(TRENTON) — Assemblyman John J. Burzichelli (D-Cumberland/Gloucester/Salem) issued a multimedia package Tuesday in which he voices his concerns over the public school activity taxes parents must now pay for their children to participate in sports and clubs. The new taxes resulted from Gov. Christie’s $1 billion in school cuts in last year’s budget that also delivered the highest property tax increase since 2007.
The multimedia package consists of a video of Assemblyman Burzichelli talking about the impact of the cuts and audio and a transcript of same.
The audio file is available upon request.
A transcript of comments from Assemblyman Burzichelli follows:
Assemblyman John J. Burzichelli (D-Gloucester):
“People know their property taxes are high but now there has been a new veiled tax levied on parents with kids in public schools, and it’s called activity fees.
“If your child’s going to be in theater, in band; if your child is going to be involved in a sport, depending on the school district, you may find your taxes for that child increasing $300 a year, or in that range.
“So today it’s whether your child’s going to run track, play football or be in theater, and tomorrow, it’s going to be an advanced calculus class that would call for an extra charge. And eventually that means that the haves and have-nots — some kids will be able to participate because their parents can afford to pay more taxes, and others will be left behind.
“This is a direct result of the governor not choosing as a priority to fund public schools with the resources they need. And now you see people scrambling. And it just means more taxes in a different form. And, when you start to put this burden in these kind of fees, you don’t spread the cost out to keep it more reasonable for people. You make it harder for people.”