No kids, low taxes

With the highest school costs in the nation, New Jersey towns are building adults-only housing to keep children out and keep taxes down.

Educating a child in New Jersey costs an average of $12,567 a year, the most in the nation and more than double the property tax parents typically pay. So local governments have hit upon a way to expand the tax base without the expense of higher enrollment: age-restricted housing.

Via Division of Labor.

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  1. Mrs. Davis says:

    These people deserve to have their social security provided only from their account, not from the wages of those who are still working and might have children. This is a good way to get the responsibility for and control of schools transferred from the municipality to the state.

    If these New Jersians think this is a good idea, they should look at California schools. At least in New Jersey the quality of schools is reflected in the value of property. In California it is only the quality of students. Because the state and its teachers’ union run the schools and it shows.

  2. there is one problem with the article it states that property taxes pay for the schools, new jersey instituted a state income tax with property relief to fund schools by court order around 1980. if the article is acurate new jersey has both high property taxes and a income tax. way to go jersey

  3. wayne martin says:

    The Median Household Income in New Jersey was $56,356 (Y2K Census Estimate), as opposed to $43,318 for the US as a whole. Average teacher salary was paid $56, 653 for 2003-04 ( New Jersey’s teachers’ salaries ranked 7th in the nation for that year.

    With a modest three percent average yearly increase in salary (effectively CPI-based), this year’s $12,000 jumps to $16,100 and to $21,600 ten years after that. These salary increases are not accompanied by any productivity increases, or quality improvements. The property owners get the bill, and the bill is clearly going up.

    With some people screaming for “socialized medicine” now, the costs of public education, public health and public safety will doubtless bankrupt the country—if the social security system hasn’t already.

  4. Catch Thirty Thr33 says:

    We hear all the time that all the schools need is more money. With $12, 567 a year, paired with that logic, you would think that NJ would be churning out an Army of Mozarts, Shakespeares, Salks, Einsteins, Newtons and Baarnards every single spring. I get the sense, however, that this is not the case.

  5. Miller Smith says:

    Children are a choice. Those that choose to have children should pay EVERYTHING for them.

  6. Ronk is right that NJ has an income tax as well as local property taxes. However, income tax rates have actually dropped a bit and the income tax never paid more than about 1/3 of school costs (the rest financed by NJ property taxes).

    NJ property taxes have been growing at about 7% per year in the face of flat state (income tax-funded) aid. Clearly older homeowners on fixed incomes (or ones which rise only with CPI) get squeezed even if student/teacher ratios stop declining as they have over the past few years.

  7. Children are a choice. Those that choose to have children should pay EVERYTHING for them.

    Except that we rely on children and those that are having them to support our modern social welfare state. The system is set up so that our generation relies upon the next generation to foot the bill for our retirement and medical care during retirement. In for a penny in for a pound. (And just so we’re clear, I’m not saying that our current system is a good one. It is what it is. But under such a system we rely on sufficient number of children to perpetuate it.)

    And let’s not forget that many of these geezers most likely got their own kids’ education subsidized by the public.

  8. mike from oregon says:

    NJ has a sales tax too, right? In Oregon, so far we’ve never had a sales tax but our income tax is at 9% and property tax is high but would have been higher if we hadn’t enacted a property tax limitation law. As is now, a $300,000 house will run you about $6,000 a year in property tax.

    Our dumocratic governor, now in his second term, is going to shove over 51% of the general budget into the schools – and guess what? They are talking about trying to get a sales tax in here.

    I do agree with Miller Smith, if you have kids, you pay to raise them. I have put both of mine through private grade and high schools at a staggering cost to me – but it was well worth it. My sister put hers through a public high school and there is on comparison as to the education level when both sets of kids graduated. Public institutions could be better, but they won’t be as long as teacher unions are around.

  9. Richard Cook says:

    Essentially NJ is a socialist state. I was born and raised there (Montclair) and my 84 yr old dad still lives there. Montclair was changed when the freaks from NY city “discovered” it. Now the talk is where are we going to get the money to pay for our programs and government is looked to for everything. His little 1920’s built bungalow in Montclair is worth 400,000 dollars. NJ is literally running out of funding sources. The comedown is going to hard. I honestly wonder where is all this money they want going to come from?

  10. The courts are a big part of the problem in New Jersey.

    A number of years ago, NJ enacted an income tax, which was supposed to provide additional school funding and relieve some of the burden on homeowners. But the Supreme Court of NJ ordered the legislature to use income tax revenue to reduce the spending gap between the richest and poorest districts.

    So the thirty or so poorest districts, known as “Abbott Districts,” get most of the income tax revenue. Spending per pupil in those districts matches spending per pupil in the richest districts in the state. There’s been a little improvement in the Abbott districts, but it’s not that impressive considering the money spent.

    Money left over after funding the Abbott schools is divided among the other 500 or so districts in the state. Middle class towns are badly squeezed by rising taxes, without much relief from the state. They are forced to rely largely on property taxes. Many middle class people are leaving the state.

    The judges don’t seem terribly concerned.

  11. It’s quite fair for people without children to support public education with their taxes. After all, today’s adults were yesterday’s children and others paid for them to be educated.

  12. Miller Smith says:

    Not fair MTheads. And KDeRosa, we are at 1.8 fertility rate-well below the 2.1 needed for replacemnet. For today’s kids to pay for Medicare and Social Security for us (ha) they will have to have a 110% tax rate to pay for JUST those two programs, not to mention all the other things our taxes paid for. They won’t do it. Ever. They will and must drop us like a bad habit.

    And since when can adult mortgage the furture of their children to the needs we should take care of ourselves.

    When abortion was largely illegal one could argue that society had an obligation to pay for the children it demanded be born. No more. That’s been over since 1974 with RvW. Children are a choice. You choose to have them, you pay for them. Otherwise, suck them down the sink.

    I pay through the nose in every type of tax I can think of and most of it is “for the children.” I’m tired of paying for everyone’s children. They won’t-and can’t-pay for my elderly needs. That is my responsibility and no one else’s. We are in the post-modern society. Children are not our ‘savings’ or our ‘wealth’ anymore. Moral people do not place finacial obligations on children just because we won’t take care of our own selves.

  13. “And since when can adult mortgage the furture of their children to the needs we should take care of ourselves.”

    That’s how Social Security has been funded for nearly 70 years. It’s not right, but nearly all of the payout has to come from people currently working, since they never did save up the money paid in. So why bellyache about running education the same way?

  14. Miller Smith says:

    markm, because we run education the same way we get the ‘tragedy of the commons’. SS is treated as if it will be funded forever. The kids today can’t pay for it. Not enough of them to do so.

    Children are a choice. Pay for your own choices. Please.