Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) said that it would be a mistake to replace New Jersey’s complex and failed school funding formula with another convoluted formula that would be the likely result of a study commission proposed by Senate Democrats.
“New Jersey has the highest property taxes in the nation because our overly complex school funding formula tries to pick favorites, giving some districts hundreds of millions and others next to nothing,” said Doherty. “You can’t fix that inequity by punting the problem to a commission of bureaucrats who will produce another bad formula. The fair, simple and transparent solution is to treat all kids equally.”
Doherty will introduce Governor Christie’s proposed “Fairness Formula,” which would split the approximately $9 billion of direct school aid in the state budget into equal school aid for each student. Under the “Fairness Formula,” each public school district would receive $6,599 per enrolled student, along with aid for special needs students.
Senator Jennifer Beck (R-11), Senator Michael Doherty (R-23), and Senator Gerry Cardinale (R-39) were joined by anti-tax advocates today in releasing a statement reiterating their opposition to a billion dollar gas tax increase. The General Assembly approved a 23-cent gas tax hike last evening, with a half-cent sales tax reduction starting January 1, 2017 and another half-cent reduction on January 1, 2018.
“I have heard the residents of New Jersey loud and clear and I remain steadfast in my opposition to a billion dollar, 23 cents per gallon increase in our gas tax,” said Senator Beck. “New Jersey residents see right through the fiscal shell game that is being played. Literally in three days, this Friday, July 1st, all 7 million New Jersey drivers will be faced with a billion dollar tax increase that will be imposed every time they take a trip to the beach, commute to work, or bring their kids to school. Without question, lowering the sales tax a penny over two years will not stop Democrats from raising it again as they have done before.”
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean said that Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) will be the prime sponsor of a school funding reform proposal announced by Governor Chris Christie to give all children an equitable share of state school aid and provide real property tax relief to the overwhelming majority of taxpayers.
“Senator Doherty has led a years-long effort in the Legislature to adopt a fairer school funding formula that treats all students equally and taxpayers fairly,” said Kean. “Considering the great similarities between his ‘Fair School Funding’ plan and the Governor’s proposed ‘Fairness Formula,’ there couldn’t be a better person than Senator Doherty to take the lead on this new legislation.”
Kean will join Doherty as a co-prime sponsor.
Doherty Praises Christie Initiative to Bring Fairness to School Funding & Provide Real Property Tax Relief
Senator Mike Doherty (R-23), the long-time sponsor of the “Fair School Funding” plan, praised Governor Chris Christie for proposing a new “Fairness Formula” to distribute state education aid more equitably.
Under current state law, some towns receive back just pennies on the dollar of the income taxes their residents pay to the state in the form of school aid allocated to their local districts through a convoluted funding formula that few people understand.
“After years of being the lone voice calling for a new school funding formula that treats every student and every taxpayer fairly, I’m glad that Governor Christie has joined my call for reform,” said Doherty. “Every child deserves an equal opportunity, and every taxpayer deserves fair treatment.”
S-569, proposed by Doherty, would replace the current flawed funding formula with a fair, simple and transparent formula that would provide every child in the state with an equal share of state education aid, regardless of where they live. Continue Reading…
Beck & Doherty Joined by Small Business, Taxpayer Advocates to Oppose Billion Dollar Gas Tax Increase
Senator Jennifer Beck (R-11) and Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) were joined by small business and taxpayer advocates in opposition of a proposed billion dollar gas tax increase at a State House press conference. Senator Gerald Cardinale (R-39) offered a statement opposing the gas tax increase as well.
Beck has introduced a plan to fund the state’s Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) without a gas tax increase, and has hosted rallies in Tinton Falls and Freehold with concerned citizens who oppose raising the gas tax.
“We’re standing up for the citizens of New Jersey to oppose a billion dollar gas tax increase,” said Beck. “I’ve provided a detailed plan that shows there’s a real alternative to raising taxes. The thousands of people who signed our online petition and those who joined me at our rallies deserve for my legislation to be considered. Raising taxes shouldn’t be the only option that’s put up for a vote.”
Doherty has long-called for a study to examine excessive state transportation costs as the starting point of any transportation funding discussion. He is the sponsor of S-1888, which would create the “State Transportation Cost Analysis Task Force.”
“Advocates for a 23 cent per gallon gas tax increase have never explained why we need $2 billion annually for transportation spending,” said Doherty. “They’ve never seriously addressed the Reason Foundation report that shows we spend the most per mile in the nation or the disparity in spending figures cited by others. Before we ask drivers and taxpayers for even a penny more for our roads, I believe the state has an obligation to prove that the taxes and tolls already collected are spent wisely.”
The following editorial by Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) opposing a gas tax increase and calling for a study of transportation spending was published in the Asbury Park Press on June 14, 2016:
With a $1.3 billion gas tax increase proposed by some in the Legislature, it’s more important than ever to understand New Jersey’s transportation spending.
More than a year ago, I called for the state to create a “State Transportation Cost Analysis Task Force” to conduct a methodical analysis of the factors that contribute to New Jersey’s road costs, compare our costs to those of other states, and provide recommendations to complete projects more cost-effectively.
While many would consider this legislation to be a matter of common sense, it has failed to advance in the Democrat-controlled Legislature.
REVISED MEDIA ADVISORY (Wednesday, June 15th): Senators Beck and Doherty Press Conference Opposing Gas Tax Increase
Update: Press conference moved from noon to 11:30 a.m.
Senator Jennifer Beck (R-11) and Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) will hold a State House press conference on Wednesday with opponents of a proposed billion dollar gas tax increase.
WHO: Senator Jennifer Beck; Senator Mike Doherty; Laurie Ehlbeck, State Director for NFIB; Erica Jedynak, State Director for Americans for Prosperity; and others.
WHAT: Press conference in opposition of a proposed gas tax increase.
WHEN: TOMORROW – Wednesday, June 15 at 11:30 a.m.
WHERE: Room 319 of the New Jersey State House.
Sen. Mike Doherty (R-23) says that a plan to subsidize the American Dream Meadowlands project with $1 billion in government bonds is a bad deal for New Jersey taxpayers in this editorial published in the Star-Ledger on June 2, 2016:
Last fall, the Triple Five Group boasted that the nearly $5 billion construction cost of the long-delayed American Dream Meadowlands mall makes it “the most expensive retail project on earth.”
The American Dream project is a retail and entertainment center that remains under construction at the Meadowlands Sports Complex located in East Rutherford.
Senator Michael Doherty (R-23) introduced legislation to make the process of filing for New Jersey’s homestead tax rebate easier for residents, especially seniors.
“This rebate is a valuable tool for homeowners to ease the burden of our high property taxes in New Jersey,” Senator Doherty said. “We need to eliminate any roadblocks they might encounter and make it easier for more people to take advantage of this program.”
Advanced: Doherty Bill Requiring MVC to Issue Windshield Certificates for Vehicles Exempt From Inspection
Legislation sponsored by Senator Michael Doherty (R-23) to require the Motor Vehicle Commission to issue certificates to vehicles exempt from inspection has cleared the Senate Transportation Committee. This would include passenger vehicles from 1995 and older under a change coming to the state inspection program.
“Issuing these exemption certificates is a commonsense update to existing law that would have a positive impact on countless New Jersey drivers,” Senator Doherty said. “Preventing unnecessary motor vehicle stops enables law enforcement officials to save valuable time and police resources, and focus on keeping our roadways and communities safe.”