Is the school budget affected by tax abatements?

Dear Editor:
I read in the Sunday, March 31st North Bergen Reporter that the North Bergen Board of Education has adopted a $120 million dollar school budget. I have not seen the details of this budget. However; I agree with Business Administrator Steven Somick when he says. “If the budget is voted down, we’ll look to see where we can make cuts that will be least hurtful to the children.”The report went on to say that the school tax rate is expected to increase because of cost increases contributing to salaries, benefits, and special education, and tuition. I have some questions. When Mayor Sacco and his commissioners approve 30 year tax abatements to wealthy construction developers in town; does that not financially affect the Board of Education negatively, and hurt our children? Are not these a portion of tax dollars the board would normally utilize? Is the town government being “frugal as possible” handing out these tax abatements when apparently now we need a school tax rate increase, and possibly cut educational services? Those extra tax dollars could certainly delay the “seam from bursting” a bit longer. They are certainly not the answer, but any little bit helps.
Mr. Somick goes on to say. “We are right now at the level we were when Governor Christie took over”. Mr. Somick please, again, let’s leave the politics out of our schools. We all know that Mayor, Assistant Superintendent, State Senator Nicholas J. Sacco is not a best “amigo” (friend) of the governor. It’s easy to play the blame game isn’t it?

Jose A. Chinea

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