Trenton 7-11 clerk sold winning $429M Powerball ticket

assetContentTRENTON — When coworkers at the 7-11 told Luis Sandoval that he had sold last week’s $429 million winning Powerball ticket, he didn’t believe it at first. “When they texted me, I thought they were messing with me,” Sandoval, 20, who lives and works in Trenton, said in a phone interview from the Chambers Street convenience… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: May 9th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: New Jersey, News | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Trenton 7-11 clerk sold winning $429M Powerball ticket

From pensions to casinos: A look at Monday’s big day in Trenton

assetContent (44)N.J. POLITICS ROUNDUP A collection of political news from the Statehouse and around New Jersey TRENTON — Monday was the second-to-last day of the New Jersey… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: January 12th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: New Jersey | Tags: , , | 2 Comments »

Runaway cow escaped from Trenton slaughterhouse

assetContent (18)Hamilton Bovine I-295 Police and animal control officers chased a runaway cow through Hamilton and onto I-295 Friday morning before the animal was caught.

TRENTON — The cow that escaped onto Interstate 295 in Hamilton Friday morning – and later died – injured two people in Trenton shortly after escaping a slaughterhouse in the city’s Chambersburg… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: May 25th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: New Jersey | Tags: , | Comments Off on Runaway cow escaped from Trenton slaughterhouse

Ex-postal worker stole IRS refund checks, feds allege

assetContentNEWARK — A former Monmouth County postal worker was arrested Friday for stealing more than $30,000 in federal tax refund checks through a scheme to steal the identity of others, New Jersey federal prosecutors say. Luis Martin, 24, of Trenton, was charged with stealing government funds when he was arrested by special agents from the IRS’… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: May 23rd, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Crime, Crime and Punishment, Monmouth County, New Jersey, Paul Fishman | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Ex-postal worker stole IRS refund checks, feds allege

Opinion: Divided We Govern, Both in Trenton and Washington, D.C.


1727Credit: Amanda Brown Dick Zimmer The smart money is betting that the gridlock that plagued the legislative process in Washington, D.C., during the past four years will become even worse now that Republicans have won decisive majorities in both houses of Congress. Surely, nobody will be shocked if lawmaking in Washington remains paralyzed for the next… Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: November 10th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 Elections, Dick Zimmer, Opinion | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

A crazy June: Things to look out for in Trenton this month

A crazy June: Things to look out for in Trenton this month (via NJ.com)

TRENTON — Hold onto your seats. It’s June in Trenton, and that’s always a bumpy ride. With the state budget due by month’s end, horse-trading is rampant as just about everything that was proposed all year long under the Statehouse dome is up…

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Posted: June 8th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, Legislature, NJ Courts, NJ Democrats, NJ Judiciary, NJ State Legislature, Stephen Sweeney | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on A crazy June: Things to look out for in Trenton this month

Raising Income, Sales Taxes Didn’t Lower Property Taxes

By Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande

What do Florida, New Hampshire and Washington state have in common?

They’re among nine states that not only weathered the worst economic recession of our generation, but found ways to make their economies stronger, attract new people and create jobs when the rest of the nation floundered.

From 2001 to 2010, these nine states saw employment increase by 5.4 percent when the rest of the country remained stagnant.

What do these states have in common that allows them to grow jobs during horrific economic times?

No income tax.

In New Jersey, we’re on our way to replicating the job-creating economic successes of these “prime nine” states, even though we’re still among the “maligned nine” states with the highest income taxes.

The tax-free states grew employment by 5.4 percent, while tax-heavy states saw jobs decline by 1.7 percent.

That’s why Gov. Christie is proposing to cut income taxes for everyone. It will keep money in people’s pockets and help bring back the jobs that disappeared last decade as Trenton taxed and spent the state into economic ruin.

The Wall Street Journal recently called legislative proposals in other states to cut the income tax good “long-term growth” and attempts to use additional income tax revenue to relieve property taxes “short-term politics.”

It’s not even good short-term politics. Remember what happened to Jon Corzine in 2009 when he raised income taxes? He was one of nearly 120,000 New Jerseyans who lost a job that year.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, who knew something about emerging from horrific economic times, once said: “Do something. If it works, do more of it. If it doesn’t, do something else.”

New Jersey has repeatedly tried raising taxes to relieve property taxes. It has never worked. In fact, the income tax itself began as a way to reduce property taxes. Do you know anyone whose property taxes went down since 1976?

New Jersey lost an entire decade (and 156,000 jobs) proving you can’t lower one tax by raising another. Taxes increased by $11 billion from 2002 to 2009, and nearly every time they increased a tax, Trenton politicians promised it would relieve property taxes, yet the property tax burden increased 6 percent per year and 60 percent cumulatively from 2002 to 2010.

Remember when Trenton politicians shut down the state to raise the sales tax in 2006 to offer “historic” levels of property tax relief? It didn’t work. The higher sales tax remains, but the property tax relief was history after just one year.

We need to stop doing what doesn’t work. That’s why we ended those failed tactics and launched the most aggressive and effective assault on property taxes in New Jersey history.

We put a tight cap on property taxes, saved property taxpayers $120 billion over the next 30 years through pension and health care reform, and we are working to do more, such as ending the payout for workers’ unused sick and vacation time and allowing towns to save money by opting out of Civil Service.

Our comprehensive approach to tax reform has businesses and homeowners optimistic about our state’s future for the first time in several years.

If we continue to do what has been working, we will continue to create more private-sector jobs in addition to the 60,000 that have been added in the past two years.

Adding jobs won’t just improve our unemployment rate, but likely will achieve precisely what short-sighted critics of Gov. Chris Christie’s income tax cut say it won’t: property tax relief.

Raising other taxes has not lowered property taxes, but reducing the income tax may because it will keep forcing government to spend within its means while encouraging businesses to create jobs in New Jersey.

More businesses and jobs in our economy means a greater share of the tax burden is shifted away from property taxpayers.

Many other states have seen the wisdom of low income tax rates. They know that reducing the income tax burden creates jobs and builds a strong economic foundation. I’m eager to see New Jersey follow suit.

In the last two years, New Jersey has added more than 62,000 private-sector jobs. And our Economic Outlook Rank has improved from 48th to 45th this year, according to the American Legislative Exchange Council.

Our plan to make New Jersey affordable and create jobs is working. We can’t stop doing what is working. We need to do more.

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Posted: March 9th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Art Gallagher, Caroline Casagrande, Taxes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Irace blasts Trenton over Monmouth Park and Fort Monmouth

Calls on taxpayers from Oceanport and neighboring communites to join the fight

“Atlantic City is now a FAILED business model”

Oceanport Councilman Joe Irace’s remarks at the borough’s reorganization meeting today:

2011 marked a year of challenges and changes to our Borough.  Oceanport’s future well-being hinges upon two very important issues, the continued viability of Monmouth Park and the redevelopment of Fort Monmouth, neither of which is really within our control.  If these two matters aren’t addressed properly, the consequences for Oceanport and our neighboring communities will be devastating..

The more immediate of the two issues is Monmouth Park. 2011 was a year in which uncertainty was the only certainty when it came to Monmouth Park.  Was the State going to remain in control, lease or sell the park to private ownership? The decision was made to lease.  Then came numerous changes, negotiations, finger-pointing, name calling and, ultimately, a muddled picture as to who is actually in charge.  Just last week, the State decided to continue racing in 2012 under the control of the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority and rebid the lease in 2012 for the 2013 racing season.  For 2012, the current agreement, as we understand it from reading about it in the newspapers, calls for 141 racing days at an average purse of $150,000 per day.  To put that number in perspective, we were racing at $1,000,000 a day in 2010 and $400,000 a day in 2011.  The projected daily purse of $150,000 is the lowest for any major track in the United States.  In fact, at $150,000 a day in purse money, Monmouth Park, the most beautiful and historic racetrack this side of Saratoga, can no longer be considered a major track. 2012 also calls for no stakes races and, more notably, no Haskell.  The long term ramifications of this are obvious.  Is Trenton determined to undermine and eliminate racing in New Jersey? It sure seems that way. 

Trenton’s stated position is that the State of New Jersey can no longer “subsidize” horse racing in New Jersey. And, you know what? I ABSOLUTELY agree with Trenton on that issue.  Because the fact of the matter is that the horseracing industry doesn’t have to be subsidized. It just has to be allowed to compete on equal footing with horse racing in New York, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Maryland.  But the big thinkers in Trenton have blinders on when it comes to the realities of horse racing and gambling in today’s world.   With the stroke of a pen, our elected officials in Trenton could permit “racinos” in New Jersey, but instead of allowing our state’s horse racing industry to compete with the gaming, racing and casinos that have popped up in New York, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Maryland, our Trenton brain trust has chosen to invest $250,000,000 of taxpayer money in a stalled Atlantic City casino development. 

The Atlantic City business model is outdated.  New Jersey no longer has the monopoly on gambling that it had in the 1970s. Indeed, by any reasonable financial analysis, Atlantic City is now a FAILED business model.  But our elected officials in Trenton refuse to acknowledge this fact and, instead, have chosen to pour $250,000,000 of taxpayer money into a venture — that private firms won’t touch — in return for a 20% interest in the business.  What is 20% of nothing? We need our elected State officials to stop investing in THEIR past and start investing in OUR future.  

Monmouth Park is the Borough of Oceanport’s largest tax ratable and one of the jewels of the Jersey Shore.  Monmouth Park’s continued viability should be this governing body’s NUMBER ONE priority in the year 2012.  Oceanport’s citizens and the citizens of ALL of the Jersey Shore communities should make their voices heard on this issue.  We aren’t asking for a handout from the State! We just want New Jersey to be able to compete on equal footing with New York, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Maryland.   We’ve got the infrastructure, we’ve got the people, we’ve got the horses. We just need the tools. The State of New Jersey needs to adopt the Racino business model NOW!

As far as the redevelopment of Fort Monmouth is concerned, this issue will present huge challenges as we head into 2012 and well beyond.  Decisions made today will have an impact – one way or another — on Oceanport for the next 25 years and beyond.  When we unsuccessfully battled for local control of the 419 acres that are located in Oceanport, we were concerned over what the State would do to our small, family oriented, residential community.  Today, rumors abound that our 2nd largest employer, CommVault, which ranks only behind only the embattled Monmouth Park as a source of employment, has been lured to the Tinton Falls section of the Fort Monmouth site. It is believed that this move is premised upon large tax breaks and tax credits being given to CommVault by the people who are charged with the duty of redeveloping the fort while creating jobs.  This isn’t job creation, however, it is job poaching.  And the Borough of Oceanport loses a business to Tinton Falls under the guise of “job development” at the fort.  How can this be a good idea? 

I am cynical, at best, about the State of New Jersey’s ability to create jobs at the fort, especially in view of the State’s past record in this area.  That is to say, the State of New Jersey doesn’t have a history of creating jobs— other than government jobs.  Stated simply, government does not have the ability to create private sector jobs and the historic and profound lack of accountability at the State level is all the more reason why the Oceanport Municipal Council fought long and hard for local control over the fort’s redevelopment.  Sadly, we lost that battle. Now it is this governing body’s duty — and the duty of all members who follow us —- to make sure that we don’t lose the war.  We must remain vigilant and continue to demand that we have a voice in the redevelopment process, not just a seat at the table.  We cannot stand idly by as the bureaucrats and politicians try to fit square pegs into round holes in the name of “job creation”  The only thing worse than doing nothing about the redevelopment of the fort is doing something badly, and that’s where I am afraid we are heading.  And this isn’t just an Oceanport issue any more.  A bungled fort redevelopment will have a devastating financial and social impact on Monmouth Beach, Long Branch, Little Silver, Fair Haven, Rumson and Sea Bright, too.  The citizens of those towns should be just as concerned as we are that the fort gets redeveloped properly and organically.   If we expect to be heard, then we all have to involve ourselves in the process.

Bureaucrats and politicians have come to expect — and, indeed, thrive on — an apathetic electorate and they have no incentive to do the will of the taxpayer if they have no fear of the taxpayer’s wrath.  We, as a governing body, have a duty to educate the people who elected us about what is actually happening at the fort and involve them in the process as much as possible. Those who elected us, however, have to be willing to stand up and be counted by attending and, more importantly, PARTICIPATING in meetings of the Fort Monmouth Economic Redevelopment Authority and the Oceanport Borough Council so that we can fight the good fight for our community.

In closing, we have a lot of work cut out for us.  We must continue our fight to protect the Oceanport that we all know and love.  All of us who live here and raise our families here know that we have a lot to lose, and we have only ourselves to blame if we let others dictate our destiny.  You’ve got a governing body that has proven that it is willing to fight for our right to control our own destiny.  None of us have any political aspirations beyond that of serving the people of Oceanport. Help us take the fight to the powers that be.  Stand up for yourselves.  Get vocal. Stay vocal. Get involved.  Stay involved. We need you. We need each other. Let’s work together for a better Oceanport in 2012

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Posted: January 1st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Atlantic City, Fort Monmouth, Horse Racing Industry, Joe Irace, Monmouth County, Monmouth Park, New Jersey, Oceanport | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »