NUTLEY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – It looks like students in Nutley, New Jersey will have to keep attending classes in trailers now that residents voted against a school spending plan.
As CBS2’s Cindy Hsu reported, it’s business as usual for students at Nutley public schools, which means overcrowding will continue and the trailers behind several schools will still be needed in order to deal with the lack of space.
At Nutley High School, physical education classes will continue in hallways.
Irene Beyer voted ‘yes’ for the $70 million referendum to improve the schools and was not happy when it was voted down.
“I was surprised and disappointed,” she told Hsu. “My granddaughter is in junior high and she was also excited about it.”
David Churchill also voted ‘yes,’ and was excited about the proposed changes.
“Where there are trailers – taking the trailers out, adding the additional space for more classrooms. I heard there’s going to be more technology in the middle and high school,” he said.
But the referendum would have increase property taxes in a county that already pays the highest rate in the state. With an average property tax bill of nearly $11,000, the referendum would have added another $300 to the bill.
Denise Sallette says she voted ‘no.’
“As a single mom of three girls, it’s hard enough. And if those taxes keep going up, I won’t be able to live in this town anymore,” she said.
Some residents told Hsu that what’s happening in Washington, D.C. with tax reform figured into how they voted.
“Absolutely, because that would be part of the whole entire package of increased taxes across the board,” said Nachor Alvarez.
Joseph Liu says asking for $70 million was out of bounds.
“Coming down with a little lower proposal like $30 million, or something,” he said. “But $70 million is a little bit too much.”
As for the vote, 44 percent said ‘yes’ and 55 percent voted ‘no.’
So for now, the trailers aren’t going anywhere.