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After a $1.5 billion Tax Increase No Suprise NJ Ranked 50th in Tax Foundation’s 2019 State Business Tax Climate Index

Phil Murphy

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ, Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean said that $1.5 billion in tax increases imposed by New Jersey Democrats this year have cemented the Garden State’s last-place ranking in the Tax Foundation’s newly released 2019 State Business Tax Climate Index.

Continue reading After a $1.5 billion Tax Increase No Suprise NJ Ranked 50th in Tax Foundation’s 2019 State Business Tax Climate Index

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New Jersey Democrats push “Hail Mary” property tax legislation

trenton nj


February 24,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, New Jersey Democrats push “Hail Mary” saying that they will be moving ahead with a legally-dubious plan to let residents make charitable contributions in lieu of property taxes, promising to vote on the bill in the state Senate on Monday and threatening to take the fight to court if necessary.

The bill (S1893) is designed to be a workaround to the new federal tax law that capped the state and local tax deduction at $10,000, a move that Democrats say will harm high-tax states like New Jersey, which has the highest property taxes in the nation. Average property taxes in Bergen County in 2017 were $11,564 . The new Federal rules allow deductions of up to $10,000 . The $10,000 limit on deductions is for state and local taxes and will take effect in 2018. That $10,000 limit combines both local property and income taxes.

The legislation would effectively allow homeowners to keep deducting their property taxes by calling those payments charitable deductions. Under the bill, local governments would be permitted to set up charitable funds for specific public purposes—from police to parks—that residents could pay into and get a credit of up to 90 percent toward their property tax bills. Those contributions could then be written off as charitable deductions on federal tax bills, officials said. It’s unclear whether the plan withstands legal and IRS scrutiny.

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New Jersey Democrats , including Phil Murphy Reject  2% Police and Fire Arbitration Cap Dooming taxpayers to Huge Increases in Property taxes

Ridgewood Police

September 30,2017
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ, The  2% cap on the raises police and fire unions can win in arbitration saved property taxpayers nearly $3 billion and should be renewed before it expires in December, but Top Democrats in New Jersey including Phil Murphy, the party’s nominee for governor quickly rejected  the idea .

A report released on Thursday concluded the law limiting the raises that police and fire unions can win in arbitration should be renewed in an effort to keep property taxes in check.

From the executive summary …. in order to enable public employers to restrain increased costs within the 2% tax levy cap, public employers needed a tool to restrain increases to police and fire salaries, especially when labor disputes are submitted to interest arbitration. The data reviewed by the Task Force confirms that the 2% cap has provided that tool. Since the inception of the law, the average annual base salary increase provided in interest arbitration awards subject to the 2% cap is 1.85%. Even in voluntary settlements to which the 2% cap does not apply, the data confirms that the cap law has had a profound effect.

Indeed, the data shows that for interest arbitration cases subject to the 2% cap settled before an interest arbitration award was issued, the average annual increase to base salary was 1.80%. These numbers are a stark contrast to the average annual increases that were reported to PERC prior to the effective date of the 2010 amendments.2 Not surprisingly, with the right reforms in place, the rate of property tax growth in New Jersey has declined significantly.

While the cap law significantly reduced the growth of labor costs, the Governor Appointees have not uncovered any evidence that these reductions have negatively impacted crime rates or the ability of public employers to recruit qualified candidates for police and fire positions. In summary, the Governor Appointees conclude that the 2010 and 2014 amendments to interest arbitration have effectively addressed the concerns that were at the heart of this bi-partisan legislation. Accordingly, its recommendations set forth herein include the permanent continuation of the most critical elements of those amendments – namely, the procedural changes requiring expeditious resolution of all interest arbitration proceedings and the 2% cap – to ensure that the progress made over the last five years is not lost. ( )

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Kim Guadagno Hits Back Over Murphy Race Baiting


September 3,2017
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, while we have never been a strong supporter of Kim Guadagno , Phil Murphy (Corzine 2.0) is clearly a threat to many New Jerseyans livelihood . His big government tax and spend philosophy will chase any business out of New Jersey, leaving fewer people to carry the massive tax burden.  Murphy’s “Connecticut Scheme ” will have the same results as in Connecticut driving away the states largest employers and most productive individuals .

Worse yet in recent statements Murphy is appearing a bit desperate which seems odd for someone “up 29 points” in the polls.

Kim Guadagno  slapped back  at Murphy, “It’s a shame that Phil Murphy would stoop so low to hide his support for raising taxes by over $1.3 billion by getting involved in divisive and horrendous identity politics. Carlos and I have condemned racism and bigotry in all forms, and Phil Murphy knows it. His desperate race-baiting attacks to stir up fake outrage are beneath all of us as New Jerseyans, who value diversity, equality and love for each other.”

Murphy Race Baiting , “We are now seeing a disturbing trend emerge with Kim Guadagno and her campaign. Yesterday, she refused to criticize a sitting Assemblyman for posing with the Confederate flag, a symbol of bigotry and divisiveness. Today, we’ve learned that her choice for Lieutenant Governor, Woodcliff Lake Mayor Carlos Rendo, has been accused of systematic harassment and discrimination by the Chabad community in Woodcliff Lake. Yet, both times Lieutenant Governor Guadagno refused to criticize racist and anti-semitic speech despite the clear evidence.”

“Clear evidence.” really this guy is starting to sound like Al Sharpton quoting fake news , race baiting and obfuscating  his positions trying to hide the huge tax increases that will finally sink New Jersey economy once and for all  .

Kim Guadagno sums it up  ,”Murphy is taking the coward’s way out, ducking for cover behind the task force to avoid saying what he’s likely thinking, that he plans to reward those unions for their support by dumping the cap. New Jerseyans deserve to know where Murphy stands before November, and they have every reason to expect our would-be governor to have the courage explain his position.”

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New Jersey Democrats Move to Raise Taxes


TRENTON—State Democrats plan to advance budget bills Tuesday that raise taxes on high earners and corporate profits to shore up the state’s underfunded pension system, a proposal likely doomed because Republican Gov. Chris Christie has pledged to veto any tax increases.

The annual budget dance in Trenton typically leads to interparty fighting in June, but observers said that this year’s proceedings were particularly defined by gridlock, resulting in more political theater than fiscal negotiations.  (Haddon/Wall Street Journal)

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New Jersey Democrats Push for Tax Increases to Cover Pension Shortfall


New Jersey Democrats join court battle over Christie’s pension funding cuts

APRIL 20, 2015, 5:24 PM    LAST UPDATED: MONDAY, APRIL 20, 2015, 5:25 PM

Democratic leaders in the state Legislature joined the court battle over Governor Christie’s funding cuts to the New Jersey pension system on Monday, arguing in a legal brief that public workers have the law on their side as they seek an extra $1.57 billion than Christie authorized this year.

Christie, a Republican, signed a major overhaul of the state pension laws in 2011. Among other provisions, the law gave public workers stronger contracts with rights to full contributions from the state’s yearly budget to their pension funds, which are underfunded by $37 billion.

Three years after signing the law, Christie now argues it is unconstitutional. He has cut $2.4 billion from New Jersey’s legally required pension contributions, paying $1.38 billion instead of $3.8 billion over the last two years in a last-resort effort to balance the budget. The latest cut is under review by the New Jersey Supreme Court, which has scheduled a hearing May 6.

Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, both Democrats, submitted a five-page brief rebutting the central plank of Christie’s legal strategy. The 2011 pension overhaul is, in fact, constitutional, the lawmakers argue.