AWKWARD: NJ-05 Democrat concedes that Gottheimer’s property tax charity scheme isn’t legal

Congressman Josh Gottheimer (left, leaning) and Glen Rock Mayor Bruce Parker (right)
Congressman Josh Gottheimer (left, leaning) and Glen Rock Mayor Bruce Parker (right)

Congressman Josh Gottheimer‘s goofy plan to make the IRS treat property tax payments like charitable deductions is… well, it’s goofy. We’ve explained “why” at great length.

“It’s one of the more ridiculous comments to think that you can take a real estate tax that you’re required to make, and dress that up as a charitable contribution,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said. “I hope that the states are more focused on cutting their budgets and giving tax cuts to their people.”

Amen! But don’t take my word or the Treasury Secretary’s word for it! 

A Democrat mayor inside the freshman Democrat congressman’s own fifth district agrees that it’s a fantasy.

Check out what Mayor Bruce Packer (D-Glen Rock) posted via Facebook on Thursday:

At yesterday’s council meeting, I spoke at some length about the latest information that I have received relating to the suggestion from Congressman Gottheimer and others that there may be a way to avoid some of the implications of the recently passed tax hike bill.

In short, in the opinion of various professionals and legislators that I have spoken to, there is no legal way for a NJ municipality to do what is being suggested.

There is no existing mechanism that enables us to collect anything less than 100% of the property taxes owed by all of our residents. In order to do what is being suggested, we will likely need to see the passage of an amendment to our current tax code at the state level, and possibly changes to the Federal code to assure that what is being suggested does not violate IRS rules.

I will continue to stand behind my previous statements that if other municipalities find a way to help their residents avoid the hit of the new tax hike, I will do everything within my power to assure that Glen Rock does the same. Current municipal tax laws do not allow for creativity or loopholes that can potentially benefit our residents. The way we collect taxes, report them, and distribute them is very specific and must be followed to avoid fines or other headaches.

If you want to know what you can do, feel free to write to your county, state, and Federal legislators and encourage them to first create the path that would allow us to do what is being suggested and second, provide the proper guidance to all municipalities to avoid any unnecessary expenses stemming from otherwise necessary reviews and input from our attorneys, auditors, and other professionals.

[Emphasis added.]

Repeat: there is NO way to accomplish what Governor-elect Phil Murphy and Congressman Josh Gottheimer are pitching as an alternative to actually doing their jobs and working towards affordability here in the Garden State. No matter how much Murphy, Gottheimer, and their media allies push the narrative.

You just heard it from an NJ-05 Democrat, folks…