Trenton— Senator Joe Pennacchio (R- Morris), a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, today called Democrat plans to tie school aid to an income tax increase "blatant, political posturing at the expense of suburban taxpayers":
"Taxpayers should not be forced to choose between job creation and property tax relief," Pennacchio said. "The current school funding formula is horribly unfair to property taxpayers in suburban school districts. The Democrats proposal adds insult to injury by tying enhanced suburban aid to a tax increase that will cost our state jobs and future tax revenues. Their bill is a purely political document that shows the Majority isn't serious about equitable school funding and property tax relief for the vast majority of New Jersey's citizens."
Pennacchio wondered aloud why Democrats would penalize 75% of the state's school population by making fair funding contingent upon anti-jobs tax policy. "The former Abbott schools are not subject to this treatment by the Majority, and I have to wonder why taxpayers in suburban districts are singled out like this," Pennacchio asked. "This shows the absurdity of the school funding formula as it currently exists. Fairly funding suburban schools should not come at the price of destructive, job killing tax policy."
"Last year, Democrats proposed roughly the same anti-jobs tax increase and dedicated the entirety of the money to senior property tax rebates," the Senator stated. "Taxpayers' money is practically burning a hole in their pocket, their enthusiasm so great they can't decide where to spend it. The only thing we know for certain is that the Majority is absolutely insistent on raising taxes as they did for most of the last decade and don't really care where we spend it."