N.J. Property Tax Cap Sparks Funding Concerns
Some Local Officials Worry a Lower Cap Would Erode Stretched K-12 Budgets
Some education officials in New Jersey are warning that a new legislative agreement that would cap annual property-tax increases could further erode already-tenuous budgets for the state’s public schools.
Republican Gov. Chris Christie struck a deal earlier this month with Democratic leaders in the legislature to impose a 2 percent cap on growth in local property taxes that the governor said would deliver “long-overdue relief” to residents who pay some of the highest property taxes in the nation. The state Senate was expected to approve the cap late last week, and members of the Assembly were due to take up the measure early this week.
That agreement followed closely on the heels of Gov. Christie’s signing of a $29.4 billion budget for fiscal 2011 that carves deeply into spending on public schools and aid to cities and towns, and postpones the state’s $3 billion contribution to pension funds for public employees, including teachers. Those cuts help close an $11 billion gap that the governor insisted be done...
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