PARSIPPANY — Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce called for an immediate audit of education spending before Governor Phil Murphy continues with his plan to raise taxes by $1.7 billion and increase spending by eight percent. Approximately $30 billion is expected to be spent on education next year from state and local taxes.
“Whatever anyone thinks is wrong with our education system, the problem isn’t a lack of money,” explained DeCroce (R-Morris, Essex, Passaic). “Murphy should order an audit for education just like he did for NJ Transit and the EDA.”
New Jersey spends $18,235 per student, the fourth most in the country and about $7,000 more than the national average. Murphy has proposed spending $14.9 billion on education next year, a 6.2 percent increase.
“The data on school spending shows taxpayers are doing more than their fair share to support education,” said DeCroce. “We need to relieve the property tax burden on families and businesses, especially the suburban homeowners who pay up to eighty percent of their local school costs.”
New Jersey residents paid $15.1 billion in school taxes as part of their property tax bills last year, according to the state Department of Community Affairs. School taxes also accounted for 62 percent of property-tax hikes and 53 percent of the average bill.
“Fixing school funding is a logical step toward decreasing the tax burden that is driving people out of New Jersey,” concluded DeCroce. “The state should look more deeply into how our education dollars are being spent to make the system more equitable.”