Did You Know that Every New Jersey Property Taxpayer Directly Funds New Jersey’s Most Powerful Special Interest Group?
…. Yes, you read that correctly…and sadly, it’s a fact.
Last week, the Sunlight Policy Center of New Jersey issued a report that made news throughout the state, when we uncovered that the NJEA has been secretly funneling millions of dollars into a dark money group supporting Governor Murphy.
We also explained how the NJEA had transformed itself to a political machine by keeping 80 percent of teachers’ dues to spend on politics: lobbying, producing millions of dollars in political advertisements to support NJEA-endorsed politicians (like the dark money group), and paying its senior political pros an average of ten times what a teacher makes.
This week, we have issued our second report, entitled, “NJEA: The Taxpayer-Funded Special Interest,” which shines a light on the funding system that the NJEA has constructed to ensure its political power remains strong.
Since 1994, the NJEA has taken in over $2.1 billion in taxpayer funding, reaching a record $129 million in 2018.
The report details how it works: The NJEA is a private membership organization – albeit a very privileged one. Other, non-privileged, private membership organizations constantly need to persuade their members to remain engaged and to cut a check every year for their dues. An organization of 200,000 members like the NJEA would have to spend millions of dollars a year to keep the dues flowing. However, the NJEA gets the dues without their members ever seeing their own money. School districts essentially act as the NJEA’s bill collector.
In this week’s report, the Sunlight Policy Center of New Jersey provides an in-depth review of this taxpayer-subsidized funding system, tracing its origins, history, and providing details on the great benefits this provides the NJEA.
The question for New Jersey’s citizens is: why are their property tax dollars being funneled directly to a special interest to be used for its own benefit?
These are the facts.
Read the report. Read the foot notes. Every statement is factual and sourced.