New Jersey’s $34.1 billion FY 2015 budget stinks for a host of different reasons, Save Jerseyans, all of which we’ve discussed here at Save Jersey including a measure that ADDS new members to the imperiled public benefits system, and we’ll continue to hope that Governor Chris Christie surprises us and uses his veto pen liberally but, for now, here’s a clip of Asm. Jay Webber (R-Morris) who did a solid job of summarizing where Democrats (and his own GOP) went astray from the floor on Thursday:
A woman protests Governor Christie’s pension payment walk-back at his 6/25/14 Haddon Heights Town Hall (photo credit: Alyssa LaFage)
I thoroughly enjoyed attending my first Christie town hall in a long time on Wednesday, Save Jerseyans, though to be 100% honest with you, the pall of a budget battle palpably hung heavily over Governor Chris Christie’s 122nd such gathering hosted at an elementary school in suburban Haddon Heights.
Still, the Governor’s opening comments to the 300-ish attendees were less optimistic and upbeat than usual - the fictional Marty McFly might’s said “heavy” – and the tenor of the day’s discussion didn’t get too much more chipper from there on out despite his best attempts to mix in a little humor (and he did get some laugh lines as per usual). Also noticeably absent were any of the Governor’s situational allies in the South Jersey Democrat Machine; only Camden County Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli, Jr. was in attendance, a staunch support of police consolidated backed by the Administration, but he politely got up and left half way through the event.
No Steve Sweeney, nor Dana Redd, nor Donald Norcross (even though Heights is in his district).
A sign of the mood 45 minutes north on I-295? Christie was stoic, sober yet undeniably fatalistic about the next steps in the choreographed budget drama. “…[the Democrats] passed yesterday a whole bunch of these taxes in committee,” Christie explained, providing a little background for his audience. “I assume they are going to pass them tomorrow in the full senate and assembly.”
THIS is how sad it’s getting in Trenton, Save Jerseyans.
The following blurb from our AFP-NJ friends’ post-Assembly budget vote release caught my eye: “If reports are true, only Asm. Cryan and a few others in the Democratic caucus opposed this tax-hiking budget. We commend Asm. Cryan for pushing for a 4% across-the-board cut in the budget[.]“
Scratch that, Save Jerseyans. Why do Democrats and newspaper editors, aka Harry & Lloyd, our friends from Dumb and Dumber, ALWAYS ignore the facts of this argument? I’m getting sick and tired of the facts staring them right in the face and then, instead of responding to logic and reason, they lie to our faces. When they say that people do not leave, that people do not flee a state when they institute a millionaires tax, grab a fire extinguisher, aim it at their pants and get ready to pull the pin.
Wealth flees, Save Jerseyans. Wealth flees. And here is what the FACTS tell us what happens when a state, any state, raises its millionaires tax.
That’s not honest. It isn’t what’s actually on the table in Trenton this morning. A better term would be the “Arbitrary and Capricious Tax.”
This is Senate President Steve Sweeney’s plan to save New Jersey’s budget, as articulated by his office to the media:
(1) 10.75% tax on “millionaires” generating $565 million (2) 10.25% tax on the $500k – $1 million group generating $155 million
There’s plenty of way to come up with these funds by cutting rather than taxing, but as I reminded you earlier this week, folks, el Presidente doesn’t care whether it adds up. This is a political maneuver, not a product of good faith nor good math. Never forget that; otherwise, you’ll destroy your scalp as you scratch it from now until the end of days.
The boorishly unimaginative Trenton Democrat caucus wants to “balance” New Jersey’s FY 2015 budget – without compromising promised pension payments – by raising taxes on the people who pay the bills. Senate President Sweeney’s competing budget proposal includes a millionaire’s tax (again); whether it’ll work isn’t up for debate since EVERY bit of objective evidence verifies that high taxes catalyze out-of-state migration.
You can’t tax ghosts, Mr. President. You can destroy jobs AND your tax base by convincing ghosts to haunt another lower-tax state. It’s never worked before and there’s no reason to think this time is different. “We have seen the suffocating impact of high taxes on the middle class families who have suffered as jobs moved away,” Assembly Republican Budget Officer Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) very correctly declared on Wednesday afternoon. “The state’s economy cannot sustain additional pressures on employers who have other options. Many of them can and will decide to create jobs in other, more welcoming states if these irresponsible, short-sighted proposals are actually enacted.”
And you know what? I think Steve Sweeney knows it’s true….
Chief among them is former NJ GOP Chairman and political “rising star” Jay Webber who’s never afraid to challenge the status quo. “We shouldn’t be providing these massive subsidies to people who are doing incredibly well,” Webber tolod NJTV on Friday. “These corporate subsidies, this corporate welfare, you’re taxing the guy who works at the gas station; you’re taxing the school teacher; you’re taxing the cop. You’re taking their money and you’re sticking it in the pocket of the owners of the 76ers.”
Tax abatements remains hugely controversial, Save Jerseyans, and they’re back in the news because of recent activity in Camden and Jersey City. Interestingly, unlike many of the issues raised here at Save Jersey, there isn’t a clear consensus on either side of the aisle. For example, right-of-center thinkers can’t agree; Americans For Prosperity (see below) is often found in opposition whereas other actors (including some folks over at The Heritage Foundation) have lauded tax credits with helping spur economic development.
Learn more about it and draw your own conclusion as to whether the cost is worth it… it is, after all your money:
Two voices from the political right are letting their opinions be heard on the subject, Save Jerseyans, and both are strongly opposed to the 110,000 square foot Philadelphia 76ers practice facility on the Camden waterfront.
Why? Because it’s being subsidized by $86 million in tax credits from the Economic Development Authority
“Governor Christie states that we have an $800 million budget shortfall” State Sen. Mike Doherty said in a characteristically-direct statement. “Then why is New Jersey providing an $82 million gift for a billionaire?”
Wrong! No, no, no! Our deep fiscal problems embodied by yesterday’s grim announcement are spending based, and the goofy revenue “strategy” that’s dominated Trenton’s thinking for nearly the past two decades is exacerbating those problems. The only silver lining? We have new definitive proof to back up our counter-argument coming out of this latest fiscal crisis.
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…