districts. That amount does not include extra money for students with disabilities, limited English or other special needs which could add thousands of dollars to that figure.
    The report also included little data on how the state arrived at those numbers, leaving legislators to speculate on their relevance even as a Nov. 15 deadline for a new formula looms.

  3. Lindsey says:

    I didn’t read the article.

    The answer is yes.

  4. Lindsey says:

    OK, I read the the post (but not the full article) and the answer is still yes.

    I would say yes all the way down to a statewide savings of 8 cents. OK, even lower.

    The need to reduce the number of people who can put their hand in your pocket is great. Simply put, decrease the number of hands and you have a better chance of saving money.

  5. AngryNJ says:

    As long as there is NO increase in income tax and NO increase in sales tax, I say yes. Otherwise I say no.

  6. UnRealtor says:

    No to merging. Maplewood and South Orange share schools. Bad experiment.

    But I’ll support cutting state employees off who receive pensions fom several jobs. And I’ll also support state-level spending cuts, and eliminating pork and waste.

  7. njresident286 says:

    the reason this will never happen is that no one who paid 800,000 for a house in montville and currently paying 13k a year in taxes will want to merge with Lincoln Park. When one of the main selling points of a home is the school district it is in, people will have a hard time with shared services when they have a mortgage with that premium already priced in.

  8. Andra says:

    I’m very wary of this. It’ll be a way to raise taxes. Right now, I pay too much per student to educate the kids in Hunterdon County; I don’t want to hear that the same kind of funding is a necessity for all kids in the County and then in a couple years, in the whole state.

  9. NNJ propaganda says:

    Yea OK like our taxes are going down.. Not sure if this link has been posted before, but it sure is sobering.. If you want change vote out all of the incumbents State and Federal regardless of your party affiliation and lets start fresh.

    We don’t deserve to be exploited by our elected officials…
    Example= State Senator Henry P. MacNamara (R) District 40 .. Bergen and Passaic Counties.. This guy is 72 years old with 20 years of service…Time to go!!!!! Oh forgot he was also a Freeloader in 1984… Please retire!! NJ needs term limits!!!!


  10. BuyNextYear says:

    Perhaps merging schools from different townships will knock down the prices of some of the townships with over-priced homes.

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