Senate President Stephen Sweeney plans to move ahead with a bill that would allow local school districts to raise property taxes beyond the 2 percent annual cap that has been in effect since 2010.
Sweeney, D-3rd District, said in a Nov. 23 statement that 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 go to districts that received less than what regulations required.
School districts and municipalities can only raise property taxes by 2 percent year over year, except under certain circumstances.
Sweeney said he did not want school districts to cut spending because they would lose funding on which they have relied for years.
“It was never the intent to hurt any schools, we just wanted to fix the unfairness,” Sweeney said.
Business groups such as the New Jersey Business and Industry Association were cautious about the bill.
“On its surface, we would have concerns about increasing property taxes as a method of fixing what is structurally challenged, but we will reserve full judgement until we see the language of [the] bill,” NJBIA spokesperson Bob Considine told NJBIZ.