NJ Fiscal Folly

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Corzine's Court Ploy?

As reported in Saturday's Star Ledger, "Gov Jon Corzine yesterday said his administration would seek approval from the state Supreme Court to freeze overall funding to the 31 Abbott districts."

If I was an optimist, I might say that this is a good step, albeit a very small one, in the right direction.

If I was a cynic, I might offer the following observations.

First of all, a freeze isn't a reduction. Even if Corzine succeeds, the Abbott districts will still receive $4.25 billion, or 37% of all funds available for NJ property tax relief.

Second, consider an alternative scenario. Corzine's people deliberately submit a weak argument for a spending freeze, and the court rejects it. Corzine then declares that his hands are tied by the court (and, inevitably, taxes must be raised). He claims credit for making the effort, but never actually jeopardizes his supporters.

Good thing I'm not a cynic.

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