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Funding approved for new Hudson rail tunnels. Will tolls go up?

Lincoln Tunnel

By Larry Higgs | NJ Advance Media for
on October 20, 2016 at 5:58 PM, updated October 20, 2016 at 5:59 PM

Tolls on the Port Authority’s bridges and tunnels will not be increased to help fund construction of new Hudson River rail tunnels, officials said Thursday after approving a financing plan for the Gateway Project.

Authority officials will discuss revising the agency’s 10-year capital plan next month to include Gateway, building a new Port Authority Bus Terminal and replacing the aging Newark Airport Monorail, said John Degnan, the board chairman.

Both Foye and Degnan said revising the capital plan won’t include a toll hike. The last toll hike took place last December as part of an increase that was phased-in over five years.

“The two governors said the Port Authority will take the lead for a financing plan,” Degnan said. “We’re not accepting that the Port Authority will pick-up the entire (local share of costs).”

The federal government and both states have agreed to a 50-50 financing plan for Gateway, but New York and New Jersey officials said they would turn to the Port Authority for some of that funding and to create a development corporation to apply for financing.

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Gov. Christie On Train Crash: Don’t Jump To Conclusions, Let Facts Lead You To The Proper Conclusion

Hoboken Train Station Crash

September 30,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, full transcript of Governor Christie addressing yesterdays train crash in Hoboken.

Governor Christie: “ Good afternoon. I’m pleased to be joined here today by Lieutenant Governor Guadagno, by my partner in New York, Governor Cuomo. Governor Cuomo and I have just taken a tour of the damage inside. Obviously an extraordinary tragedy. We pray for the family of the one fatality that we have confirmed for her and for her family. We now have a revised total of injured. We have 108 injured in this accident and all of those have been evacuated to local hospitals, where they’re receiving the care they need. We pray for their recovery. The engineer who was operating the train was also critically injured. He is at a local hospital and cooperating with law enforcement officials in the investigation. What we know is that this train came in at a high rate of speed into the station and crashed through all of the barriers bringing it right to the interior wall of the Hoboken Terminal. Extraordinary reaction from local law enforcement and EMS along with civilian passengers, who assisted EMS, and local police and State Police in evacuating the trains as quickly as possible and helping with the triage of the passengers who were injured and getting them immediately to local hospitals for them to receive health care. There will be others who will speak today about some of the specifics, Commissioner Hammer, Mr. Prendergast from the MTA, about the specifics of commuting both this afternoon and tomorrow. We won’t address that specifically. Both Governor Cuomo and I come from a law enforcement background, as does the Lieutenant Governor. My admonition when I was U.S. Attorney all the time to my prosecutors and agents was, don’t jump to conclusions, let the facts lead you to the proper conclusions, and so we’re not going to speculate about the cause of the accident. It is that we’re in the midst of an investigation. I was called by the White House today as well. They have not only dispatched the NTSB and the Federal Railway Administration but also have pledged any resources that we need additionally to deal with the victims or to deal with what’s happened here at the Hoboken Terminal. We were pleased to get that call. As I said to a number of you earlier today, from the time that the incident happened this morning, Governor Cuomo and I have been in communication since the train began its journey today in the state of New York and we have a number of New York citizens who were on that train as well coming here to New Jersey, and so we’re going to work together to make sure that the investigation is seamless and coordinated, that we come to a conclusion as quickly as possible and then if there are steps that need to be taken thereafter to provide for even greater assurance of safety for the people of our states, you can be assured that we’ll work together through the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, MTA and New Jersey Transit to make sure that that occurs. And so we again, we pray for the victims and their families. We are on the scene. We’re going to continue to monitor what’s going on. We have engineers that are examining the structural integrity of the building now. We have no estimate as to when the terminal will be able to be reopened, except to say that it appears that the PATH terminal, the structural integrity there is fine and so that PATH trains will be able to use the terminal. As for the New Jersey Transit portion, we don’t have an estimate yet on that and we’re going to need some time to do that, so I want to turn this over to Governor Cuomo. We will also have Commissioner Hammer and MTA director Prendergast to make some comments and then Governor Cuomo, and I will come back to take on-topic questions.”

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New Jersey Makes the Top Ten: 2016’s States with the Highest Tax Burdens



New Jersey Places Number 7 in States with the Highest Tax Burdens

April 11,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood bog

Ridgewood Nj, With a week remaining until Tax Day and many Americans finding the current tax code too confusing to determine exactly how much their home states are actually taking from their income in taxes, the personal finance website WalletHub conducted an in-depth analysis of 2016’s States with the Highest & Lowest Tax Burdens.
In order to determine which states tax their residents most aggressively, WalletHub’s analysts compared the tax burdens of the 50 states by measuring property taxes, individual income taxes, and state and gross receipts taxes — the three components of state tax burden — as percentages of the total personal income in each state.

States with the Highest Tax Burdens (%) States with the Lowest Tax Burdens (%)
1 New York (13.12%) 41 Texas (7.67%)
2 Hawaii (11.86%) 42 Wyoming (7.62%)
T-3 Maine (11.13%) 43 Alabama (7.41%)
T-3 Vermont (11.13%) 44 Florida (7.22%)
5 Connecticut (10.91%) 45 Oklahoma (6.95%)
6 Minnesota (10.46%) 46 South Dakota (6.94%)
7 New Jersey (10.38%) 47 New Hampshire (6.88%)
8 Rhode Island (10.36%) 48 Tennessee (6.56%)
9 Wisconsin (10.32%) 49 Delaware (5.91%)
10 Illinois (10.19%) 50 Alaska (5.18%)

Comparing the States

  • Red states have a lower total tax burden, with an average rank of 32.00, compared with Blue states, which have an average rank of 19.38. (The lower the rank, the higher the burden)
  • New Jersey has the highest property tax as a fraction of personal income, 5.41 percent, which is four times higher than in Oklahoma, the state with the lowest, 1.42 percent.
  • New York and Oregon have the highest individual income taxes as a fraction of personal income, 4.76 percent and 4.04 percent respectively, whereas Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington and Wyoming do not levy such a tax.
  • Hawaii has the highest total sales and gross receipts tax as a fraction of personal income, 6.95 percent, which is six times higher than in Oregon, the state with the lowest, 1.15 percent.

For the full report and to see where your state ranks, please visit:

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Almost Half of Homes in New York and D.C. Are Now Losing Value


A new home-price index is a warning sign for some property markets

September 3, 2015 — 8:00 AM EDT

Prashant Gopal

Almost half of single-family houses in the New York and Washington metropolitan areas are losing value, a sign that buyers’ tolerance for high prices in many large U.S. cities may be reaching a limit.

The values of 45 percent of houses in both the Washington and New York areas slumped by at least 2 percent in June from a year earlier, according to a new index created by Allan Weiss, co-founder of the Case-Shiller home price indexes. In June 2014, only 15 percent of Washington residences dropped in value, while 20 percent fell in New York. Because the index is of only single-family homes, it doesn’t include Manhattan. More properties also were in decline in Los Angeles, Chicago, Phoenix and Miami.

A steady rise in U.S. home prices since the bottom of the market combined with weak income growth has made housing less affordable, especially in big cities. Credit remains tight and demand is now being driven primarily by buyers dependent on mortgages, as foreign buyers and investors pull back from the market.

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Local Man Accused of Trying to Organize ‘Small Army’ of ISIS Fighters in New York, New Jersey: Officials

‎islamic jihad

By Jonathan Dienst and Joe Valiquette

A 20-year-old New Jersey man has been charged on terror-related counts for allegedly trying to help organize a “small army” of ISIS fighters in New York and the Garden State, federal prosecutors said Monday.

Nader Saadeh was taken into custody May 5 while allegedly attempting to travel overseas to join ISIS. He had lived in Rutherford until that point.

Saadeh’s brother, Alaa, along with at least three others in New York and New Jersey, were arrested in recent months in connection with the alleged ISIS cell.

The FBI said Nader Saadeh posted anti-American messages online beginning in 2012 and repeatedly viewed ISIS videos. The agency said he praised the burning alive of a captured Jordanian pilot by ISIS fighters and said that, as well as the murders of several staff members of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris earlier this year were justified.

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New York Sponsor of Port Authority Reform Bill Rejects a New Jersey Compromise



New York Sponsor of Port Authority Reform Bill Rejects a New Jersey Compromise

ALBANY — A legislative sponsor of an effort to overhaul the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said on Monday that a possible compromise bill suggested by a leading New Jersey Republican would not be acceptable in New York, all but dooming its chances as currently imagined.

The sponsor, Assemblyman James F. Brennan, a Democrat from Brooklyn, said that the compromise bill, proposed by Senator Thomas H. Kean Jr., did not include several elements that he felt were necessary, including independent oversight of large capital projects, requirements to disclose the compensation of top officers and an obligation on the part of the chief executive to certify that financial statements are “true and accurate.” (McKinley/The New York Times)

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Leaders in New York and New Jersey Defend Shutdown for a Blizzard That Wasn’t



Deblasio with signer ,why is this guy still mayor?

Leaders in New York and New Jersey Defend Shutdown for a Blizzard That Wasn’t

It was an unprecedented step for what became, in New York City, a common storm: For the first time in its 110-year history, the subway system was shut down because of snow. (Flegenheimer/The New York Times)

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Enterovirus D68 sickens more than a dozen in New York


Enterovirus D68 sickens more than a dozen in New York

By Jacque Wilson, CNN
updated 5:27 PM EDT, Fri September 12, 2014

CNN) — More than a dozen cases of Enterovirus D68 have been confirmed in New York state, according to officials.

“EV-D68 is causing cases of severe respiratory illness … sometimes resulting in hospitalization, especially among children with asthma,” the NYS Department of Health said in a statement Friday.

Enteroviruses are quite common in September; the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 10 to 15 million people are infected by these viruses each year. But doctors believe this particular type of enterovirus, Enterovirus D68, is causing more serious problems than others have in years past.

As of September 11, more than 80 cases in six other states — Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky and Missouri — have been confirmed to be EV-D68, according to the CDC.

New York is the first state in the Northeast with confirmed cases.