Governor Says State Tax Collections Coming in $250 Million Over Projections
Senator Jim Holzapfel, Assemblyman Greg McGuckin, and Assemblyman Dave Wolfe (all R-Ocean) said any unexpected State tax revenues should be dedicated to fully funding school districts like Brick and Toms River that have been hit with massive cuts in aid under Governor Phil Murphy’s proposed FY 2020 State Budget.
Holzapfel, McGuckin & Wolfe said Gov. Phil Murphy should use $250 million in unanticipated State tax revenue collections to reverse millions in local school funding cuts proposed in his FY 2020 State Budget plan. (Chart Source: NJ Department of Education)
The Governor recently said that State tax collections for the current fiscal year, which ends June 30th, are running approximately $250 million ahead of projections.
“Governor Murphy has proposed cutting $5.5 million from the Brick and Toms River school district budgets next year, which has resulted in a massive number of teacher layoffs that will impact our classrooms,” said Holzapfel. “If the Governor is now sitting on hundreds of millions in extra tax revenues that he wasn’t expecting to collect, he must make fully funding our schools, protecting our teachers, and educating our children his top priority.”
As part of the Governor’s budget proposal for the coming year, school aid to Brick and Toms River would be cut by $2.74 million and $2.78 million, representing reductions of 8% and 4.2% in State aid, respectively.
“It’s school districts like ours that succeed in providing a quality, affordable education to our children that always seem to pay the price for other people’s inability to do the same,” said McGuckin. “Governor Murphy is flat out wrong to shift funding from our schools to other districts that have already mismanaged billions. We shouldn’t reward failure. The Governor should take the opportunity presented by unanticipated State revenues gains and do the right thing by funding our schools at the levels they deserve.”
In Brick, Governor Murphy’s funding cuts have resulted in a district budget for next year that eliminates 62 positions, including three kindergarten teachers, 17 teachers in grades 1 to 5, five high school teachers, 15 special education teachers, and 5 teacher aides.
Brick Township property taxpayers would also be forced to pay 3.5% more in local school taxes to cover some of the lost State funding.
In Toms River, the cuts proposed by the Governor have resulted in the need to eliminate 80 positions, including 61 teachers, and raise the local school tax levy by 2%.
“As someone who spent decades teaching, I am appalled by the Governor’s efforts to gut the quality of education in suburban school districts like ours that have always operated efficiently,” said Wolfe. “Governor Murphy has the power and the money, apparently, to undo all of the harm he has proposed inflicting on our schools. We believe he should use the extra $250 million in taxes he has collected to fully fund our schools.”
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