Why Kim Guadagno’s property tax plan doesn’t address the real issue
I love Kim Guadagno. I love the idea of her as governor. I like her style, her strength, her political viewpoint, her personality and her commitment to fiscal responsibility.
Here’s my only problem with Kim: her idea for alleviating the property tax burden here in the state. And the reason I have a problem with it: It doesn’t address the real issue of why the problem exists.
The problem exists because the education funding formula here in this state is broken. Her idea of lowering our property taxes is to max out the education portion of your bill at 5% of your income. It sounds good, but doesn’t address why that part is so high to begin with.
The problem is that the NJEA is powerful enough to get more money than he system really needs. That’s not to say that teachers don’t deserve their pay, but for a number of reasons like bloated school administrations, too many districts and yes, retirement packages, it’s costing way too much per pupil to run our public school system.
She’s got the first part right; the idea that the education portion of your property tax bill is the problem, but let’s say we implement her idea of the 5% cap. That means that a family of four making a combined 100,000 income (which is just getting by in this state) still has the burden of $5000 of their property tax bill going to schools. That’s too much.
We need to look at other ways of funding education: Implementing a voucher system, eliminating layers of bureaucracy, consolidating districts, modifying pension and retirement packages and a charging a separate sales tax on children’s items are some good ideas that have been floated for lowering the hefty bill. Think about how much of that $5000 goes into actual “education” of our kids?
Although I realize this is something that a governor would have to go head to head with the union for, we need to lower these burdensome costs. Then, and only then will we see true property tax reform.
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