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Murphy’s Budget Proposal Does Not Help Middle Class

for sale Ridgewood_Real_Estate_theRodgewopodblog

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ, Gov. Phil Murph’s budget proposed fiscal year 2020 budget will do nothing to help the middle class and will likely do more to harm the state’s economy said Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce (R- Morris, Essex Passaic).

DeCroce said the governor’s plan to increase spending and taxes and broadening programs, such free county college tuition, will not reduce property taxes — the number one issue for the middle class in New Jersey.

“The governor says repeatedly he wants to help the middle class, but he actions do not back up his statements,” said DeCroce

“The governor wants the state to spend more money; he wants to expand programs and increase school funding. But the state cannot afford the programs it has now, so how is increasing taxes and spending more money help the middle class?” asked DeCroce.

Continue reading Murphy’s Budget Proposal Does Not Help Middle Class
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New Jersey Revenue Certification Reform is Long Overdue

July 24,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ, This afternoon the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee held a hearing on SCR132, a constitutional amendment to overhaul New Jersey’s revenue certification process. SCR132 would take away the governor’s constitutional authority to certify revenues and create a joint legislative and executive branch panel to provide consensus revenue certification. New Jersey would become the 29th state in the nation to adopt this budget forecasting framework.


“This change to the budgeting process is long overdue and will bring more clarity, collaboration, and credibility to the state’s revenue projections. Consensus forecasting follows best practices from across the country and ensures economic factors – not political ones – set the parameters of the budget debate.

For the state to fully realize the benefits of this reform, the legislature should also pursue multi-year budgeting practices to better prepare New Jersey for the future. These changes could lead to a healthier, more democratic budget debate, boost public trust, and produce better results for a state budget that has suffered from years of politically convenient decisions.

However, while consensus revenue forecasting is an important change to the constitution, it should not be made with the same swift action that defines the last-minute budget practices the state seeks to reform.”

Full testimony by NJPP President Gordon MacInnes:

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Business Owners Concerned about Taxes and Affordability in New Jersey

June 27,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood Blog

MOUNTAINSIDE NJ  The Hugin for Senate campaign continued a statewide tour of roundtable events to discuss the affordability crisis gripping New Jersey and the impact of the proposed state budgets in Red Bank this morning.

Speaking to local business owners, Hugin discussed taxes, burdensome regulations, and healthcare with the group. John Dwyer, who represents the Hazlet Business Owners Association that includes more than 150 local businesses, kicked off the discussion on the impact of tax hikes on employees and employers.

“More taxes aren’t the solution, they’re only going to make things worse,” said Dwyer. “My employees are hard working folks that know how to hustle, but elected officials needs to wake up and realize they are hurting employees and employers with their pie in the sky efforts.”

“What government doesn’t understand is that we have to look at everything. Healthcare, for example, for employers is out of sight. If we can figure out that issue, it would probably solve most of the problems we as business owners have,” said Rena Levine Levy, co-owner of WindMill Restaurants, a chain that started in 1963 in Long Branch.

“Making New Jersey more affordable means seeking ways to support small businesses and encourage job creation. The fight in Trenton—over which taxes to increase—isn’t addressing the problem: the state is becoming an increasingly unaffordable place to live and operate a business,” said U.S. Senate candidate Bob Hugin.

Hugin’s affordability tour will continue tomorrow in Toms River where he will be meeting with young professionals and later in the day in Bayville where he will be meeting with seniors.

Bob Hugin, a Marine Corps Veteran and business leader who has created thousands of New Jersey jobs, is running for U.S. Senate to challenge incumbent Senator Bob Menendez. For more information visit

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Will somebody please get serious about lowering taxes in New Jersey

June 13,2018

Assemblyman Kevin J. Rooney (R 40)

(Kevin J. Rooney, a Republican, is an Assemblyman representing parts of Bergen, Essex, Morris and Passaic counties in the 40th Legislative District.)

Ridgewood NJ, A Monmouth University poll recently found the unsurprising fact that New Jerseyans are more concerned about their nation-high property taxes than any other issue in the state. The second biggest concern is all the other taxes we have to pay.

Yet, our governor has presented a budget that intends to raise taxes by $1.7 billion, with over $729 million of that tax hike being forced on the low- and middle-class by increasing the sales tax and expanding it to Uber, Lyft, AirBNB and online shoppers.

In the meantime, his budget reduces overall property tax relief by keeping state aid from municipalities and cutting rebates for low-income families, seniors and the disabled in half. But don’t worry taxpayers; the money Gov. Phil Murphy is cutting from property tax relief will be going toward raises for the public unions who got him elected.

For decades the number one issue in New Jersey has been our incredibly high property taxes. So lowering property taxes should be his number one priority.

But it’s not.

Instead, Murphy talks out of both sides of his mouth. First he talks about the state’s budget problems then proposes spending that costs a billion dollars more than his misguided tax hikes. His plan to prop-up his budget is no different than the past governors he criticizes for passing on this mess.

The plan will divert half of the money from an environmental settlement with ExxonMobil to prop-up his budget, in direct contradiction to his campaign promise to use environmental money for environmental purposes. Those New Jersey values he likes to talk about aren’t reflected, because Murphy is not only breaking a promise, he is blatantly disregarding the will of the voters who elected him. Those same voters constitutionally dedicated environmental money for environmental purposes just last year.

Murphy will also use money the state received from a settlement with Volkswagen to prop-up his budget, and he raided affordable housing funds so towns with court-ordered obligations have to put the entire cost burden on property tax payers who are unwillingly being forced to build housing that is not wanted or needed.

Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver made it clear what the problem is while addressing the Assembly Budget Committee. She said the governor “probably had no idea” as a candidate last year just how bad the state’s budget problems really are.

He seems fine with having no idea of what the state’s budget problems are. New Jersey has been cited as being in the worst fiscal condition in the nation, with our state’s long-term finances having been referred to as “dire.” While we can’t pay for all of the programs we have now, Murphy is piling on with new unaffordable programs.

In addition to free community college, universal pre-K, financial aid for unauthorized immigrants and salary increases for his cabinet officials; Murphy has recently proposed giving science, technology, engineering and math employees, but nobody else, student debt relief. The employers will even be required to match whatever amount the state reimburses.

All of these extravagant programs are well intended, but they are very irresponsible and clearly show that his attention is on an unrealistic New Jersey utopia rather than a state in dire straits whose residents just want somebody to lower their property taxes.

Murphy and his Democrat colleagues have even become somewhat hypocritical about property taxes.

While continually complaining about the federal government capping property tax deductions at $10,000, Democrats ignore that the cap was modeled on what New Jersey already does.

The common-sense response is to eliminate New Jersey’s own $10,000 cap to help residents who get hit by the new federal cap. That would provide immediate property tax relief for our residents. Unfortunately, that idea has been voted down four times by Democrats, who have controlled the legislature since 2001.

In its place is a superficial scheme to create government charities that would give tax credits for contributions. The scheme won’t work because the IRS has to recognize a charitable organization before it becomes legitimate. That is a hard sell when there is no real charitable intent and a public campaign parading this plan as an escape from federal tax policy.

In fact, the IRS has already given notice to states that the scheme won’t work. So Murphy will just entangle the state in another costly lawsuit — there are 30 –against the federal government on the taxpayer’s dime.

Murphy is out of tune with state taxpayers. He is redirecting funds against the public will and using the same gimmicks that he claims got the state in this mess in the first place. And with three weeks left to sign a balanced budget, he still plans to raise taxes and spending and provide less relief.

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Reader says If New Jersey were a corporation it would have declared bankruptcy years ago

tr0601harris 9 KURDZUK

If New Jersey were a corporation it would have declared bankruptcy years ago. Murphy want to “tax the rich” to raise only a fraction of what the state needs to meet its obligations. The Republican tax plan beats him to the punch by removing the deduction for state and local taxes which are already unsustainably high. Things will only get worse as the wealthiest individuals start to leave the state in greater numbers and the mess will be left to the middle class to clean up.
So, about those union pension payments, can we cut a deal on them now or would you rather we default on them later?

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Governor Christie Announces Trio of Fiscally Responsible Public Employee Contract Agreements


August 29, 2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

IFPTE & IBEW Financial Terms Protect Taxpayers, Ensure Public Services

Trenton, NJ , Governor Chris Christie today announced a key public employee contract agreement with the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE), as well as two agreements with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). These state worker contracts, reflective of the state’s fiscal realities and budget challenges, will not require tax hikes, as taxpayers routinely experienced under past governors.

IFPTE’s negotiated settlement, ratified by the union last month, is retroactive to July 1, 2015 and extends through Fiscal Year 2019. Its financial terms include the following across-the-board salary increases: July 1, 2015 – 0 percent; July 1, 2016 – 0 percent; July 1, 2017 – 1.75 percent, and July 1, 2018 – 1.5 percent. This contract covers approximately 4,500 employees of the state and public higher education institutions.

The two negotiated settlements ratified by IBEW locals this month are also retroactive to July 1, 2015 and extend through Fiscal Year 2019, including the same across-the-board salary increases as IFPTE’s settlement. These two contracts cover an approximate total of 1,150 state employees, including several hundred in various managerial positions and hundreds of state attorneys.

“We have again negotiated fiscally responsible state employee contracts that protect taxpayers, provide the budgetary flexibility to fund public services and keep government wages in line with the private sector,” Governor Christie said. “This is how public worker negotiations should be, with union leaders and membership agreeing to sustainable fiscal decisions that they understand will benefit all residents. These are model public employee contracts to be followed by government at all levels in New Jersey and across the country.”

As Governor Christie has previously noted, he has similar expectations from the other public employee unions with which the Administration continues to negotiate another round of labor contracts.

In its first round of agreements with state employee unions, the Christie administration stood with taxpayers to produce 0-percent wage increases for tens of thousands of employees in 2011 and 2012, followed by a 1-percent increase and 1.75-percent increase in 2013 and 2014, respectively. Under the governor’s leadership, across-the-board wage increases have totaled only 6 percent over eight-years of negotiated agreements, an average of just .75 percent per year, which is in addition to the landmark pension and health benefit reforms enacted to save taxpayers tens of billions of dollars.

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New Jersey has to rethink its budget because one guy moved


Linette Lopez

If you move away from your home state, some friends might throw you a party. Maybe you’ll get a happy-hour discount at your local bar.

If you’re really a big deal, you might get to throw out the first pitch at your local minor-league baseball team’s next game.

Other than that, everything will be pretty much the same after you’re gone.

That is, of course, unless you’re billionaire David Tepper.

If you are him, then when you move away you have the potential to send your whole state ( in this case New Jersey) into red-alert mode.

Tepper, the founder of the hedge fund Appaloosa Management, moved to Florida last fall. This, according to Bloomberg, has leaders of his former state very concerned.

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New Jersey Must Focus on Cutting Spending All of our futures depend on it


March 30,2016
Assemblywomen Holly Schepisi

Ridgewood NJ, When looking at why the cost of living in New Jersey is so absurdly high, it is imperative to understand actual numbers for spending around the State.

Anyone following the proposed Atlantic City bankruptcy and/or takeover is probably trying to understand how Atlantic City got to this point. Most people are unaware that the population of Atlantic City consists of only 39,500 residents and 6,679 school age children. Yet, the municipal budget is $262,000,000 equaling spending of $26,531.64 per household of 4 people.

Likewise the school budget is $166,000,000 which equals an average spending of $24,887.56 per child. In other words, for a family of 4 with two school age children, the governmental and school spending in Atlantic City equals $76,306.76 per household. We must cut spending and figure out a better way. All of our futures depend on it.

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While Democrats look to stamp out Free Speech , Christie and Teachers Union agree to Historic Pension Reforms



While Democrats look to stamp out Free Speech , Christie and Teachers Union agree to Historic Pension Reforms

Christie lays out $33.8B budget; wants to make public pensions more similar to those in private sector

FEBRUARY 24, 2015, 1:00 PM    LAST UPDATED: TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2015, 10:42 PM

Pitching what he said could become a “national model,” Governor Christie used his budget speech Tuesday to speak almost exclusively about pension reform, returning to the issue that won him national acclaim and one that sets up fights with unions and Democrats that control the Legislature.

The governor’s reforms – a sweeping package of pension freezes, new union-controlled benefit plans and health care changes — would need approval from lawmakers and from voters who would be asked to rewrite the state constitution. And it is unclear how long the changes would take to enact, how much taxpayers would save and what it would ultimately mean for the more than 400,000 active public workers — including teachers, police, firefighters, and state and local employees — earning pensions and benefits.

Christie delivered his budget address before the full Legislature.
“I am here today to ask you to do what may be politically difficult, but what is morally the right thing to do,” Christie said. “This is the type of leadership our state requires.”

Christie’s team began the morning with a 15-second social-media video publicizing the address and touting his plan as having the backing of the New Jersey Education Association, the powerful union that spent millions against him and opposed initial pension changes he signed into law in 2011. By Tuesday afternoon, the union’s leaders blasted the announcement of a partnership, calling it “embellished” and “overstated,” and saying enacting such reforms would be a lengthy and complex process.


Republican Leaders praise Christie’s pension ‘roadmap’

TRENTON — Two of Trenton’s top Republican leaders applauded Gov. Chris Christie’s commitment to fixing an ailing pension and benefit system moments after the executive delivered his latest budget address during a joint legislative session on the Assembly floor here today. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)

Republican Leaders praise Christie budget address, pension ‘roadmap’ | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis


Christie focuses budget address on pension system

It was a rousing welcome but an unusual budget speech. (Aron/NJTV)

Stile: Teachers union unlikely partner in Christie’s pension overhaul

Governor Christie sold it as one of the biggest political coups of recent New Jersey history — a plan to dramatically restructure New Jersey’s public-employee pension system with a new and very improbable partner, the New Jersey Education Association. (Stile/The Bergen Record)