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NJGOP Chairman Calls On Murphy To End Frivolous Lawsuits Against Trump Admin and Focus on New Jersey

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ,  Yesterday after the Trump administration moved to block state efforts to work around a new limit on state and local tax deductions, Governor Murphy has said he is weighing legal actions.. New Jersey’s top Republican NJGOP Chairman Doug Steinhardt released the following statement:

Continue reading NJGOP Chairman Calls On Murphy To End Frivolous Lawsuits Against Trump Admin and Focus on New Jersey

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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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Trenton Continues to Drive Residents From the State


July 7,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ, around two years ago, New Jersey’s richest resident , hedge fund billionaire David Tepper decided to move himself and his business to Miami Beach. Tepper, who personally earned more than $6 billion from 2012-2015, was tired of paying New Jersey’s top income-tax rate of 8.97% for the 20 years he lived there, in addition to the country’s highest property taxes, the estate tax and inheritance tax. By moving to Florida, a state with ZERO income tax, Tepper stood to save hundreds of millions of dollars each year. Tepper’s departure left an enormous hole in the New Jersey budget .

Anyone with an ounce of common sense would have at least acknowledged the possibility that a guy like Tepper would consider moving to save a few hundred million dollars , anyone that is except ,”stuck on stupid ” Trenton .

Tepper is not the only one to leave , according to the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, the State of New Jersey lost a whopping 2 million residents between 2005 and 2014, earning a combined $18 billion in net adjusted gross income, i.e. income that would have been taxed by the state.

With those out flow numbers Its not just the masters of the universe that are tired of paying sky-high taxes. It’s also the regular wage earner and small business owners. A whopping 60% of these folks went to Florida, with a state income tax of zero.

So the message from New Jersey’s residents (well, now former residents) is loud and clear: taxes are too high!

Now, what do you think New Jersey is doing to solve this problem?

New Jersey residents elected a governor that promised to raise their taxes, so instead of making the state friendlier to productive people and businesses , New Jersey has embarked on a program of driving out tax payers and replacing them with tax takers .

New Jersey now taxes residents making more than $5 million will now pay 10.75%, up from 8.97%.The corporate rate on businesses with more than $1 million in net income was also increased from 9% to 11.5% (Proportionally, that’s a potentially 27% increase in the amount of tax a business might pay).

This will simply exacerbate the problem even more ,chasing more businesses and people out of the state .

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AFP-NJ: It Exists Therefore It’s Taxed

July 2, 2018
by AFP-NJ: It Exists Therefore It’s Taxed

Trenton NJ,  Americans for Prosperity-New Jersey (AFP-NJ) responded to the New Jersey state budget, which the legislature passed and the governor signed on Sunday. The $37.4 billion state budget increased income taxes as well as corporate taxes. AFP-NJ opposed the measure.

AFP-NJ State Director Erica Jedynak issued the following statement:

“The way New Jersey lawmakers tax everything you’d think they’re purposefully trying to drive everyone out so they can keep the state to themselves. According to Sen. Sweeney and Gov. Murphy, the only thing better than a tax on one thing is a tax on two. But the higher income and corporate taxes will only exacerbate the Garden State’s already troubling outmigration problem and increase the tax burden on an ever-shrinking population. How long before New Jersey lawmakers start taxing folks in New York or Pennsylvania?

“That some lawmakers refuse to acknowledge that New Jersey has a spending problem, not a revenue problem, is outrageous. Our elected officials need to recognize that spending on wasteful programs such as corporate welfare is a core driver of increased taxes, which in turn make it harder to live, work, and raise a family in the Garden State.”

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Assemblywomen Holly Schepisi : “Any tax and spending increases without real reforms to our pension system is irresponsible and reckless”

July 1,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ,in a last minute deal the state government shut down has been avoided . Assemblywomen Holly Schepisi , “Update for New Jersey residents. It appears a State shutdown will be averted. On the upside you will be able to go to the beach, the racetrack or a casino, and renew your license. On the downside you will be paying even more for gas, internet purchases, hospital visits, plastic and paper bags, Airbnb, Uber and Lyft, health care, and utility bills. I keep hearing a mantra of New Jersey needs sustainable revenue. However New Jersey has significant revenue. New Jersey ranks in the top 5 highest taxed states in the country. New Jersey has among the highest pension debt. Any tax and spending increases without real reforms to our pension system is irresponsible and reckless. Good luck New Jersey residents. You voted for this”

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NJGOP has Harsh Words on Murphy’s State Shutdown

Phill Murphy -Sara Medina del Castillo

June 30,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ , As New Jersey’s state government approaches what seems to be an inevitable shut down, NJGOP Chairman Doug Steinhardt released the following statement:

“As Democrat politicians in Trenton paralyze important government services fighting over what taxes to raise, the people of New Jersey are struggling to understand why their representatives aren’t working out a way to take New Jersey in the other direction and reduce the tax burden. Governor Murphy and the Democrats in Trenton have carried on a completely partisan process that has led us to this point. Governor Murphy calls this a high cost for high return state, but on one of the busiest weekends of the year, New Jerseyans can expect zero return for their highest in the country taxes. The NJGOP will carry this memory, in great detail, into every Election Day until we have reasonable representation minding our tax dollars.”

Following reports regarding a letter from New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal that a state government shutdown would force horse tracks to shut their doors, U.S. Senate candidate Bob Hugin issued the following statement:

“Governor Murphy and his Attorney General should stop playing politics and using New Jersey’s businesses, employees, and the thousands of people planning to celebrate their holiday weekend as pawns in his misguided effort to hike taxes,” said Hugin. “Instead of doubling down on failed policies that have made New Jersey unaffordable for residents, families, and businesses, Governor Murphy should work with the legislature to provide tax relief and create an environment that allows our businesses to thrive and prosper.”

Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso echoed Hugin’s comments.

“Governor Murphy should stop playing politics by threatening New Jersey’s businesses with a government shutdown over his misguided plan to hike taxes on our residents,” said DiMaso. “What he should be doing is working to provide tax relief for hard-working New Jerseyans and focusing on policies that allow our businesses to thrive.”


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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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Trenton Declares War on Business and Jobs


June 22,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ, Following failed talks with Governor Phil Murphy, the state Senate this evening proceeded with passage of its own $36.5 billion budget as an alternative to Murphy’s version. The cornerstone of the budget would be a hike in corporate taxes .

The budget passed 21-17.Republican Senators Kristin Corrado and Kip Bateman voted yes on the budget and Democratic Senators Dick Codey, Nick Sacco, Nia Gill and Ronald Rice opposed it.

Assemblywomen Holly Schepisi summed it all up for New Jersey ,”Tonight the NJ Legislature passed a bill which increases our corporate business taxes to the highest in the nation. Here is a floor speech I gave highlighting some of the reasons I voted no. Representing a district that has recently lost Sony, Hertz and Mercedes, among other corporations, to more business friendly states I could not in good conscience vote to further eliminate our ability to compete.”

“This budget at the end of the day does nothing to make New Jersey more affordable,” said Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean, Jr. (R-21).

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New Jersey Corporation Business Tax Revenues Implode


June 15,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ, The Department of the Treasury today announced that dedicated revenues remain stable while General Fund revenues remain weak for FY 2018 with the Corporation Business Tax (CBT) seeing a substantial decline for the month of May.

As State Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio has pointed out in recent months, despite the growth in dedicated revenue sources – the Gross Income Tax (GIT) and the Petroleum Products Receipt Tax (PPGRT) – a challenging structural imbalance remains due to the weakness in revenues supporting the General Fund. Excluding the GIT and the PPGRT, collectively all other major revenues are down $120.4 million so far in FY 2018.

The CBT declined 44.8 percent in May and is down 3.4 percent for the year. The CBT for banks and financial institutions is down 26.8 percent year-to-date. Additionally, the Motor Fuels Tax, Estate Tax, the Cigarette Tax, and Casino Revenues are also down through the end of May.

Overall, May revenue collections for major taxes were up 6.3 percent compared to last May, however this is due solely to the growth in two of the State’s dedicated revenue sources. Year-to-date, total revenues increased $1.478 billion, or 5.9 percent, tracking closely with the FY 2018 revised aggregate target.

The Sales and Use Tax, the largest General Fund revenue, was up 1.1 percent in May and is growing by only 1.5 percent year-to-date due to recent tax rate reductions.

May collections for the GIT rebounded from April’s weak performance. Net receipts of $990.3 million were up $116.2 million, or 13.3 percent above last May. Of that growth, $71.5 million was due primarily to the annual “tail” of final 1040 tax payments lagging into May. The GIT, which is dedicated to the Property Tax Relief Fund, is up 9.4 percent year-to-date in FY 2018, $1.125 billion above the same point last year.

The State’s other significant dedicated revenue, the PPGRT, is up 70.7 percent through the end of May, $474.0 million above the same point last year, due to a statutory tax rate increase. These funds, however, are dedicated to the Transportation Trust Fund.

June will be the 12th month of FY 2018, featuring important quarterly estimated payments for the GIT and the CBT. In particular, the CBT’s June quarterly estimated payments are highly uncertain following a 16.0 percent decline during April and a 19.5 percent decline in May. Treasury estimates some improvement in June, but if double-digit declines continue, the CBT would fall below the year-end target.

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Sierra Club: Murphy Admin Steals Half of Volkswagen Settlement for Budget

Phill Murphy -Sara Medina del Castillo

April 23, 2018, 11:48 am | in

Trenton NJ, The Murphy Administration is taking $69 million of the $141 million the state will receive from settlements with Volkswagen involving air-pollution violations and cheating on emissions tests will go into the general fund for the state budget. This is funding that is supposed to be going to clean air initiatives, including electric vehicles programs.

“New Jersey is supposed to move forward with electric vehicles. Instead of helping to jumpstart our goals, the Murphy Administration is stealing $69 million, the entire state portion, of the Volkswagen settlement to balance the budget. Volkswagen is paying for the damage they did to communities by increasing and failing to report on air pollution. We received the settlement money because of Volkswagen’s pollution and it should all go toward mitigating those affects and cleaning New Jersey’s air. Instead, Murphy is letting the air our of our tired by taking the money for the general fund,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “The Governor campaigned against taking environmental settlement monies for plugging budget holes the way Christie did. Now, he’s doing so. This goes against the spirit of the constitutional amendment.”

New Jersey accepted $72 million settlement from the Volkswagen Mitigation Trust on top of the $69 million previously awarded by the Volkswagen Group of America. The funds settle allegations that Volkswagen “violated New Jersey’s clean air statutes and defrauded consumers by selling diesel vehicles equipped with “cheat” software that deactivated their on-board emission controls except during emissions testing.” The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has been named lead agency in administering the funds. The state must submit a “Beneficiary Mitigation Plan” that explains how the funds will be used.

“We desperately need the $69 million that they want to divert to make our economy greener with electric vehicles. This could jumpstart our clean transportation system. We need to make sure that that funds go to the right places including to plug-ins and helping urban areas where air pollution is worst. This will help create jobs and move our state forward with an automobile that has zero emissions and decrease fossil fuels. The biggest source of air pollution and greenhouse gases in our state comes from automobiles, which is why we need to increase electric vehicles to clean our air. We need to install plug-in stations along with providing things like zip cars, ride shares, and taxis to encourage EV’s that everyone can afford,” said Jeff Tittel. “We should be using the entirety of the $141 million to move New Jersey forward on electric vehicles.”

Last Fall, New Jersey voters approved Ballot Question #2 to dedicate environmental settlement funds to environmental clean-ups. This will block future administrations from robbing the money meant for repairing, preserving, or restoring natural resources. In NJ, these resources are held in the Public Trust. If you spill chemicals and destroy them, you not only have to clean-up your mess, but also compensate the public for their loss. The ballot language is as follows:

9. There shall be credited annually to a special account in the General Fund an amount equivalent to the revenue annually derived from all settlements and judicial and administrative awards relating to natural resource damages collected by the State in connection with claims based on environmental contamination.

“The voters overwhelmingly decided that environmental settlement money such as that from the Volkswagen settlement should be used only for non-environmental purposes. Isn’t air pollution an environmental contaminate as well? The Murphy Administration is going against these wishes by taking half of the funds for plugging budget holes. Volkswagen illegally added air pollution, creating increased health impacts and climate impacts. The entirety of the settlement funds should be used to mitigate those affects by improving our air quality and reducing greenhouse gasses,” said Jeff Tittel. “Even if it we believed it was legal to take the funds, we would recommend against doing so because it hurts the people and environment of New Jersey.”

The Clean Energy Fund is being raided once again; this time by $136 million or even higher. This includes $80 million for NJ Transit, $50 million for lights in government buildings, $2 million to the BPU and $5 million to implement RGGI. This Fund is meant to support projects that make our homes more resilient such as weatherization, along with energy efficiency and green jobs. The DEP is also suffering from budget raids and money being redirected.

“The Clean Energy Fund has become the state’s ATM. Christie consistently used the money to balance the budget and the Murphy Administration is continuing that pattern. This has become a hidden energy tax on consumers. Instead of using this money for the environment and creating jobs, it is used to plug budget holes. On top of the clean energy fund raids, $80 million dollars are being diverted from the DEP. This is funding for important programs that would go towards cleaning up toxic sites, brownfield redevelopment, and watershed protection. This will have a real impact on the agency because by diverting those funds, they are not hiring enough staff for DEP to do its job,” said Jeff Tittel.

We should be using these funds for things such as promoting electric vehicles in New Jersey. We can electrify our ports, especially in urban areas, with electric busses to reduce air pollution in areas already highly affected. We can use electric vehicles for transportation in and around the ports including moving goods and containers. We can implement clean transportation programs so that our school children can ride in cleaner, quieter, and healthier school buses that are powered by electricity. This is especially important for children who live in urban areas already overburdened by air pollution. Electric busses will benefit all mass transit riders, as well as anyone living in the city where they run without released air toxins.

“Stealing half of the Volkswagen funds for plugging budget holes is wrong and unfair to the people of New Jersey. We need to take advantage of the full $141 million to create more in-state jobs, better vehicles, less carbon pollution, and cleaner, healthier air. We believe that these funds can ideally be used to move New Jersey forward with electric vehicles. We can see the benefits of clean air and clean jobs if we put this money to good use. We can build a state-wide network of charging stations, create green jobs, save people money on gas, and reduce air pollution,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club.