The governor signaled he would be unwilling to support a plan floated by the senate president allowing school districts to raise property taxes beyond the 2 percent annual cap.
Gov. Phil Murphy, in a Monday statement, said that Senate President Stephen Sweeney’s plan would hurt New Jersey’s lower and middle-income residents, all the while giving a pass to its wealthier ones.
“Before middle-class property taxpayers have to again take it on the chin, we should be asking our wealthiest residents to pay their fair share,” Murphy said in a statement.
Sweeney, D-3rd District, in a Nov. 23 statement, said the changes are necessary because of a June 2018 “equalization” overhaul to the state’s school funding formula. Under the changes made last year, many districts that received state aid beyond what was required under the law will lose those funds, which will then go to districts that received less than what regulations required.
Sweeney said he did not want school districts to cut spending because they would lose funding on which they have relied for years.
But the governor maintained that those funds could easily be raked in by enacting his proposed millionaire’s tax – twice shot down by the state Legislature – and raising the sales tax from its current 6.625 percent to the pre-2016 rate of 7 percent.
“We have a broadly-popular plan for investing more deeply in our school districts without requiring them to raise property taxes,” Murphy said.