A bi-partisan resolution (AR-202) sponsored by Assemblyman Parker Space (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris) urging the federal government to increase appropriations for impact aid payments to eligible school districts was recently approved by the full Assembly.
Kittatinny Regional, Montague, and Sandyston-Walpack in Sussex County and Blairstown in Warren County receive Impact Aid to offset the lost value of property in those areas that are owned by the federal government.
“This is money used to offset the high amount of federal lands by keep a lid on property taxes there,” Space said. “By passing this resolution, the Assembly is formally asking Congress to keep their end of the bargain and appropriate the proper amount of money needed to help these school districts and their property taxpayers.”
The federal Impact Aid Program assists school districts which include, within their geographic boundaries, parcels of land that are owned by the federal government, such as military bases or national parks. Since the federal property is exempt from local property taxes, it reduces the ability to levy property taxes for educational purposes. This aid helps to offset the loss of property taxes from federal property and thus helps to ease the property tax burden.
By one estimate, the appropriations available to make Impact Aid payments related to the presence of federal property is only 11 percent of what would be needed to fully fund the program under the statutory aid calculation.
“We are simply asking the President and Congress to increase the available appropriations for the Impact Aid Program to support school districts in which federal property is located,” Space stated.
Senator Steve Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris) will be signing on as a sponsor of the Senate companion SR-98.