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BOE to Decide How Aid Money Should Be Spent

Christie administration wants to see extra education aid go toward tax relief

Deciding what to do with a cool $1.3 million is a good problem to have.

In Brick, the announcement of came Tuesday when Gov. Chris Christie's administration issued revised figures that doubled a $1.3 million increase in state aid announced in February to $2.6 million. The district will receive $34,939,962 in total aid from Trenton this year under the revised formula.

The increase could be applied toward property tax relief for under the district's 2012-13 school budget, which will be proposed next spring, said Busines Administrator James Edwards. It could also be used for any number of purposes, such as capital projects.

Officials in Christie's administration are publicly requesting that districts use the increased funding to defray the cost of property taxes. New Jersey residents currently pay the highest property taxes in the country, on average, with the majority of that taxation going to fund local school districts.

“The additional education aid included in this year’s budget is an opportunity to reduce property tax burdens by lowering local property tax levies for this fiscal year or the next and move closer toward real reform in our schools," said Christie spokesman Kevin Roberts in a statement.

Edwards said at the Brick Board of Education's pre-agenda meeting Wednesday night that his office received a memorandum from state officials with a similar suggestion. But it will be up to the local school board to determine the final destination of the increased funding, Edwards said.

"Though the governor, through the commissioner, is strongly encouraging us to use the money for tax relief in the 2012-13 school year, they really don't have the power to do that," said Edwards.

Edwards said it is "too early to react" and make an instant decision. Board President Sharon Kight has said the matter will be discussed within board committees.

Mickey July 14, 2011 at 12:36 PM
hard to fathom, no one had any idea this was coming or possible....before the election.
TimeForChange July 14, 2011 at 12:48 PM
"Though the governor, through the commissioner, is strongly encouraging us to use the money for tax relief in the 2012-13 school year, they really don't have the power to do that," said Edwards. Is this Edwards way of saying screw the taxpayer, we will spend it elsewhere?
NJ resident July 14, 2011 at 01:00 PM
The state took money from our surplus last year - that is the reason the budget was so difficult for all. Could you imagine putting money away in a responsible way and having someone come in and steal it from you? I don't look at this as a windfall at all - it is a drop in the bucket compared to the amount the state raided from Brick BOE last year.
599 July 14, 2011 at 02:46 PM
Edwards needs to be shown the door.
disgusted homeowner July 14, 2011 at 09:57 PM
For as long as you may live, we will NEVER see a decrease in the tax rate in Brick. Kinda like letting the FOX guard the henhouse!!!!! Just saying.......

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