Oroho, Space, Wirths rail against state budget andd school aid cuts

Jul 02 2019 | 04:49 AM

    Senator Steve Oroho and Assemblymen Parker Space and Hal Wirths (all R-Sussex, Warren, Morris) criticized the Democrats’ state budget which was enacted by Governor Phil Murphy. All three legislators opposed the budget 10 days ago when it passed both houses of the legislature.
    “Parker, Hal and I are greatly concerned about the adverse impact on property taxes in our legislative district due to the loss of education aid to most of the school districts that we represent,” stated Oroho, the Senate Republican Budget Officer.
    The new state budget passed by a Democrat-controlled legislature and signed by Governor Murphy cuts categorical aid to District 24 by over $5.519 million for the upcoming school year.
    “How can Governor Murphy and the Democrats in the legislature in good conscience ask our property taxpayers to pay even more to make up for these cuts in one breath, and promise to pay $3.1 million for the legal defense of illegal aliens in the next? It’s a travesty,” Space said
    While the Democrats’ state budget slashes education aid to Sussex and Warren Counties, it increases spending on the legal defense of illegal aliens from $2.1 million to $3.1 million and increases spending on Planned Parenthood from $7,453,000 to $10,453,000.
    “We all know that the Murphy administration does not have its priorities straight,” said Wirths, a member of the Assembly Appropriations Committee. “Our towns are going to see property taxes increase as a result of this budget and the cuts to school aid while taxpayer dollars are being funneled to groups to help illegal immigrants who are already receiving preferential treatment. Time and time again, our taxpayers have been asked to pay more out of their own pockets to fund Governor Murphy’s liberal agenda.”
    Last year, Oroho, Space and Wirths voted against the changes (S-2) to the school funding formula which resulted in the aid cuts. The funding cuts to local school districts when the formula change is fully phased in over the next six years will total $40 million less annually. This new budget continues the aid cuts to Sussex and Warren Counties.
    “For years, we have been sounding the alarm about the dire need to fix New Jersey’s terribly flawed school funding formula,” Oroho said. “Regretfully, any funding scenario that formularizes the Abbott mandates which translates into two-thirds of all State aid going to a handful of urban school districts will always be flawed no matter how you run numbers. Our students and our taxpayers deserve better treatment, and we will continue to fight for them until we get a school funding formula that treats every student equally.”
    One positive change that is reflected in the State Budget Bill which Oroho, Space, and Wirths all advocated for by a budget resolution to change school funding is a commitment to have the State start to assume the costs of extraordinary special education that strap local school budgets. This change will definitely help schools is District 24.
    In addition, no broad-based tax and fee hikes which were originally proposed by Governor Murphy were not even voted on.
    “Steve, Hal and I were adamantly opposed to the income tax hikes and tax hikes on job creators and law-abiding gun owners which were proposed but thankfully never acted upon,” Space said. “We will be ever-vigilant in keeping an eye on these things rallying taxpayers in opposition if they ever pop up again.”
    “Murphy and the Democrats have hiked tax after tax, from rain to Airbnb to internet sales,” Wirths stated. “Fortunately, they didn’t get away with the outright gun tax, but that outrageous four-year Firearms ID card scheme which the Democrats pushed through the Assembly on June 20 is essentially a tax hike too.”
    In another win for taxpayers, veterans will see their personal deduction double from $3,000 to $6,000.
    “Steve authored the original deduction and all three of us were proud to cosponsor the increase in the deduction,” Wirths stated.
    Oroho, Space, and Wirths all agree that stopping the Democrats tax hikes as well as long-term fiscal and tax structural reforms are necessary if New Jersey is every going to lower taxes and regain economic competitiveness in the future.
    “Since 2004, NJ has lost over $30 billion of income to other states because of people leaving New Jersey than New Jersey has received from people moving in from other states; and it has accelerated over the most recent years, Oroho stated. “The impact of lost tax revenue from such a disparity is huge, driving away billions of resources that would have made a tremendous difference versus the massive hole New Jersey finds itself today. The only way to fix this trend is to honestly address New Jersey’s governmental and authorities cost structure. If not, significant, desperately needed, resources to help New Jersey climb out of its fiscal mess will continue to find its way into other state economies.”