Plan to lower NJ property taxes could include merging school districts

Posted: Updated:
ORADELL -

Most New Jersey residents may say that high property taxes are their No. 1 complaint about living in the state.

Senate President Steve Sweeney last week released a list of 30 potential ideas to help fix the state’s fiscal woes — among them, merging 600 school districts.

New Jersey has 678 school districts as of the 2016-2017 school year. Some of these districts, like Oradell, only have one single school. Yet they have a full school board with a superintendent and board members.

Sweeney says that merging some of these districts could help save on property taxes. But some New Jersey residents say that while they wish taxes were lower, they like having their own district.

“I think it makes the community closer…instead of everybody being dispersed into different schools,” says parent Christine Morgner.

Sweeney’s proposal still has a while to go before it could be enacted. Other options in the proposal include converting public worker pension systems to a 401(k)-style plan, reducing health benefits and eliminating large sick time payouts for retiring workers.

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