Why are people leaving the State of New Jersey? Plenty of greenery, a wonderful coastline, great location. What’s not to like? Read my lips. Taxes. Cronyism. Corruption. Bloat. Waste.
Gov. Murphy says he wants to make local governments more efficient in NJ, a state with the nation’s highest property taxes. How would Murphy accomplish that? Shared services and consolidations are two such tactics.
NJ Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo agrees. When not arranging tomatoes and peaches at his popular BF Mazzeo store in Northfield, the assemblyman has pushed for school consolidation, countywide tax assessments, and the sharing of municipal clerks and CFOs.
County Exec Levinson also wants county wide assessments. It’s crazy to have each small town doing their own assessments. Just ask homeowners in Brigantine. Are they happy with how their properties are taxed? No.
Senate President Steve Sweeney is a big believer in shared services. Offer residents better services for less cost. What’s not to like? Sweeney has introduced shared services legislation that also includes penalties for local governments that refuse to consider collaboration.
Consider the facts: New Jersey has 565 municipalities, and even more school districts. That’s a lot of government.
A growing number of elected officials, on both sides of the aisle, say the time is right to put aside feelings on home rule. Time to do right by taxpayers.
Albert B. Kelly says:
- NJ has 565 separate jurisdictions (local governments)
- 250 boroughs
- 3 villages
- 245 townships
- 52 cities
- 15 towns
All are recognized as a municipality. With 8,722 square miles of Jersey real estate, the average size of each NJ jurisdiction is about 16 square miles.
- 322 of NJ municipalities, (57%) have population of less than 10,000.
- 188 of the states’ jurisdictions have less than 5,000 residents.
Why the political foot dragging? There’s NO interest in reducing the number of public worker jobs.
The goal of every NJ municipality is to raise taxes as high as possible. Why? The beneficiaries of that tax revenue are politicians’ friends, relatives, and political cronies.
Handing out 6-figure public sector jobs with cadillac health care, boat checks and pensions are the way politicians stay in office.
Sweeney is right: sharing services won’t happen unless it is forced upon municipalities by law. And even if they share services, taxpayers still cannot afford to pay for the over-blighted costs of all the freeloaders on the public dole (not to mention their pensions and benefits). Politicians who cave to demands in exchange for votes, have contributed to the reason why people are fleeing the state of NJ.
3/4 of property taxes are for schools. That means, towns and counties run off 1/4 of your tax bill.
Serious about cutting taxes? Consolidate the schools. Especially in tiny towns like Brigantine and Margate.
Shelly Andersen, Brigantine.