Shut up and fix NJ property taxes already! (Opinion)
An effort is underway to possibly hire researchers from Rutgers University to study how to reduce property taxes.
New Jersey has the highest in the nation and various election year gimmicks have been tried over the years to make it look like something is being done, but it never does much of anything.
It never will, as long as the NJEA has its iron grip on the Legislature and whoever is stupid and egomaniacal enough to run for governor of this state.
You don't need a study. You don't need to mail back $250 property tax "rebate checks." The Legislature knows they'll never do anything significant about property taxes here as long as over 70% of it goes to education. Nothing against teachers. Teachers are great. Yay teachers! But let's be honest, that's where most of the money is going in salaries, benefits and pensions. Until that changes, stop pretending you give a rat's @$$ about property taxes.
If you want to truly make property tax realistically affordable, take education funding out of it. Put the tax burden squarely where it belongs: people who have kids. How fair is it that an 85-year-old couple who haven't had, or maybe never did have, kids in public school in 65 years, lose their house over unaffordable taxes? Or the struggling person or couple who doesn't have children pay for a family of four, six or eight kids?
So, the very simple solution is to tax children's items — clothing, toys, books, etc. — and use that money for education. No, you won't have massive budgets for palace-like schools or extravagant sports fields or even vacation-for-life pensions, but you'll get the job done.
People who really have a passion for teaching will be paid fairly for a job they love, with a comfortable salary and a nice 401K plan like the rest of us.
I know, it's an imaginary fairytale but then, New Jersey could live happily ever after. The End.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy. Any opinions expressed are Dennis's own.