How long a school bus ride would you make your kid take to save on property taxes?
Property taxes in poll after poll is the number one concern for New Jersey residents. The mayor of Newtown in Sussex County has an idea. Wayne Levante is backing the idea of a Sussex County-wide school district. Yes, one school district that covers the entire county. This NJ.com article details it, but basically Levante says the county being home to 25 separate school districts is wasting money by being top heavy with too much administration. Backers believe up to $9 million a year could be saved by reducing administrative costs.
While the system would lead to job losses for administrators (that's what it's designed to do) Levante doesn't believe it would necessarily eliminate teaching positions, although he could see educators being transferred to other schools or even other municipalities within the county-wide district.
This made me wonder how consolidation efforts in the rest of New Jersey might change things for students. Sussex County for example is experiencing declining enrollment. What if your part of New Jersey could consolidate school districts but as a result your child would have to be on a bus for 50 minutes to attend a more distant school rather than a 12 minute bus ride? Would that be worth it for a reduction in your property taxes? Something clearly has to give with our runaway property taxes but any change will bring about certain sacrifices. Would you be willing to send your kids to a farther school building and spend double or triple the amount of time on a bus every day if it meant a real decrease in your property tax? Take or poll below.