Social media and our comments section have been ablaze after we took a look at a panel’s proposal to merge the 191 New Jersey municipalities with less than 5,000 people.
But to a pair of researchers at Rutgers University, the plan is dead on arrival. Not because of politics, and not because of New Jersey’s desperate love of home rule.
To them, it’s a non-starter for a more simple reason: It won’t work.
“There are places where it makes sense,” said Marc Pfeiffer, who oversaw consolidation efforts at the state for two decades before joining academia. “But there is no indication widespread consolidation will amount to savings. We can’t consolidate our way to property tax savings.”