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Trenton Continues to Drive Residents From the State

titanic_theridgewoodblog

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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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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Murphy removes Respected Wall Streeter and Pension Reformer Tom Byrne from State Investment Council

April 18,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ, Gov. Phil Murphy has removed Tom Byrne from his position on the State Investment Council, which he had held since 2010.Former Gov. Chris Christie appointed Byrne, who is managing director of Byrne Asset Management.

Byrne founded Byrne Asset Management in 1998. He serves as the Managing Director and Head of Equity Portfolio Management and brings over 35 years experience in the securities industry to his clients.

In early 1987, Byrne published a book on the relationship between stock index futures and the stock market, warning readers that “the stock market may well eventually crash” and that stock index futures “might accelerate it”. In 1988, he served as a member of the Brady Commission staff that reported to President Reagan on the causes of the 1987 stock market crash.

Byrne has been a critic of the current New Jersey pension system and come under fire from unions. Republicans expressed concern over the ouster of Byrne, who’s the son of the late Gov. Brendan Byrne and a onetime chair of the state’s Democratic Committee. The state pension commission warned pension and health benefits will eat up roughly a quarter of the state operating budget by 2023 if state officials don’t undertake difficult reforms.

With Byrnes help the state pension-system investments are up 8.6 percent during the 2017 fiscal year, according to the New Jersey State Investment Council. The returns are even more impressive over the past 12 months, topping 15 percent.

Byrne also won praise from union officials who serve on the investment council for helping to broker a compromise that cut down on the fees paid to outside money managers. However Byrne’s work on Gov. Christie’s bipartisan pension panel eventually cost him backing from public employee unions and his moderate views convinced New Jersey Democrats he’s not ‘Blue’ enough.

“Tom Byrne is one of the smartest people in government finance on either side of the aisle in New Jersey,” said state Senator Declan O’Scanlon, R-13th District, in a statement. “Tom has integrity. He is one of the few people in Trenton who isn’t afraid to say ‘no’ to the unions. He is a fierce and fair advocate for pensioners and taxpayers alike.

“This is not the kind of public servant we should be losing,” O’Scanlon said. “I am very concerned that the Murphy administration seems to be purging qualified, intelligent public servants – with no regard to the high caliber of work they have done for the people of New Jersey, and the continued value they are throwing away.”

Byrne, said publicly since November that he intended to resign by June 30 and that the governor was more than welcome to replace him sooner.

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Democrat N.J. Senate President wants to increase in the state’s corporation business tax rate

Senate President Sweeney_theridgewoodblog

March 7,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ, New Jersey suffers from the worst business climate in the United States . If not for the close proximity to New York in the north and Philadelphia in the south there would be virtually no business here at all . Jobs and companies have fled the Garden State non stop since the Kean Administration and yes it can only get worse. Democratic state Senate President Stephen Sweeney said on Tuesday that state coffers can get the money they need by enacting a 3 percent surcharge on corporate income.

The increase in the state’s corporation business tax rate from 9 percent to 12 percent on businesses with more than $1 million in income is the Democrats’ latest counterpunch to federal tax reform that slashed taxes on corporations but limited the state and local taxes residents can deduct.

It seems New Jersey Democrats will not rest until the very last business has left the state .

In 2017 the Tax Foundation rated New Jersey’s Business Climate the worst in the nation. The Tax Foundation said “New Jersey, for example, is hampered by some of the highest property tax burdens in the country, is one of just two states to levy both an inheritance tax and an estate tax, and maintains some of the worst-structured individual income taxes in the country.”

In the 2017 Tax Foundation State Business Tax Climate Index , New Jersey scored and Overall Rank of 50 (Dead Last) Corporate Tax Rank 42, Individual Income Tax 48, Sales Tax 45 , Unemployment Insurance Tax 25,Property Tax Rank 50 (Dead Last again) .

So it is no surprise to everyone except New Jersey Democrats , the when moving company United Van Lines released its 36th in 2014 annual study of customer migration patterns, analyzing a total of 125,000 moves across the 48 continental states in 2012. The study provides an up-to-date, representative snapshot of overarching moving patterns in the U.S., and reveals a mass exodus from the Northeast. At No. 1, New Jersey has the highest ratio of people moving out compared to those moving in. Of the 6,300 total moves tracked in the state last year, 62% were outbound.

In 2016 the same annual moving survey from United Van Lines reveals the states where the most people move from and again for 2016, New Jersey holds the top honor in the latter category for the fifth year running.
Far be it from us to speculate, but CNN affiliate News 12 New Jersey suggests the exodus may be related to “common complaints from state residents about high property taxes, the recent gas tax hike and the poor conditions of state roads.”

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FDU Poll 39% believe the state is on solid footing with Murphy at the helm ?

for sale Ridgewood_Real_Estate_theRodgewopodblog

January 31,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, FDU’s Public Mind released a poll showing Governor Phil Murphy garnering a 35% approval rating in his first two weeks in office, with 21% disapproving and 40% who don’t know yet. His predecessors fared better in their first weeks in office: Governor Christie had a 48-31%, while Governor Corzine had 47-16%.

One bright spot for Murphy, is according to the poll, there is optimism among the respondents in the direction of the state: 39% believe the state is on solid footing with Murphy at the helm, compared to 18% in October when Christie was still in office. President Trump has a 31-60% favorable/unfavorable rating, according to the same poll.

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New Jersey Heading Toward “a potentially catastrophic failure of its government pensions”

CBD oldtimers

file photo by Boyd Loving

January 21,2018

the  staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, according to the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research New Jersey is running out of time projections show that the pension system, already the worst-funded in the nation, will continue taking on debt for at least five more years.

The Rockefeller Institute of Government at the State University of New York defines a government pension system that’s below 40% funded as in crisis. New Jersey’s pension system is well below that line, and the cost to fix the system, even under optimistic economic and financial-market projections, is already enormous. After a nine-year expansion, if America’s economy turns down in the coming months, the price of fixing New Jersey’s pension system will surge higher still. Yet even when the costs were considerably less, the state’s political leaders balked at fixing the system. We’ve now reached the point where neglecting to construct an adequate and lasting fix pushes the pension system on a path toward failure, a catastrophic scenario for New Jersey’s public employees and taxpayers.

Key takeaways from the report :

As this report demonstrates, to stay on pace to reach the new plan’s required yearly contributions into the pension system by 2023, state government must increase the revenue that it dedicates to its pension system by more than threefold. At that point, pension payments could equal 12%–15% of New Jersey’s budget.

Based on the historical growth of New Jersey’s revenues, rising pension payments alone will likely consume virtually all the state’s additional tax collections over the next five years, even under an optimistic scenario where tax collections accelerate. That would leave little money for increasing funding of local schools, higher education, municipal services, or property-tax relief.

If the economy were to experience even a mild recession, the resulting slowdown in tax collections would likely mean that New Jersey would fall short by at least an additional $3.5 billion in meeting its pension obligations, sparking a more substantial rise in new pension debt.

After years of relying on unrealistic investment assumptions, New Jersey recently cut its projected rate of investment returns to a more realistic 7%. Even so, this is higher than forecasts made by independent experts for pension fund performance over the next five to 10 years. If the outside experts are correct, the investment returns on the state’s pension portfolio will fall significantly short, requiring New Jersey to dedicate further tax revenues to its pension system or allow additional new debt to pile up—a dangerous situation because the system’s funding levels are already so low that some pension experts fear that fixing a system this poorly funded is nearly impossible.

Absent some unexpectedly robust acceleration of the economy, it is highly unlikely that New Jersey will generate enough new revenues to meet its pension commitments without severely hobbling the rest of the state’s budget. At the same time, allowing its pension system to continue to accumulate debt by not contributing adequately to it will push New Jersey toward a potentially catastrophic failure of its government pensions.

full report :

https://www.manhattan-institute.org/sites/default/files/R-SMJM-0118.pdf

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California Moves to Cut Pension Benefits

jerry_brown_california_reuters

January 12,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, watch out New Jersey you could be next , for decades in California, a sacrosanct rule has governed public employees’ pensions: benefits promised can never be taken away.

But now the California Supreme Court has threaten to reverse that premise and open the door to benefit cuts for workers still on the job.

California Governor Jerry Brown said legal rulings may clear the way for making cuts to public pension benefits, which would go against long-standing assumptions and potentially provide financial relief to the state and its local governments.

ballooning expenses are an issue that Gov. Jerry Brown will face in his final year in office despite his earlier efforts to reform the state’s pension systems and pay down massive unfunded liabilities.

At issue is the “California Rule,” which dates to court rulings beginning in 1947. It says workers enter a contract with their employer on their first day of work, entitling them to retirement benefits that can never be diminished unless replaced with similar benefits.

It gives workers security that their retirement will be safe and predictable after a career in public service. But it also ties lawmakers’ hands in responding to exploding pension costs.

It’s widely accepted that retirement benefits linked to work already performed cannot be touched. But the California Rule is controversial because it prohibits even prospective changes for work the employee has not yet done.

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New Jersey should get its own house in order

Phill Murphy -Sara Medina del Castillo

RE : New Jersey should get its own house in order

this letter was also published NorthJersey 7:03 a.m. ET Dec. 15, 2017

In regard to the federal tax reform debate, it’s amazing to read the many letters to the editor justifying the deduction of local taxes because New Jersey gets so little back from the U.S. government in comparison to other states. New Jersey’s disgraceful local taxes have nothing to do with the federal government or with the actions of other states and everything to do with the reckless fiscal mismanagement brought about by elected officials of both parties.

We have a pension system that will never be solvent unless it undergoes major reform. We have a public educational system supported by billions of dollars in spending — much of which is siphoned off before it ever gets to the classroom, and thus resulting in a failure of education in our major cities. We have more than 500 municipalities with a duplication of services that’s unique to New Jersey. And we have government workers making salaries and benefits together with retirement packages that are out of control and continue to escalate.

Rather than looking to the federal government for a handout so New Jersey can continue its profligate spending, we should be demanding sound solutions to our fiscal mess from our elected leaders.

Philip Affuso

Ridgewood

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Reader says The iceberg has been spotted, NJ is closing in on it fast and they are running out of other people’s money.

titantic

Doing something “swift and broad” will be far harder in light of the coming mass exodus of big dollar taxpayers caused by the double whammy of Herr Trump’s corporate tax hand outs (paid for by blue state property tax payers) combined with Murph’s soak-the-successful tax plan. The iceberg has been spotted, NJ is closing in on it fast and they are running out of other people’s money.