Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Richest Districts in New Jersey

You might think that New Jersey's richest school districts - ie, highest resource - would be places like Millburn, Mountain Lakes, Chatham, or Princeton, but this is not correct.

Socioeconomically-high districts like the ones above tend to have large student populations that dilute their resources.  These wealthy suburbs are still quite strong in tax base - Millburn and Princeton both have over $35,000 in Local Fair Share per student, Chatham has barely $20,000 a student, Mountain Lakes has about $17,500 a student, but they have nothing compared to what Jersey Shore resort communities and Hoboken have.

In per student terms, the districts in New Jersey with the greatest tax capacity are usually small districts at the Shore.  These districts are sometimes non-operating and are never K-12. Cape May Point has $1.277 million in Local Fair Share per student.  Allenhurst has $1.192 million per student.  Avalon has $606,876 per student.

Cape May Point's school tax rate is only 0.0082.
Allenhurst's school tax rate is only 0.0060.
Avalon Boro's school tax rate is only 0.0403.
Cape May Point: $462 million in Equalized Valuation +
$14 million in Total Income + Three Students = $26,803
in state aid.

The richest school district with more than 500 students is Hoboken, with over $70,000 in Local Fair Share per student.

Millburn, often considered New Jersey's wealthiest town, is only the 33rd highest tax resource district in New Jersey.

Different districts in New Jersey are going to have different levels of property wealth, different incomes, and different numbers of children. Unless we want a totally homogenous human landscape, diversity of financial resources is unavoidable.

However, I expect the state to try to counterbalance these economic facts by giving more state aid to needier districts.  The districts on the following list - which correspond to New Jersey's top 10% - often get extremely high levels of aid per student considering how much tax potential they have.

New Jersey's 60 highest resource districts get $53 million in K-12 state aid, with Hoboken getting a fifth of that.

The state aid ranges from the $435 per student that conventionally wealthy Millburn gets to Deal getting $12,114 per student (mostly through Interdistrict Choice.)  Allenhurst gets a sickeningly unfair $11,936 per student out of Adjustment Aid and Transportation Aid.

SFRA was supposed to let every district in New Jersey get some aid through the three Categorical Aid streams.  SFRA was supposed to let economically unjustified high-aid levels persist through Adjustment Aid.

I ask you, when there is no realistic way for New Jersey to fully fund SFRA can we continue to aid districts whose tax capacities show that they do not need state aid?

District NameCountyDFG ClassificationLocal Fair ShareLocal Fair Share Per StudentK-12 State AidK-12 Aid Per Student
CAPE MAY POINTCAPE MAY$3,831,214$1,277,071$26,803$8,934
AVALON BOROCAPE MAYFG$59,473,862$606,876$73,209$747
SEA ISLE CITYCAPE MAYB$34,151,452$388,085$254,766$2,895
STONE HARBOR BOROCAPE MAYFG$30,768,648$287,557$53,463$500
SADDLE RIVER BOROBERGENJ$48,204,780$249,766$210,006$1,088
LONG BEACH ISLANDOCEANFG$44,619,512$178,478$723,158$2,893
SEASIDE PARK BOROOCEAN$5,951,882$165,330$156,210$4,339
ALPINE BOROBERGENJ$33,818,844$148,982$143,886$634
SPRING LAKE BOROMONM.DE$33,994,524$110,193$190,254$617
SEA GIRT BOROMONMOUTHI$21,363,869$104,214$104,828$511
BEACH HAVEN BOROOCEANFG$8,104,904$101,311$200,724$2,509
DEAL BOROMONM.$17,212,918$100,075$2,083,568$12,114
CAPE MAY CITYCAPE MAYCD$15,801,869$96,944$553,673$3,397
LAVALLETTE BOROOCEANDE$16,792,324$87,007$174,442$904
BAY HEAD BOROOCEANI$13,493,324$84,333$67,332$421
HOBOKEN CITYHUDSONFG$187,075,236$70,889$10,656,560$4,038
ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS BOROBERGENI$37,969,466$68,661$293,971$532
HARDING TOWNSHIPMORRISJ$31,097,756$67,677$233,677$509
MARGATE CITYATLANTICDE$36,139,003$63,180$546,380$955
WILDWOOD CREST BOROCAPE MAYB$18,478,211$62,426$656,345$2,217
NORTH WILDWOOD CITYCAPE MAYA$21,201,289$55,212$666,740$1,736
AVON BOROMONM.I$9,927,073$48,662$175,564$861
OCEAN CITYCAPE MAYDE$96,496,993$46,061$3,766,449$1,798
BEDMINSTER TWPSOMER.I$34,791,462$45,008$667,403$863
BRIGANTINE CITYATLANTICCD$32,792,678$44,799$2,291,507$3,130
MONMOUTH BEACH BOROMONMOUTHI$12,713,019$43,095$152,604$517
EDGEWATER BOROBERGENGH$38,679,063$41,236$944,565$1,007
RUMSON BOROMONM.J$36,852,943$37,263$380,733$385
MILLBURN TWPESSEXJ$181,130,096$37,109$1,981,782$406
SOMERSET HILLS REGIONALSOMER.I$72,366,894$35,914$877,110$435
COLTS NECK TWPMONM.I$33,709,951$35,261$997,628$1,044
MENDHAM TWPMORRISJ$24,645,421$33,350$430,042$582
SOUTHERN REGIONALOCEANDE$95,428,678$32,459$1,960,025$667
MOUNTAINSIDE BOROUNIONI$24,314,155$30,816$492,364$624
SUMMIT CITYUNIONI$125,725,394$30,800$1,607,073$394
FRANKLIN LAKES BOROBERGENI$51,923,715$30,724$736,334$436
WEST CAPE MAY BOROCAPE MAYDE$2,555,658$30,067$508,018$5,977
TEWKSBURY TWPHUNTERDONJ$19,941,519$29,631$849,868$1,263
FLORHAM PARK BOROMORRISI$29,369,500$29,487$485,924$488
MORRIS PLAINS BOROMORRISI$18,809,045$29,389$766,220$1,197
RUMSON-FAIR HAVEN REGMONM.J$26,471,582$28,931$437,846$479
BRADLEY BEACH BOROMONM.CD$11,545,746$28,438$1,062,509$2,617
MENDHAM BOROMORRISJ$16,733,328$28,266$249,335$421
MAHWAH TWPBERGENI$85,878,530$28,129$2,306,791$756
FORT LEE BOROBERGENFG$108,964,199$28,105$2,046,454$528
WOODCLIFF LAKE BOROBERGENJ$21,505,801$27,857$356,147$461
WEST ESSEX REGIONALESSEXI$46,583,795$27,844$1,029,742$616
SHORE REGIONALMONM.GH$16,797,733$27,269$439,299$713
SPRING LAKE HEIGHTS BOROMONM.FG$13,088,499$25,664$321,679$631
BOONTON TWPMORRISI$18,282,473$24,639$464,923$627
CRANBURY TWPMIDDLESEXJ$19,422,693$23,949$466,503$575
BRIELLE BOROMONM.GH$18,719,365$23,907$430,068$549
HO HO KUS BOROBERGENJ$21,299,137$23,613$465,891$517
BELMAR BOROMONM.DE$16,373,852$23,225$980,970$1,391
MOONACHIE BOROBERGENB$8,186,949$22,247$393,175$1,068

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