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Would you depose home rule to cut your taxes?

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

EDITORIAL: Keep the rebate checks, voters told pollsters. Instead, merge neighboring governments and school districts in New Jersey to chop down those $7,045 average property tax bills.

Look at the figures yourself and consider whether home rule isn’t the ravenous stepchild of corruption:

Right now, you’re looking at nearly 10,000 elected officials and maybe a half-million public employees serving fewer than 9 million people in the fifth smallest state in the U.S. That includes 651 school superintendent offices for barely 2,400 schools.

If you don’t already know, find out: How much is your district superintendent making? What about the business administrator? Now compare those numbers with teachers’ salaries.

When Gov-elect Chris Christie became U.S. Attorney earlier this decade, corruption was king in New Jersey. Before he was through, Christie had caught dozens of valueless cretins with their hands in our pockets — and made them pay for their crimes.

Now every public official who trolls for graft has to wonder whether the fish sharing coffee and wheat toast with him at the diner is wearing a wire.

Christie, meanwhile, is pursuing another New Jersey affliction for which many claim there is no cure: too many towns and school districts.

Sharing services and merging local governments could help pull New Jersey out of $8 billion in structural debt. Only elitists can argue with that.

Jerry DeMarco (Publisher/Editor)

“Garden State voters agree with their new governor — overwhelmingly — that the state’s in a fiscal mess,” said Maurice Carroll, director of Quinnipiac University’s polling institute, told the Newark Star-Ledger. “And they agree he should use the ax, not the tax, to solve the problem.”

Of those polled, 73 percent favored mergers to lower property taxes.

That’s a significant increase — 12 percent more — from when the poll asked the same question only three years ago.

Those polled also told pols what they could do with increased property tax rebates. They’ve been fooled enough times to know better.

Perhaps they’ve also been taking geography lessons:

Of 566 municipalities in New Jersey, 411 cover less than 2 sq. miles, with fewer than 10,000 residents each.

Of those, 27 have fewer than 1,000 residents each — fewer than you can fit into most condo developments along the Hudson.

That’s a huge collection of six-figure salaries, with pensions and other benefits tacked on. Lots of chiefs, deputies, assistants, supers, assistant supers, etc.

Too many capos and not enough soldiers? Yeah, something like that.

Quinnipiac surveyed 1,615 registered voters from Nov. 17 to Nov. 22. The poll has a 2.4 percent margin of error.

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