From the Home News Tribune:
Majority in poll would link towns
By JASON METHOD
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.