Friday, August 13, 2010

Scharfenberger Steps Up On Education Funding Reform

Middletown Mayor Gerry Scharfenberger is sponsoring a resolution before the township committee to urge the State Legislature to stop the funding of education by property taxes in lieu of a state wide tax such as the sale tax.

Scharfenberger told MMM, "While this sounds radical, it's really not when you consider that NJ is one of only four or five states who still use this onerous, arcane system. Also, since the municipal portion of the property tax
bill only accounts for about one-fifth, the fact is, even if you closed the town down, fired everyone, did no road repairs or any other service, property taxes would still be unacceptably high."

"With the present system, property owners shoulder a disproportionate burden in funding education. Suburban property owners have it the worst since they pay for suburban schools and subsidize urban schools. Renters, or people who don't own property end up contributing a fraction of what property owners do to fund education."

"A more equitable way would be through a source that everyone contributes to, such as the sales tax. Imagine what cutting property taxes by two-thirds would do for the economy? It's an idea that is at least worth exploring."

The resolution, which will be voted on by the township committee on Monday evening, reads as follows:




WHEREAS, the burden of regressive property taxes continues to plague our State’s citizens, businesses and hopes for economic recovery; and

WHEREAS, the property tax burden inevitably falls inequitably on those least able to pay; and

WHEREAS, property taxes levied to support public education consistently represent more than half of the property tax burden; and

WHEREAS, New Jersey’s Constitution calls for the State to ensure a ‘thorough and efficient’ system of public education for children between the ages of 5 and 18; and

WHEREAS, such a system can be achieved without further burdening our beleaguered property taxpayers, if the State assumes the per pupil costs methodology proposed by the Joint Legislative Committee on School Funding that takes into account such factors as grade level, geographic location, special educational needs and other criteria affecting the cost of educating each child; and

WHEREAS, such funding can be derived from some modification of the State’s broad-based taxing authority, ensuring greater progressivity based on ability to pay.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Committee of the Township of Middletown in the County of Monmouth, State of New Jersey that it does hereby support and endorse the effort of the Mayors’ Task Force for School Funding Reform to develop and promote remedial legislation to accomplish this goal and advocates removing all educational funding from the property tax and seek out other state revenue sources to assure our school children receive a thorough and efficient education; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the Township Clerk is hereby directed to electronically transmit a certified copy of this Resolution to the Office of Governor Chris Christie, Senate President Steven Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, Senator Joseph Kyrillos, Assemblyman Sam Thompson, and Assemblywoman Amy Handlin.


MLaffey said...

I would be happy if the state at least funded things it mandates on schools. One of the best examples is Special education. in Tinton falls it accounts for 20% of the school budget and the school system can't touch it.
Just funding that through the state government would reduce property taxes by about 10%.

The state could do it without additional taxes if the government state cut down on the non essential stuff it does.

Anonymous said...

Another ploy to divert attention from the failures of this man in handling the budget in Middletown.

Middletown will be better off without Scharfenberger in government.

Legal fees spent ridiculously as usual... resolutions (stupid ones at that) cost money too !!!

Give the people of Middletown a break....GO HOME !!

Anonymous said...

Hello out there Middletown taxpayers.

The time has come to organize and decorate Town Hall in Middletown WITH TOILET PAPER ASAP!

Scharfey has lost all sense of decency....more taxes is not the answer pal. Not in the current economic times and NEVER in the sales tax.

Anonymous said...

Why stop at the State level? Have the Federal Government fund our township schools from our federal taxes!

Anonymous said...

Either state or federal where it is broad based and fair,such as the income tax .

Reform is needed but it will never involve a sales tax to fund education.

This sales tax idea is as far removed from reality as a rational person can get. Good luck,pal,you'll need it in Trenton,where they will LAUGH YOU OUT OF TOWN !

A waste of time and the taxpayers money which this mayor is good at... squandering money needlessly on stupid legal fees. Just job security for the hell with the taxpayers !!

Middletown has nothing but sad jokers in this majority. What a disgrace...... or just another reach for political purposes.

Mr. Carton,is this the best you can get ????

God help all of us !!!

Anonymous said...

This is an idea that would work. It is the only way to stop these outrageous property taxes. I don't think you would even have to raise the sales tax, just take a portion of it. The income tax is another possibility, but then again, it won't affect everyone and falls on those who file tax returns. People working in cash businesses, welfare recipients would get another free ride just like they do now.

The Village Greener said...

There is one poster who visits this site regularly who hates the mayor for, get this, refusing to cut down several large trees and spend tens of thousands of dollars to open a street to through traffic to avoid a temporary detour in her neighborhood. I know because I've heard that voice rattling in my head for over twenty years and she writes just like she rants.

Anonymous said...

Scharfey's cheerleader again with personal attacks because she has nothing credible to offer !!!


Anonymous said...

MLaffey makes sense. The state should fund parts of the school budget. We should not increase our sales tax. That will drive more businesses and consumers out of town. I thought the governor was against that?
To propose this now is ridiculous and laughable from a Mayor who can't balance is own budget.

Anonymous said...

Village Greener, you repeat the same tiresome attacks over and over again expecting different results.
I think that's the definition of insanity.

nomoretaxes said...

I saw this posted on Red Bank Green earlier this week and from the amount of comments (100), people were solidly against such a proposal.
Mayor Scharfenberger is sounding like a tax and spend liberal more and more.
I can't imagine the governor agreeing to such a proposal when we've been hit so hard with economy and budget cuts. We can't take anymore tax increases.

Anonymous said...


All of us have your #

Doc said...

Maybe this Village Greener should go out to greener pastures.

Anonymous said...

So nomoretaxes - you support the letting property tax payers suffocate under the weight of having to fund education for everyone? Maybe you would, but I wouldn't mind having my property taxes CUT by two-thirds.

Anonymous said...

The Village Greener sounds more like the Village Idiot.

Anonymous said...

Scharfy seems to be more intent to deflect criticism away from his personal record of raising local taxes by 41.9% over the 5 years that he has served on the Township Committee (3 of those years as Mayor) if the currently proposed Township budget, which includes a 14% spending increase, that is also 8 months late.
Scharfy seems to thinks that it would be OK to continue raising the municipal tax rate, if only somehow, those in Trenton could take care of educating Middletown’s kids.
How about focusing on the proposed 14% tax increase that he supports, by trying to cut spending rather than writing resolutions that fall within the jurisdiction of the State Legislature

Anonymous said...

Reminding that this is a democracy where public education is a mandated responsibility of it's citizens

Guess we should be grateful for that considering what we have for representation in Middletown .,The only person on the TC with common sense is the Democrat, Sean Byrnes.

Have seen it said:

Middletown will be a MUCH better place to live without Scharfenberger in government.

Anonymous said...

I don't support raising our municipal taxes by 14%. The BOE cut their budget by $11M.
We need to reform how our schools are paid for. I don't trust an increase in sales tax to do the job.
Take some of the sales tax now and a portion of income tax to alleviate the burden. The state still needs to stop more waste and run more efficiently.
Republicans scream about raising taxes and supporting this is hypocritical.
Anyone remember what happened to Jim Florio?

Anonymous said...

Time for TOILET PAPER on TOWN HALL !!!!!

Anonymous said...

8:42 am,anonymous sounds like the mayor.

Thankful we have tax codes that's for sure given this nonsense from him.

Anonymous said...

The Mayor is sounding more like the Village Idiot with these hair brained ideas.

Anonymous said...

This meaningless resolution is just another reason why this Mayor has got to go. We can't afford another 3 years of waste, mismanagement and incompetence.

Anonymous said...

Recall when this mayor tried to persecute the Hispanics??

Now he wants to kick the needy (welfare recipients and the unemployed )when they are already down !!

Anyone tax evading is the job of the IRS,not stupid politicians !!

Character ??????

Anonymous said...

What a waste of time and money !!!

Is this all this mayor can concentrate on given the mess he has created with the township budget??

No talent to serve the public.

Gov. Christie put this man in his place ...wherever that may be .

We don't want him. You can have him. He lies to much for us !!

Anonymous said...

Hey,Fiore, Brightbill and Massell.....does this idiotic nonsense from this mayor speak for all of you ??

The towns people want to hear from you three,who are supposed to represent us.....and pronto !!


MLaffey said...

The mayor has started a conversation about Tax reform in the State of NJ that we need to have. The current legislation being past is all well and good but it will not be a long term solution.

Anonymous said...

Wow, someone needs to come out
of their mother's basement.

Anonymous said...


The mayor of Middletown is trying to cover his rump!

Yes,we need to seek reform of school funding. That should be done by our legislators.Should have been done years ago but no one had the courage or the stomach for it,

IMO, Gerard Scharfenberger can't manage local issues,how could he be expected to comprehend an issue of this magnitude?

Never has he demonstrated an understanding of the law or a willingness to observe it.

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

Well the votes are in; Scarfy is a dope.

Anonymous said...

Deceit,distortion of the information released to Middletown's taxpayers and just plain lying is what this mayor uses in his "SPIN" on everything he says.
He is not to be trusted and neither are the other three.

This is an issue used as subterfuge to cover the incompetence of the unworthy republicans and their lack of abilities in managing the finances of this town.