Ok, Jon Corzine is the governor of New Jersey, not New York. But maybe legislation, like a cold, can be catching to a nearby neighbor. Blow the wind this way, Jon.
New Jersey has been struggling with property tax reform for months. One part of the final property tax package in the Garden State is a law establishing a commission to study which of the state’s 616 school districts and 566
towns would benefit from being consolidated or sharing
services. (The bill was watered down, stripping the commission of the power to force townships and districts to consolidate, but its a start.) Its a major strike at the cherished, but ultimately expensive and inefficient, concept of home rule. New Jersey, like New York, labors under just too much government. In Sullivan, a county with about 70,000 full time residents, we have 15 townships and 9 school districts. That’s a lot of government per person.
Consolidation makes economic sense, but given the beating that Spitzer is taking in trying to make health care more efficient, its unlikely he’ll tackle townships and school districts. We’ll just continue with a patchwork of state subsidies, property tax increases and financial three card monty without dealing with the heart of the property tax disease. That is, until it becomes so painful, like in New Jersey, that it becomes a matter of political survival. Maybe Corzine and crew can go up to Albany to give a little seminar.