Lost in the headlines of yesterday’s special election is the fact that State Senator Barbara Buono would not rule out raising New Jersey’s 7% sales tax, if elected governor, during her debate with Governor Chris Christie on Tuesday night.
Governor Christie noted that the Democrats, with Buono as the Senate Budget Chair, shut down New Jersey’s government in 2006 when Jon Corzine was governor, because they couldn’t agree how high to raise the sales tax.
Assembly Republican Budget Officer Declarn O’Scanlon issued the following statement regarding Buono’s taxing vision for New Jersey:
“Sen. Buono tells everyone that she doesn’t believe in ‘trickle down’ economics. But her failure to rule out an increase in the sales tax clearly shows she is fine with sending a tsunami of economic pain on middle class workers and their families.
“At a time when New Jersey is in the middle of an economic recovery, she has no concept of what a public policy disaster that proposal would be to creating jobs and maintaining our momentum. Increasing the sales tax is regressive and would further impact the most heavily taxed people in the country. It effectively sends the message to consumers to shop elsewhere and keeps New Jersey from being competitive with surrounding states. I am glad she no longer chairs the Senate Budget Committee. We are still trying to recover from the damage done to our economy.
“The fact that Sen. Buono doesn’t regret any of the 150-plus tax increases she voted for during her time in the Legislature tells voters she has no remorse for taking their hard-earned money out of their pocketbooks. One would have thought she learned of all the harm all those taxes inflicted. People moved out of our state. Businesses either relocated or expanded their operations elsewhere. Sen. Buono’s economic policies would send our state back to the same place where we were for the eight years Democrats had total control of Trenton . Those days are finished and so is Sen. Buono’s career in politics.”
As if the weather wasn’t a damper enough to the Jersey Shore kickoff that Superstorm Sandy ravished businesses, their employees and shore area municipalities desperately need, the shore’s biggest newspaper, and its most popular columnist/blogger are working against us too.
What is really insulting, is that the APP blatantly show how ignorant they are about the New Jersey economy, our tax structure and the cost allocation of our various governments.
There is another logical reason for making the beaches free: revitalizing the Shore economy. What better extra inducement to get people to come to the Jersey Shore? Free beaches could mean millions of dollars in additional revenues for towns. More money spent in restaurants and bars, on summer rentals and motel stays, on souvenirs, on gasoline. For some families, beach fees are prohibitive. For a family of four, they can run $40 or more. That kind of expense can make the difference between going to the beach or staying home. Or between going once or twice a summer instead of several times during the season.
Doing away with beach badges would be a logical thing to do if it would bring revenues to shore towns. Duh! Why didn’t the mayors think of that!?
Governor Christie meeting with business owners at McLoone’s Pier House in Long Branch, April 18, 2013. Photo by Art Gallagher
After meeting with business owners in Long Branch yesterday, Governor Chris Christie told the press that the businesses’ biggest frustration is the amount of phone calls they get asking if they are open. “They’re happy that at least the phone is ringing,” said Christie, emphasizing that the perception that the Shore is not open has to be impacted.
Christie said that there would be a multi-media ad campaign launch by the Economic Development Authority next month to promote Jersey Shore Tourism. It has not been determined if Christie will appear in the aid. “I haven’t been asked. If I’m asked and I think it is appropriate I will consider it,” the governor said in response to a reporter who asked if he would appear in the state funded ad during the gubernatorial campaign season.
The governor said that EDA would be announcing a working capital grant program for businesses impacted by Superstorm Sandy in May and that the Department of Community Affairs will be administering a grant program for homeowners who can apply for up to $150,000 in federal money, over and above what they have already received from FEMA and their insurance companies to rebuild their homes.
Sweeney wants to pay for beach safety and maintenance by getting rid of cops and dpw workers
Photo credit: www.SignsByTheSea.com
MMM has called Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester) three times since he jumped on board with the Senator Mike Doherty (R-Warren) in sponsoring legislation that would ban shoreline municipalites from selling beach badges or imposing other user fees to pay for lifeguards, beach cleanup and policing, if those towns accept federal and state money to rebuild from the destruction of Hurricane Sandy. He hasn’t called back. Steve Sweeney is a kitten. Kitten, kitten, kitten!
Given that he won’t talk to us, we’ll have to judge Sweeney’s crusade for free sand in his ass by what others report he says. The Senate President invited himself to a meeting with the Asbury Park Press Editorial Board earlier this week to make his case for free beaches.
“You don’t charge me to breathe air, why are you charging me to sit on a beach?”
We should be grateful that the top elected Democrat in New Jersey hasn’t figured out how to tax breathing (yet). But really now, our Senate President thinks breathing air (as opposed to grapefruit juice?) is analogous to sitting on a beach? That is something we should be concerned about, especially since this guy is considering a run for governor.
Sweeney told the APP that Belmar and the other shore communities that impose beach user fees should cover those costs by consolidating police forces and departments of public works. He said he would “beat up mayors down the shore” to make it happen “because its not acceptable, you know, to charge beach fees.”
Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty took Sweeney’s first beating:
“I asked (Doherty), how many people live year-round in his town,” Sweeney said. “He’s got a one-square mile town, he’s got 5,800 people. Now, could we run a shared police department? I met his public works director today, could we run a shared public works office?”
“You guys know how I feel about shared services,” Sweeney told the APP. We don’t know if the APP knows how he feels, but MMM thinks Sweeney is thwarting shared services and other methods that municipalities could use to reduce the size and cost of local government. If Sweeney was serious about property tax reduction and more efficient local government he would have passed Governor Christie’s property tax tool kit.
If you win, take the cash option. Taxes are probably going up on the rich next year.
The jackpot is now up to $550 million.
Under current tax law, if you take the 30 year annuity your annual $18,333,333 will be taxed $4,583,333 by the IRS and $1,980,000 by the State if you live in New Jersey, for a net annual payment of $11,770,000.
If you take the $360,200,000 cash jackpot, the feds will take $90,050,000 and New Jersey will take $38,901,600, leaving you with a net payment of $231,248,400.
Republicans had better learn from history — and from Ronald Reagan’s mistake.
President Obama and his fellow big-spenders in Congress are promising if they get higher tax rates today they’ll make even higher spending cuts tomorrow.
It’s an old sucker’s game. Republicans — and the rest of the country — should know it by now, because for three decades we’ve all been suckers.
If history is our guide, and Republicans in Congress don’t grow a spine, by this time next year we’ll have higher taxes, higher spending, more debt and a bigger government.
Twice before, Republicans have been fooled into playing the Democrats’ con game.
It happened to my father early in his first term when he sought to close a growing federal deficit caused by the deep economic recession. He believed Democrats in Congress would keep their pledge to make $3 in future spending cuts for every $1 in immediate tax increases.
In 1982 he signed a compromise tax bill with the horrible name of TEFRA — the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act. And, when those promised spending cuts never materialized in Congress, TEFRA became one of the biggest regrets of my father’s presidency.
My father was duped by the duplicity of Democrats. And so was George H.W. Bush less than a decade later, when he foolishly allowed himself to be taken for the same ride.
Governor Chris Christie took his Endless Summer tax relief tour to Long Beach Island this afternoon.
About half way through this APP video the governor addresses municipal consolidation incentives as a method the state is providing to reduce property taxes. Chrisite is laugh out loud funny in mimicking public opposition to consoldiations.