In response to Maureen Sullivan's letter regarding the fact that the school board is now $165,000 over the minimum tax levy, let me put it in perspective. First off the reason is because Hoboken received an additional $400,000 of unanticipated state aid, the highest to any former Abbott District. While I agree with Maureen that the excess funds should be returned to the taxpayer, it is not going to change anyone's life.
The school board levy is approximately $36 million and the municipal levy is proposed at $54 million, or $90 million combined. If you pay $10,000 a year in Hoboken property taxes (ex Hudson County) you will receive $20 off or pay $9,980 instead. This means that each quarter you will save $5. Put simply, it is not going to magically lower your taxes.
Unfortunately there is a complicated state formula that disallows the school board from cutting the tax levy any further. This occurs because certain towns that receive the bulk of state school aid (like Newark) abused those funds for tax relief instead of its stated purpose of educating their children.
This is what happens when government interferes in settling disputes. All they had to do is enforce school aid going to the schools or the municipality would lose it. Instead they came up with a complicated 50 page formula that hamstrings fiscally sound towns like Hoboken from providing meaningful relief to the taxpayer.
The funds are being put to good use. Interactive Smart Boards and laptops will be in classrooms, tutors are being rehired and there is a much needed capital improvement program being instituted for example.
Here's the link for the minimum levy formula information: