NJ Voters Need Information on School Construction Borrowing [AUDIO]
New Jersey voters would have all of the necessary information to make informed decisions on school construction borrowing under a new bill.
Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande has introduced legislation that would require school districts to include some basic financial information on a ballot question seeking voter approval to borrow for school construction.
"Ignorance is bliss until government's credit card hits you in the wallet," said Casagrande. "Property taxpayers should have a few pieces of basic information before deciding to go deeper in debt to make an investment in their schools."
On ballot questions, districts are currently required to list the total cost of the project, with a breakdown of state and local funding.
The legislation would require more detailed information for a clearer fiscal picture, including:
*Estimated impact on the average property taxpayer
*Total existing debt in the school district and municipality
*The project's square foot by dollar and pupil
An Educated Voter Is The Best Voter
"A taxpayer's responsibility to monitor government spending cannot be fulfilled if local officials deny the right to have basic information needed to make an informed decision," explained Casagrande. "You don't finance a new car without being aware of your personal budget situation and you shouldn't approve borrowing millions for a school project without similar knowledge."