FLEMINGTON – The Hunterdon County Commission is not giving up the fight.
With just two weeks before the deadline for the state legislature to pass a new budget, Hunterdon County Commissioners Deputy Director John E. Lanza wrote a letter to leaders of the state legislature’s budget committee, saying there is “no excuse” why Trenton cannot use a windfall of $ 5.2 billion in tax revenue to restore the $ 3.3 million aid cuts to county school districts.
“Twenty Hunterdon County school districts are expected to see a reduction of $ 3,309,089 in aid,” Lanza wrote. “These cuts are devastating for school children, educational programs and staff, and our property taxpayers.”
Lanza, who led the Commissioners’ “Stop the Madness” campaign to restore all aid to schools earlier this spring, said the state had the funds to close the aid gap.
“The fact that the state budget experiences an unanticipated increase in revenue of $ 5.2 billion, in addition to the increase of $ 4 billion originally proposed by the governor – with borrowed funds – there is no now has no excuse for making these cuts in our schools, ”Lanza continued.
The statewide aid cuts to 195 school districts totaled $ 193 million, Lanza said.
“Students in Hunterdon County deserve as much the highest quality educational experience as their peers across the state,” Lanza wrote to lawmakers. “You have the opportunity to make sure that the quality is not threatened by the cuts in state aid. “
This is the fourth year in a row that overall aid to Hunterdon school districts has been reduced. In total, the cuts amount to $ 8.4 million.
School taxes account for over half of all property tax bills in Hunterdon County. The average property tax bill in Hunterdon County, one of the wealthiest counties in the United States, is over $ 10,000.
This year’s assistance to Hunterdon school districts is:
• Alexandria: 10.31% decrease
• Bethlehem: decrease of 18.46%
• Bloomsbury: 0.76% decrease
• California: 17.27% decrease
• Clinton Town: decrease of 6.96%
• Township of Clinton: increase of 1.03%
• Delaware: 3.03% decrease
• Delaware Valley: 22.74% drop
• East Amwell: decrease of 2.91%
• Flemington-Raritan: decrease of 8.04%
• Franklin: 13.4% increase
• Frenchtown: decrease of 11.72%
• Hampton: decrease of 1.10%
• High bridge: increase of 2.65%
• Netherlands: 15.03% decrease
• Hunterdon Central: decrease of 6.05%
• Hunterdon Vo-Tech: no change
• Kingwood: 13.15% discount
• District of Lebanon: increase of 0.80%
• Canton of Lebanon: decrease of 12.90%
• Milford: decrease of 16.15%
• North Hunterdon: 10% discount
• Readington: increase of 10.81%
• South Hunterdon: 7.85% increase
• Tewksbury: 7.61% increase
• Union: decrease of 2.51%
Email: [email protected]
Mike Deak is a reporter for mycentraljersey.com. For unrestricted access to his articles on Somerset and Hunterdon counties, please register or activate your digital account today.