That was the theme of Governor Chris Christie’s keynote address at this year’s New Jersey Chamber of Commerce-hosted ‘Walk to Washington’ dinner in Washington, D.C., Save Jerseyans, and the Big Guy didn’t mince words when he discussed the ramifications of the Assembly’s failure to pass a renewed arbitration cap.
This wasn’t a fluffy “thanks for the invite” speech, although he did take the time to crack a few perfunctory jokes related to select attendees.
In case you’ve missed it, Save Jerseyans, the Governor’s $34+ billion FY 2015 budget proposal is drawing flack from liberals and conservatives alike for including “revenue enhancements” such as a brand new tax electronic cigarettes and an expansion of our state’s sales tax to include online retailers.
The company line is that these aren’t tax hikes because the state would simply apply preexisting rates to previously exempt items; for example, electronic cig users would pay the same tax rate as regular smokers do for their regular cigarettes.
One prominent conservative legislator disagrees, Save Jerseyans. You know him. Jay Webber (R-Morris), a member of the General Assembly and former NJ GOP chairman, recently told NJ.com’s Matt Friedman that he doesn’t see the distinction between enhancements and hikes:
State Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) is preparing to introduce legislation which would repeal Realty Transfer Fees and subsequently added “layers” in New Jersey, Save Jerseyans. It’s long overdue.
“When you sell your home in New Jersey, you’re getting whacked by this arbitrary tax, and that’s wrong,” Senator Allen said in an explanatory release. “This initiative will help struggling homeowners, including those who might be facing short sales or foreclosures. It will save property owners across this state a burden of thousands of dollars, which particularly hurts those who have lost equity in their homes due to the economic recession.”
Governor Christie is absolutely on track in his questioning of the Realty Transfer Fee (RTF), Save Jerseyans, and if anything, if he is able to successfully eliminate this insidious tax placed on property owners, then he should also make sure it cannot revert back to its previous status once he leaves office.
When I was running for office, another one of my peeves was the Realty Transfer Fee (RTF), pursued aggressively under Jim McGreevey and continued by Jon Corzine as an additional source of revenue. Click here to play with an RTF calculator if you’re a visual learner.
This form of taxation acts as an insidious hidden tax to homeowners New Jersey…
When I was in high school there was a window that separated the administrative offices from the main hallway on which was typically posted school news and such. One day one of the teachers posted a cartoon on the window. On the left side of the cartoon was a professional athlete living in squalor, and on the right side was a teacher living in a mansion. The caption read “What people would be paid if they were paid what they were worth.” The teachers thought this was especially clever.
Hundreds of middle-aged people looking for work at Brookdale this morning. April 4, 2014
New Jersey voters are either greedy jerks or stupid and impressionable buffoons if you buy The Star Ledger Editorial Board’s (Tom Moran’s) reading of the QuinnipiacPoll released on Thursday. The poll reported that New Jerseyans favor wage freezes for state workers, by a 53-42 margin, and oppose an increase in the gasoline tax by a 65-33 percent margin:
New Jersey voters are jerks. The new state motto: “Screw you, not me.”
That is how Moran starts off his rant. He finishes by cutting the poll respondents a break. Maybe we aren’t greedy jerks, maybe we’ve been led to think the way we do:
We’ll cut the folks responding to the Quinnipiac poll a break – they’ve been goaded in this direction. Despite widespread reforms to state workers’ pay and benefits during the past four years, not to mention budget cuts that led to historic layoffs of police, teachers and firefighters, Gov. Chris Christie used his annual budget address to continue to blame state worker compensation for our fiscal aches and pains.
Hmmm. Moran’s frustration is showing. As the editorial page editor of the state’s largest media outlet, Moran should be the most powerful opinion maker in New Jersey. How could his readers be so stupid?!
Insulting your customers (readers) is a interesting strategy to stop the bleeding of a company (media outlet) that is contracting rapidly and recently announced 167 layoffs which followed millions in concessions from the outlet’s unionized workers and a smaller round of layoffs.
Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) took to the floor of the House on Thursday to express support for Concurrent Resolution 96, otherwise known as the “Path to Prosperity” championed by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, a measure which balances the budget in 10 years but has nevertheless generated considerable controversy among Republicans both inside and outside of the beltway.
The measure ultimately passed narrowly, 219 to 205. Here’s the video of Rep. Lance’s brief remarks:
“If the facts aren’t on your side, accuse your opponents of being racists or sexists as loudly as you can. And if that doesn’t work, go ahead and create a holiday to remind everyone that they’re racists and/or sexists.”
Another time-honored liberal belief is that women are only good women if they’re making “liberal” choices, such as forgoing family for career or voluntarily aborting their young. Women who choose a traditional lifestyle (e.g. staying at home to raise the kids while they’re aren’t really women. They’re no better than self-loathing servants of piggish evil white rich Republican men like Matt Rooney.
So for those of you who still feel oppressed today on the basis of bad statistics and self-interested Democrat propaganda, I invite you to liberate yourself from ignorance with the following insightful video version of the facts, not hysterics, which we discussed last year here at Save Jersey:
New Jersey property taxes will likely resume the double digit annual growth that occurred under the McGreevey, Codey and Corzine Administrations if Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto’s version of the of the Interest Arbitration extension becomes law. Either that, or municipal governments as we know them will cease to exist, succumbing to a long and painful death of higher crime and reduced services and capital improvements.
A 2% cap on interest arbitration awards in labor disputes was a key component of the 2% property tax cap negotiated between Governor Chris Christie, Senate President Steve Sweeney and Prieto’s predecessor, Sheila Oliver in 2010. It worked. Arbitrators made awards of less that 2% to police and fire fighters unions and property taxes rose less than 2% per year over the last four years.
The problem is Oliver insisted that the arbitration cap expire on April 1, 2014. Now, we’re a week before the arbitration cap expires and Prietro is gutting the cap by passing an extension of the law that exempts contracts that were awarded less than 2% during the last three years from any future caps and raises the cap to 3% on contracts that have not been negotiated since 2010.
The math will never work. If property taxes stay capped at 2% but the primary cost of property taxes, salaries, are not capped or are capped at 3%, municipal services will disappear. Police will be laid off, with the junior, lower paid officers being let go first, leaving the older and more highly paid officers to run drown the inevitable increase in crime. Towns will go bust. The state will take over municipal governments and force consolidations.
As millions are counting pennies and living on ramen noodles, Save Jerseyans in case you were wondering or didn’t know…
First Lady Michelle Obama, her daughters, mother and an entourage of 70, are staying in a sumptuous 3,400-square-foot, $8,350-per-night suite presidential suite at a Beijing Westin hotel complete with a private steam room, ‘corner sofas with silk pillows,’ and in-room dining for six.
Judicial Watch, a watchdog group in Washington, D.C., reports that it cost more than $11 million for President and Mrs. Obama to travel to Africa for Nelson Mandela’s memorial service last December, all despite the fact that they were in Africa for less than 13 hours.