Doherty bill makes Sussex schoolchildren suffer

A "fair school funding" bill backed by Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) would cut funding to some of Sussex County's biggest school districts, causing property taxes to explode. This is according to the bill's own website.


If you live in one of Sussex County's populous suburban municipalities -- like Vernon or Hopatcong -- you will see a decrease in the amount of your income tax dollars returned to you by Trenton.  The same goes if you live in one of the county's older boroughs -- like Franklin, Ogdensburg, Sussex, and Hamburg.  Even if you live in a farming community like Wantage, you will see the money for your children's education slashed by Doherty and replaced with the need for higher property taxes.


According to the website put up with the Doherty bill, the best towns like these can look forward to is this:  "The Fairness Formula may not result in a decrease of property taxes for your town, however there are other solutions to lowering municipal government costs."
What does cutting the cost of municipal government have to do with school funding?  They are two different things.  Now if we are talking about finding ways to lower education costs or the costs associated with school boards, that is more to the point, but this is just out and out b.s. 
But it is typical Doherty.
Senator Doherty talks cost cutting when what he really means to do is to cut our children's school money and force us to raise property taxes to make up for it.


The "real fair school funding" bills are ACR46 and SCR35.  Senator Steve Oroho (R-24), Assemblyman Parker Space (R-24), and Assemblywoman Gail Phoebus (R-24) are all co-sponsors of this legislation.  Senator Doherty once championed these bills too, before he decided to go with legislation he thought had a better chance of success. Unfortunately, what Doherty went with hurts the children of Sussex County.


Is Senator Doherty a "bad" man?  No.  What Senator Doherty is doing is called compromising.  In return for a general perceived good, some are being harmed.  

For example.  In 2009, Mike Doherty ran on a ticket that advocated replacing New Jersey's progressive income tax with a flat tax.  Like President Reagan's user fees, the flat tax is a very conservative idea.  But some Republicans objected and claimed that it would only help the rich.  They said that it would raise taxes on 70 percent of New Jerseyeans. Others said it would save the average New Jerseyean $1,000 a year and would help to grow the economy.  There were good, honest advocates in both camps.  Of course, the argument could be made that Mike Doherty wanted to raise taxes on 70 percent of New Jerseyeans -- doubling the taxes for some.


 Let us know.  We are always interested in your thoughts and ideas.  Write to us at: