BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The board of education unanimously approved a resolution to voice opposition to a bill heading to the state Senate that permits townships to not pay quarterly taxes to the district on a timely basis.
Board member Barry Walker said the bill, A3902, has passed through the Assembly, 79–0, and is now going on to the Senate.
Currently, Walker said, townships collect taxes from all residents, and they are responsible for tracking down late payments. Then, he said, by statute, the township is required to pay the district its share of the taxes by a specific date each quarter.
“The bill permits the township to not pay in a timely basis, and the biggest issue is that there is a cash flow issue for us,” he said. “We don’t have an ability to have a line of credit or go out for bonds, but the township can.”
“This bill would infringe on us paying our bills,” he added.
Walker said there have been many conference calls with the New Jersey School Boards Association, and the different associations representing supervisors, principals and teachers against the new bill.
“We understand that the issues coming from the pandemic and the financial impact are severe,” he said. “But in understanding the process, don’t hurt the school districts, we don’t have the ability to do the same financial management the townships do.”
Walker said he is asking board members and residents to email senators against the bill.
“We are trying to do what is best for the taxpayers and the community,” he said.
Walker said the bill is not on the docket for the Senate yet, and they don’t know when it will be.
“It could go on tomorrow, or in a week, but it’s not on the docket yet,” he said. “I think it’s still being discussed.”