Opinion: Two Wrongs Won’t Make It Right

Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff In politics, being seen to do something is almost as important as actually doing it. So it was perhaps inevitable that aggrieved blue-state leaders in California, New York, and now New Jersey would push half-baked ideas for thwarting or working around the recent federal tax bill’s “devilish” limitation on state and local tax (SALT)… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: February 12th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: New Jersey, Opinion | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »

Opinion: Heads They Win, Tails You Lose

Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff In 1866, Surrogate Gideon J. Tucker wrote that “[n]o man’s life, liberty or property are safe while the Legislature is in session.” Over a hundred years later, the New Jersey Legislature is doing its very best to keep Surrogate Tucker’s warning pertinent by once again advancing special-interest legislation that reaches for a new low… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: March 22nd, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: New Jersey, Opinion | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Opinion: The Coming Federalization of NJ Pension and Benefits Crisis

Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff Prediction: Sometime in the foreseeable future, the federal government will step in to address the self-inflicted crisis in state and local government pension and health-benefits funding. The only real question for us in New Jersey is whether it will happen soon enough to save us from ourselves. How and why? Let’s review where we… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: February 23rd, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Opinion | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Opinion: The Coming Federalization of NJ Pension and Benefits Crisis

Ex-state treasurer to talk about N.J.’s budgetary challenges

assetContent (67)LAWRENCE — Former state treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff who resigned last July will be talking at Rider University next week about the budgetary challenges facing the state. “Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff has been a leading player inside the Christie administration for several years,” said Benjamin Dworkin, director of the school’s Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics, which is sponsoring… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: February 25th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: New Jersey, New Jersey State Budget, News | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Ex-state treasurer to talk about N.J.’s budgetary challenges

Opinion: Time to Revisit the New Jersey-Pennsylvania Reciprocal Tax Deal

2320Money’s tight. Hardly a New Jersey news cycle goes by without some discussion lamenting our lack of fiscal flexibility in meeting a range of critical needs, from “fixing” the Transportation Trust Fund and shoring up local governments in fiscal distress to funding the state’s long-term pension and healthcare obligations. And let’s not forget the… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: December 10th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: New Jersey, Opinion | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Opinion: Time to Revisit the New Jersey-Pennsylvania Reciprocal Tax Deal

Not Front Page News

Christie Administration continuing McGreevey/Corzine practice of keeping utilities monies intended for municipalities.

Lost in the hysteria of Democrats fighting with each other was news buried on page 3 of yesterday’s Asbury Park Press that actually affects your property taxes.

The Editorial Board of the Monmouth and Ocean Counties paper of record actually met with local mayors!  Call that progress.  MMM criticised the APP editorial board last month for sitting down with Newark Mayor Cory Booker for no reason other than to boost Booker’s statewide name ID when they, until yesterday, hardly, if ever, meet with local mayors.

Middletown Mayor Tony Fiore and Long Branch Mayor Adam Schneider met with the Neptune Nudniks on Wednesday, at the behest of the League of Municipalities.  The mayors’ purpose was to bring attention to the State’s decades old practice of keeping the energy receipts tax that public utilities pay.

In energy receipts tax has been in existence for decades.  It was originally set up in lieu of property taxes to compensate municipalities for the utility infrastructure rights of way.  The tax used to be broken out on your utility bill.  It was paid by the utilities directly to the municipalities.

In 2002, during the McGreevey administration, the State started collecting to tax.  We all know what happens to money when to goes to the black whole of Trenton for redistribution.  Much of it disappears and the intended recipients get shafted.  Think Unemployment Insurance Fund and Transportation Trust Fund. 

Fiore told MMM that the League sued McGreevey to get the money but the State just turned around a reduced State Aid by a commensurate amount.

Fiore, Schneider and the League now want that money back.  It’s not coming, according to what State Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff told the APP, “At this time we do not have the financial flexibility to make discretionary adjustment” to provide more from energy taxes.

Fiore told MMM that the energy receipts tax would have provided $4 million dollars to Middletown Township in 2011.  That would have saved the Library surplus the Township relied on, prevented layoffs and cleaned up a few snow storms.

What burns Fiore is not just the $4 million that Middletown didn’t collect from the utilities.  It’s the $1.5 million hit the Township continues to take in reduced State Aid from 2009 levels.  “We wouldn’t be increasing property taxes 1.97% this year if our Aid was restored,” said Fiore, “give us our $1.5 million back and I can reduce taxes by 2%.  The Board of Education got all of their Aid restored, yet they are still raising taxes.”

Schneider told the APP that not receiving the energy receipts tax is costing Long Branch “several million dollars.”

Posted: March 30th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: New Jersey State Budget, Property Taxes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »