Enlighten New Jersey notes today the inequality in state aid to municipalities.
As required by law, each Legislative Distinct (LD) has approximately the same number of residents, and yet proposed municipal aid ranges from a low of $23,625,299 in LD-24 to a high of $119,422,814 in LD-29. The proposed average municipal aid per Legislative Distinct is $43,178,397.Why are there differences? Enlighten doesn't come out and say it, but the two districts cited provide a clue. District 24 has a large number of small municipalities, 31 in all, receiving an average of $768,558.
Proposed state aid for each municipality and Legislative District can be viewed here and New Jersey population statistics as of December, 2006 can be found here.
District 29, on the other hand, covers Hillside Township and a portion of Newark. The average state aid in 29 is $59,721,407; Hillside will receive $5,676,440, while the tab for Newark is $113,766,374.
The observant will note that in addition to the difference in character (rural vs. urban), District 24 is represented in the Senate and Assembly by Republicans, while 29 is a Democrat District. Surprise!
Actually, it gets better. Breaking down the municipalities statewide by their representation, an interesting trend emerges. All-Democrat districts (Senator + 2 Assemblymen) receive an average of $5.3 million (per municipality) in total state aid, while all-Republican districts average $1.59 million. Here's the breakdown by representation:
|Senate||Assembly||Average Aid||Average Increase|
|D||D, D ||$5,304,771.40||1.95%|
|D||R, D ||$2,582,107.63||1.91%|
|R||D, D ||$2,106,762.21||1.91%|
|R||R, D ||$3,081,757.84||1.91%|
|R||R, R1 ||$1,589,208.16||1.88%|
Breaking it down by county, it's clear that this year's state budget remains, as always, a vehicle for transferring cash to the New York area, at the expense of the rest of the state. Hudson County, with the largest starting aid level, also leads the way in growth at 1.97%
Furthermore, larger municipalities continue to grow faster than smaller ones:
|Municipality Type||0607 |
Combining the representation cut with municipality type, the disparity in state aid to municipalities becomes abundantly clear.
|City||$ 22,981,789.73||$ 4,145,897.80|
|Town||$ 9,016,540.40||$ 1,996,690.78|
|Township||$ 3,909,956.64||$ 2,266,959.05|
|Village||$ 1,891,688.50||$ 1,428,564.00|
|Borough||$ 1,470,199.91||$ 817,775.29|
The budget does not, as the governor said in his address, provide "an across-the-board two percent increase in municipal aid." It provides additional aid at less than the 2% he claims, and in the most divisive and partisan manner possible. If he had any shame, Governor Corzine would resign after submitting this garbage.
1 Posted edited 3/2 9:20 AM to fix a typo