BRICK TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Some New Jersey residents may soon face a tax increase.
A bill waiting for Gov. Phil Murphy’s signature would allow some school districts to hike property taxes to help pay for education, CBS2’s Meg Baker reported Wednesday.READ MORE: Reports: Mets Closing In On Multi-Year Deal With Ace Max Scherzer
The Brick Township Council meeting on Tuesday was packed with concerned parents, CBS2’s Meg Baker reported Wednesday.
“I wonder if she is going to survive in a classroom as one of 30-plus kids. Or is she gonna fall through the crack?” Melissa Munnings said.
The district is set to lose more than $2 million in state aid next year and a total of $22 million over seven years. Local leaders are calling it catastrophic loss and filed a lawsuit against the state.
“So, in government everything is supposed to be out in the open, it’s supposed to be transparent. So, of course, we requested the formula to be able to plug in our numbers that we have to make sure there’s not some type of mathematical error, to see why are we getting cut. Why are we being treated so much differently,” Brick Mayor John G. Ducey said.
Herbertsville Elementary School is set to close at the end of the school year.
“Resulted in a loss of 40 positions with class sizes of 30 or more in many of our elementary schools,” Brick Schools Superintendent Sean Cranston said.Dr. Fauci Says He 'Would Not Be Surprised' If Omicron COVID Variant Is Already In U.S.
But Senate President Stephen Sweeney said the new funding formula is all about fairness, adding many districts are receiving more money now and some districts were overfunded for years.
“They were not raising taxes locally since they had additional state funding that they were not entitled to. Many schools districts were getting funding for children they didn’t have in the buildings,” Sweeney said.
About 200 districts are impacted by the cuts, and now a bill sitting on Gov. Murphy’s desk would allow 40 of the districts hit the hardest to raise local property taxes above the state’s existing 2 percent cap to make up for losses.
“What we’re trying to is give school the districts that weren’t being responsible at the time because they thought the funding was going to last forever, a chance to adjust their school districts,” Sweeney said.
However, Brick Township said it would have to raise taxes 19 percent, which would cost homeowners more than $1,000 a year. Republican leaders said it would make the state even more unaffordable.
“We should constrain costs, have more transparency. We shouldn’t be forcing tax increases or allowing tax increases because the state of New Jersey is getting the wrong school funding approach,” state Sen. Thomas Kean said.
The governor’s office said Murphy has not made a decision on signing the bill, but he has vocally opposed it in the past.MORE NEWS: New York State Trooper Injured After Being Struck By Vehicle On RFK Bridge
Other districts in our area facing tough state funding cuts include Jersey City, Englewood and Lakewood.