Assembly Republican Leader reacts to StayNJ property tax cut deal

Assembly Republican Leader reacts to StayNJ property tax cut deal

Assembly GOP Leader John DiMaio

TRENTON, N.J. – Assembly Republican Leader John DiMaio said the Democrats’ final StayNJ property tax cut plan announced Wednesday still fails seniors who are struggling the most and doesn’t solve New Jersey’s cost-of-living crisis because it omits the state’s school funding obligations.

“The Democrats’ StayNJ plan allows the wealthiest seniors to receive the maximum benefit, but seniors most at risk for property tax increases have to settle for less, because it still doesn’t include a school funding solution like the Republican property tax cut proposal,” DiMaio (R-Warren) said. “School taxes are the biggest driver of property taxes. Failing to include school funding in the package means StayNJ won’t ever deliver sustainable, long-lasting property tax relief.”

DiMaio noted that the average property taxpayer in Princeton will receive the largest rebate of $6,500 under StayNJ. Meanwhile, the average Asbury Park and Toms River homeowner will only get about half that amount, but the Democrats’ cuts to school aid were the worst in these two towns. The controversial school funding law known as S2 has cut more than $25 million in aid to Asbury Park schools and $21.5 million to Toms River. Princeton Public Schools received an increase of $1.8 million during that same time.

“StayNJ is the Democrats’ election-year ploy. It does nothing to erase their two decades of bad policy decisions that drove up costs and put us in this expensive mess,” DiMaio said. “The Republican proposal is the only plan that would immediately cut property taxes, get schools funded up to adequacy and puts us on a path to affordability, long past campaign season.”

DiMaio introduced the “Fully Funding Schools and Cutting Property Taxes Act” (A5253) in February. The plan promises to return all S2 funding, increase state aid to adequacy for every district, and lower property taxes by an average $804 in the first year with decreases every year thereafter.

“Property taxpayers deserve better than a hodge-podge of relief programs that only help those with the ability to proactively apply and are gone as fast as Democrats find a new way to buy votes,” DiMaio said. “New Jersey needs a responsible and responsive plan like ours to create real affordability for everyone, but especially middle-class families and fixed-income seniors who are hurting the most.”