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Back in 2005, Phil Murphy, then just a retired Wall Street executive, chaired a commission that looked at New Jersey’s pension system and concluded that “sacrifices on the part of all stakeholders is reasonable as a way to shore up the finances of the system.” His commission recommended: 1. raising the age at which one can retire with full benefits from 55 to 60 and, 2. basing the pension amount on the average of the five highest salaries instead of the highest three. Now that Murphy is governor, where are these proposals?

But that’s not all. Murphy also signed a very generous deal with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) union, a major state workers’ union, without knowing how much it would cost taxpayers. CWA contracts tend to be the baseline for other collective bargaining agreements that the state negotiates, which does not bode well. Murphy must go into union negotiations understanding he represents the taxpayers, not the unions.

Even worse, just a few days after taking office, Murphy let a 2 percent cap on interest arbitration awards expire and has failed to take action to renew this important measure. The cap was a useful tool to control spending on collective bargaining agreements between local governments and unions. This cost-cutting measure saved New Jersey taxpayers more than $2.9 billion in property taxes since 2011.

Moody’s said that unless the decision is reversed, “there will be a potentially dangerous mismatch between revenue and expenditures.” Fitch warned the “elimination of the arbitration cap could force local governments to reduce governmental services and/or rely on one-time resources to accommodate higher wage expenses.”

Then there’s education. On average, per-pupil spending in New Jersey is $20,385 a year. In some of our state’s vocational schools, per-pupil spending can average $35,568 a year, which will get an in-state student a year at Rutgers with room, board, and books.

Other states spend considerably less and do just as well or better on achievement assessments. But the real issue is that education spending decisions are guided by a series of court rulings dating back to the mid-1980s that require the state to disproportionately provide more funding to 31 school districts. These rulings, known as the Abbot v. Burke cases, have not improved educational outcomes for our students and shouldn’t be used to guide our decisions.

Over the years, these 31 so-called “Abbot districts” have received around 60 percent of state aid, while the remaining 647 operating school districts receive what’s left. Has more money made a difference? No. Despite pouring billions of dollars into these 31 school districts, test scores and college readiness numbers have generally remained flat.

Instead of relying on an outdated spending formula, we should be looking at other ways to save money and keep property taxes from rising, including consolidating hundreds of school districts — some of which include fewer than 200 students. Sussex County officials, for example, are looking to create a countywide public school district that they say would save taxpayers $6 million to $9 million a year on administrative costs.

There is no secret to what we need to do to cut property taxes and stop the out-migration from our great state — reduce government spending, end the public union giveaways, reform our pension system, reform the tax code, and reform our schools. In other words, we need to stop what we’re doing now and completely reverse course.