By Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon
Politicians like to talk about budgetary issues and challenges in pieces -ignoring the big-picture, and inconvenient, collateral effects of their proposed solutions. Even the public, and well-meaning editorial boards, fall prey to this segmentation mentality hoping there is an answer that doesn’t eviscerate their particular sacred cow. Throw in the fact that there is a general belief in a magic bullet that will fix our budget problems and you have a dangerous mix of ignorance and irrational expectation. It is time to clear that up. Governor Christie is right when he says our budget problems are serious. The solutions are going to be painful.
First, let’s understand that the causes of the problem are rooted in the actions, over the last 20 years, of legislators and governors – Republicans and Democrats – who were either well-meaning, but ultimately ill-informed, or those who consciously opted for political expediency knowing their actions would ultimately bankrupt the state. The former motivation is sad, the latter reprehensible.
Making certain assumptions about things we can and can’t fund, our structural deficit is around $6.75 billion – inclusive of $1.6 billion in transportation investment per year but exclusive of things we’d love to do like cut property taxes.admin | Filed under: New Jersey, New Jersey State Budget, Opinion | Tags: Assemblyman Declan O'Scanlon, Budget Deficits, Declan O'Scanlon, New Jersey State Budget, NJ Legislature, Opinion | 4 Comments »
By Senator Joe Kyrillos
Nobody ever felt sorry for a millionaire. At least that’s the principle some Democrats in Trenton are banking on as they resurrect former Gov. Jon Corzine’s “millionaires tax” to close the expected budget gap for fiscal 2015. Proponents of this tax increase promise it will hit only the wealthy, but in fact, poor and middle-class families will ultimately shoulder the burden.
Of course, the term “millionaires tax” is a misnomer. New Jersey already taxes the income of millionaires at one of the highest rates in the nation — higher than 44 other states do. The so-called millionaires tax is just an expired tax increase that raises New Jersey’s top tax rate to about 11 percent, the third-highest in the United States.
Proponents of the millionaires tax imagine that the only reason people could oppose this tax hike is that they’re worried New Jersey’s well-to-do will run low on caviar if it’s passed.
Actually, what we’re worried about is the impact on New Jersey’s working families.
As it turns out, millionaires don’t like paying high taxes any more than the rest of us do. But unlike most of us, they can easily move out of New Jersey to avoid new tax hikes. For many, changing their tax residence is as simple as spending a few more weeks a year at their vacation home in Florida. They can keep a house in New Jersey to spend time with the grandkids, live for six months and one day in the Florida home, and voilà, they are Florida residents who no longer owe a dime in New Jersey taxes. As a bonus, their children will escape paying New Jersey’s highest-in-the-nation estate tax.
It’s little wonder that in 2010, the last year we had the old Corzine millionaires tax on the books, 88,000 individuals left New Jersey, taking with them a total annual income of $5.5 billion.
The millionaires tax could be more aptly named the “Goodbye New Jersey Tax.”admin | Filed under: 2017 NJ Gubernatorial Politics, Joe Kyrillos, New Jersey, New Jersey State Budget, NJ State Legislature, Opinion | Tags: Going Away Tax, Joe Kyrillos, Millionaires tax | 9 Comments »
Gov. Chris Christie vowing to veto any tax increase, Democratic legislative leaders looking for pension-funding solutions may conclude that their best option is to bypass Christie by putting a millionaire’s tax on the ballot as a constitutional amendment…
admin | Filed under: New Jersey State Budget | Tags: NJ State Budget | 2 Comments »
TRENTON — No one wants to be the politician who guts spending, raises taxes or reneges on a promise. But thanks to Gov. Chris Christie and a sluggish economic recovery in New Jersey, those are the choices facing Democratic leaders in the state Legislature…
admin | Filed under: 2016 Presidential Politics, 2017 NJ Gubernatorial Politics, Chris Christie, New Jersey State Budget, NJ State Legislature | Tags: 2016 Presidential politics, 2017 Gubernatorial race, Assemblyman Declan O'Scanlon, Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver, Chris Christie, NJ State Budget, Pension reform, Sen Ray Lesniak, Steve Sweeney | 2 Comments »
Being governor is all about having options, settling on a course of action, marshaling legislative and public support, and then implementing it smoothly and effectively. From time to time, though, issues arise for which none of the available options…
admin | Filed under: Chris Christie, Christie Administration, New Jersey State Budget, Opinion | Tags: Chris Christie. Christie Administration, NJ State Budget, NJ State Budget Deficit | Comments Off
TRENTON — Gov. Chris Christie in the last two months gave raises to the staff members who run his press shop, his schedule and his public appearances, according to a report by The Record. Of the 27 staff members who got their salary bumped, 24 are…
Art Gallagher | Filed under: Chris Christie, Christie Administration, New Jersey State Budget | Tags: Chris Christie, Christie Administration, Office of the Governor, Salaries | 1 Comment »