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Do Belmar’s Leaders Want Fair School Funding?

Last week I attended a talk given by State Senator Mike Doherty about his proposed “Fair School Funding Plan“.  This plan would take the total revenues from the state income tax, divide it by the total number of students in the state and send that amount to each school district for each student that lives there.  It comes out to about $7500 per student.  Under this plan, Belmar would receive $3,126,908 more in state aid than it currently receives.  3 million dollars!  Because the income tax is very progressive, Belmar would still be paying roughly a million dollars more in income tax than we receive in aid, but right now we are paying about 4 million dollars more.

We are currently being fleeced and as I repeatedly stressed during my council campaign last year I expect our elected leaders to defend us from this or at least try to.  So far I have seen nothing.  I have attended every single council meeting this year save one and have not heard one peep about the 4 million dollars Trenton sucks out of Belmar every year. 

At last week’s talk, Senator Doherty gave me a copy of a proposed resolution that he would like every town being harmed by current education funding policy to pass.  (The senator told me 85% of New Jersey’s towns pay more in tax than they get in aid.)  The resolution makes clear how our current system is unconstitutional and urges the state to pass this new plan to give our towns some real tax relief.

Here it is:


I presented this resolution to the Council at this week’s meeting (held appropriately enough at the Belmar Public School) and requested they put it to a vote.  I didn’t detect a lot of enthusiasm but I plan to press the issue even if I have to petition it on to the agenda myself.  I can’t imagine what they might find objectionable to it.  (Except, perhaps, that it was written by a Republican?)

Why are we sitting still and allowing millions of dollars of our money to be taken from us and sent to feed the political machines and obese educational bureaucracies of Newark, Camden and Asbury Park?  I’m quite sure the elected leaders of those towns are fighting hard to keep that money flowing from us to them.  Why aren’t our leaders fighting to keep that money right here in Belmar where it belongs?

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