Follows Effort by Trenton Democrats to Cut $41 Million in School Aid from Brick & Toms River
Senator Jim Holzapfel, Assemblyman Dave Wolfe, and Assemblyman Greg McGuckin (all R-Ocean) will introduce legislation to protect Sandy-impacted towns like Brick and Toms River from massive State school aid cuts planned by Trenton Democrats.
Holzapfel, Wolfe & McGuckin will introduce legislation to stop Trenton Democrats from cutting school aid to districts like Brick and Toms River that are still rebuilding from Superstorm Sandy. (U.S. Air Force/Master Sgt. Mark C. Olsen)
“Brick and Toms River took a big hit from Sandy, with homes destroyed, families displaced, and our tax base severely impacted,” said Holzapfel. “Now, while the rebuilding is still underway, Democrats in Trenton are trying to knock us back down again by slashing our school aid. Their proposed school funding cuts are absolutely despicable and need to be stopped.”
Legislative Democrats advanced a bill in Trenton last week that would redistribute more than $41 million in State school aid from Brick and Toms River to other school districts throughout New Jersey.
In response, Holzapfel, Wolfe, and McGuckin will introduce legislation to prevent reductions in State aid from 2017-2018 school year levels to districts that experienced an erosion of their tax base following Superstorm Sandy.
“Many of our Ocean County communities have struggled through a years-long rebuilding process that has been difficult on our families, schools, businesses, and property taxpayers,” said Wolfe. “With so much devastation, a lot of unusable or uninhabitable property was reduced in value greatly, shifting a greater tax burden to fewer residents. For Trenton Democrats to come along at this difficult time and slash our State school aid is absolutely devastating. We’re going to fight their new formula, but we’re also going to push our new bill just in case.”
The school funding plan approved by Democrats in the New Jersey Senate and General Assembly would cut Brick’s State school aid by $22.5 million, a 63.7 percent reduction. Similarly, Toms River would see a reduction of aid of $18.6 million, a cut of 27.7 percent.
Under the new legislation proposed by Holzapfel, Wolfe, and McGuckin, any such reductions in aid would be prohibited until the equalized valuation of a district in a county impacted by Superstorm Sandy returns to pre-Sandy levels.
“We’re not asking for special treatment for Brick and Toms River, we’re just asking to not be kicked while we’re down by Trenton Democrats,” said McGuckin. “We took the brunt of the worst natural disaster in New Jersey’s history. Our homeowners, who have already been through so much, can’t afford to see their property tax bills skyrocket. Our legislation will offer our property taxpayer the protections they need until our rebuilding is complete.”
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