From the fine folks at the Education Law Center, more proof that Chris Christie is a slippery little sneak:
Governor Christie’s proposed FY14 State Budget contains a special “assessment” or tax on 493 school districts that wipes out the small aid increases many of those districts were initially notified they would receive.
The Administration’s special tax is contained in language buried deep in the Governor’s budget. According to the Governor’s proposal, any district “that received their State support for approved [school construction] project costs” through the State Schools Development Authority [SDA] “will be assessed an amount that represents 15% of their proportionate share” of the principal and interest payments for State-issued school construction bonds. The State will not collect this special tax but will deduct or withhold the tax from the districts’ state school aid payments.
Though the administration hasn’t publicized this tax, districts and school supporters have not been fooled. Many complaints about this “debt service assessment” were lodged during recent Senate and Assembly Budget Committee public hearings on the FY14 proposals. Legislators joined district representatives and advocates in questioning the legality of the tax and chastised the Governor for touting aid increases to districts that in fact would be eliminated by the tax.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that’s your straight-shootin’, no nonsense governor: screwing over school districts in his base so he can steal their money to help pay for an election-year income tax cut. He quietly picks the local districts’ pockets, then gives away what he stole and pretends it’s the result of his awesome leadership. To top it off, he then points the finger at the local districts and blames them for high taxes.
Neat trick, huh?
An ELC analysis [To access charts, click the sixth tab, entitled “FY14 Debt Service Assessments,” located above the title, “Governor’s FY14 State Aid.”] of the Governor’s proposal shows that the special tax will be withheld from 493 districts, reaping a total of $34 million for the State Treasury. The tax withholding ranges from $49 to $1 million per district.
In 294 districts, the amount of tax to be withheld will exceed the state aid increase they are slated to receive under the Governor’s FY14 school aid proposal. Of those districts, 157 are middle income, 102 are higher wealth, and 15 are vocational districts.
How many of those districts will go Christie’s way in November? All because they’ve bought the lie, sold by a credulous press, that this little sneak of a man is making “tough choices”?
Never mind what I’m doing! Mind your own business!