Both Mayor Kenneth Palmer and members of the Township Council have put their support behind Gov. Chris Christie’s proposed school funding fairness formula, a plan that promises significant property tax relief for Manchester Township.
Manchester officials have contended for years that the current funding formula is inequitable, leaving our property owners to pay comparatively more than other municipalities to support the school district. The proposed changes to the funding formula would set a flat amount of aid for each student, regardless of district, saving property owners in Manchester an estimated average of $600 based on the average home value of $157,700.
“This would make a huge difference to Manchester in property tax relief. Passage of this single measure would provide the largest decrease in property taxes for every Manchester resident,” said Mayor Palmer, who recently signed a pledge from the Governor’s Office to support the Fairness Formula. He encourages all residents to reach out to lawmakers to advocate for its adoption.
In a further show of support, the Township Council at its July 11 meeting passed a resolution in favor of the proposed funding formula. “The new funding formula would provide substantial tax relief to Manchester’s residents, including our senior citizens who survive on fixed incomes. A lower tax rate would also attract new homeowners, businesses and developers to our town, improving the economic environment for everyone,” said Council President James A. Vaccaro Sr.
Currently, of the $9.1 billion in aid to school districts throughout New Jersey, about $5.1 billion goes to 31 districts, while the $4 billion goes to the remaining 546 districts. Gov. Christie’s proposal would reallocate funding so that each student, everywhere, will receive $6,499. This would result in a 247 percent increase in school aid to Manchester Township.
According to the Governor’s Office, the Fairness Formula is “an equal per-pupil funding plan that would provide tax fairness for all residents and better public education for every New Jersey student.” The plan would not impact special education funding.
Currently, 14 percent of Manchester’s school district funding comes from state aid, while some urban districts receive close to full funding. School taxes make up 54 percent of a homeowner’s property tax bill, with 27 percent allotted to the municipality and 19 percent to the county.
Residents are encouraged to send letters of support to Gov. Christie’s office:
Gov. Chris Christie
PO Box 001
Trenton, NJ 08625