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Fairleigh Dickinson University Poll: Motorists Not Seeing Benefits Of Recent Gas Tax Increases

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Fairleigh Dickinson University, Madison, New Jersey, July 10, 2019– Garden State motorists are not seeing the effects to the state’s roads and bridges from recent rate gas tax hikes, according to a joint survey from the Fairleigh Dickinson University Poll and the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 825. Despite increases of more than 27 cents a gallon total since 2016, a third of all adults say the quality and safety of New Jersey’s roads, bridges, and tunnels is getting worse. In addition, a third have experienced car damage as the result of potholes or other road imperfections in the past year.

Continue reading Fairleigh Dickinson University Poll: Motorists Not Seeing Benefits Of Recent Gas Tax Increases
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New Jersey Gas Tax Now 10th Highest in the Nation and Road rank 4th worst.

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file photo by Boyd Loving

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewooed NJ, USA Today reports that New Jersey now has the 10th high gas tax , and we now know that gas tax increases are all but guaranteed, New Jersey will work its way to the top. 

Currently the State gas tax: 37.1 cents per gallon, Gas price, this is a bit old we’d guess more like $2.90 but USA Today reports $2.61 per gallon (13th highest) .The total take for state and federal taxes as percent of gas price: 14.2 percent (10th highest) and here is the big one ,wait for it the percent of roadway in sub-optimal condition: 29.4 percent (fourth highest). 

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Court Ordered over development Scam Facing Bergen County

CBD high density housing

May 8,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

River Vale NJ, Assemblywomen Holly Schepisi laid out the forced court ordered over development facing Bergen County :

This is what is happening all over the State of New Jersey. Over the past several weeks I have spoken with Mayors from all over the State who are begging for help.
I couldn’t agree more with Mayor Keith Misciagna. Our communities are being destroyed by ridiculous over development all throughout the State. A couple of factoids regarding our current regulations:
1. If a suburban community builds affordable housing it is prohibited from giving preference for that housing to its own residents in need. So the divorced single mom who is losing her house, the family who can longer afford their home because of a loss of a job or a medical crisis cannot receive preference for the affordable housing being built or the housing no longer counts for a community fulfilling its obligation.
2. A community may not build more than 25% of the affordable housing in its community for seniors or it “doesn’t count” towards their obligation (and a community cannot give preference to their own seniors who have lived in the community paying taxes). Likewise, a community may not build more than 25% of the affordable housing in its community for those with special needs
3. Any Urban Aid Communities in the State have no obligation to provide ANY further affordable housing. However what would have been their obligation gets divided up and split among the suburban communities. By way of example, Jersey City has given out new construction building permits for over 37,000 units over the past several years. Under the affordable housing guidelines it would have had a obligation to provide approximately 7,000+ units of affordable housing. Jersey City is an Urban Aid community so it has no obligation. However those 7,000 units get split up and sent to our communities.
4. The financing available to communities to build affordable housing through governmental programs was manipulated by the legislature so that 40 percent of all available money MUST GO TO URBAN AID communities which have no affordable housing obligation.
5. There are currently over 40,000 foreclosed homes in this State that could be used as affordable housing but the powers that be refuse to allow them to be counted.
6. Section 8 housing or affordable housing with vouchers has historically not been counted as fulfilling affordable housing obligations in a community.
7. If you are a community trying to recruit business and jobs, you are penalized and your community now gets hit with additional numbers of affordable housing you must provide for in your total calculations.
8. The environmental impacts and a community’s infrastructure, schools, roads, capacity of volunteer services are not permitted to be taken into account under current regulations.
The system is so broken.
Help us fix this. MAKE YOUR VOICES BE HEARD IN TRENTON.

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Murray Sabrin , “property taxes are coercive levies on citizens to pay for schools, roads, police and other activities of local governments”

Murray Sabrin

 

I sent the following letter to The Record the other day about property taxes.

Regarding “Property taxes as charity debated” (Page 1A, January 15″):

The article unwittingly highlights the intellectual confusion – and bankruptcy – of the tax debate in America. First, property taxes are coercive levies on citizens to pay for schools, roads, police and other activities of local governments. In other words, homeowners have no choice but to pay for services they may not want nor “consume” in their local community.

Second, charitable contributions are voluntary payments to organizations that the donor believes is meeting a noble goal. Nonprofit organizations have a long history of serving the needs of people going back to colonial times. It is this ethos that is one of the foundations of America’s experiment as a limited government Republic.
However, since the Great Depression the welfare state has expanded exponentially “crowding out” organizations that provided unemployment insurance, life insurance, medical insurance and other vital services for their members before the economy’s implosion in the 1930s.

The new tax law places a $10,000 cap on the amount of property and state and local income taxes taxpayers can deduct on their federal tax return. This restriction obviously increases the federal tax burden of taxpayers who live in New Jersey and other high tax states.

The solution is crystal clear: abolish the federal income tax and have local services paid for just as we pay for cable TV, Internet access, cell phones and other services people want for themselves and their families, by voluntary exchange. This would reduce the vast coercion government exerts over its citizens.

 

Murray Sabrin Ramapo College Professor of Finance1985 to presentMahwah, New Jersey

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Reader Asserts Street Conditions in the Village of Ridgewood are Terrible

road work Ridgewood police

photo courtesy of Ridgewood Police

Current Road asphalt conditions are horrendous. The VC ignoring this fact for years while the PSEG  TUNNEL diggers are tearing up the main roads.

For Pipe and Utility upgrades .will get much worse folks.Cars tires suspensions will continue to take a beating .its not like we can take an alternate route to and from town.Means lost business store owners .

Tire car repair alignment shops will continue to rake it in.Visitors know the Town is in downslide,Parking violations officers just hammer the visitors anyway to ensure they know better than to come again next week to shop or dine.is ass backwards to think visitors are fools.Glen Rock and the malls have 3 hours free honor based parking .I get haircuts there every month and I am sure to visit other stores like drugstores there when free parked.

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Reader Writes , Our roads are a shambles in Ridgewood

Ms.Mailander

Good luck with a very difficult Position.

Our roads are a shambles,beyond the winter frost freeze and expanding pothole excuses …; the ongoing maintenance and milling of our main and secondary roadways are completely inadequate.meanwhile we are looking at tearing up the safety median at the train station raceway.Incredible..

Utility companies cut and run while highly paid village police offices yes on pseg perdiem and we pay their benefits and pensions while they stand by texting and witness the crime.North Pleasant Fairway and so many other main streets are like a war zone on our cars ,runners and bicyclist.

No real solutions offered outside of its on a list..ill tell my car repair guy so that he can plan to hire many more repair folks for Tires,Suspensions Shocks ,underbody and other serious car damage invoicing to Vor taxpayers.Its simply unacceptable .town in a serious downward spiral .

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Report proposes radical Port Authority shakeup

John Shaft

Paul Berger , Staff writer, @pdbergerPublished 6:16 p.m. ET Jan. 25, 2017 | Updated 14 hours ago

New Jersey motorists are being cheated out of hundreds of millions of dollars of toll revenue that could be reinvested in better bridges and tunnels, according to a new report by a conservative think tank that proposes a radical fix for the dysfunctional public agency charged with keeping the region moving.

The report from the Manhattan Institute says the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey should reinvest the enormous profits from its Hudson River crossings and its airports to improve those facilities, instead of subsidizing money-losing operations such as the PATH rail system and the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Struggling facilities should be forced to become self-financing through private-sector partnerships, the report adds.

 

http://www.northjersey.com/story/news/transportation/2017/01/25/report-proposes-radical-port-authority-shakeup/97043718/?utm_campaign=Observer_NJ_Politics&utm_content=New%20Campaign&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=New%20Jersey%20Politics

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8 New Jersey Law Changes for 2017 that May Impact You

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January 3,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

 Ridgewood NJ, the new year ushers in some changes in New Jersey laws that might affect you. From a slight bump in the minimum wage, and an opportunity for adopted people to obtain their original birth certificates. Bergen residents and retirees will be most affected by a phasing out the estate tax and expanding tax deductions on retirement income which help to soften the state’s anti-business and anti-work reputation and may even begin to stem the flight of people out of the state.

The big news for most is the 23-cent per-gallon rise in the gasoline tax that took effect on Nov. 1 to replenish a depleted Transportation Trust Fund, known by some critics as the Transportation Slush Fund.

Here are eight major changes for 2017:

1. Phasing out the estate tax

About 3,500 estates, worth at least $675,000, are subject to the estate tax each year. But starting this month, the state will impose the tax on estates worth $2 million or more. The entire tax would end after Jan. 1, 2018.

2. Expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit

The Earned Income Tax Credit for low-income workers get a boost from 30 percent of the federal level to 35 percent. The expansion will benefit about 600,000 New Jerseyans, who will pocket about $200 more from the tax return, Whiten said.

Eligibility depends on income and number of qualifying children. The income limit is about $14,800 for a single, childless adult, and $53,000 for a married couple with three or more children.

3. Reducing the sales tax

The sales tax will decrease from 7 percent to 6.875 percent on Jan. 1, and then from 6.875 percent to 6.625 percent on Jan. 1, 2018. Legislative leaders said Christie was adamant about enacting a sales tax cut when he agreed to raise the gas tax but it may not be noticed by most consumers unless you are making a major purchase.

4. Expanding tax deduction for retirees

A married couple filing their taxes jointly can currently exclude their first $20,000 in retirement income from state income taxes. But beginning in 2017 and phased in over four years, that amount will ultimately increase to $100,000 for joint filers, $75,000 for individuals and $50,000 for married couples.

5. Tax deduction for veterans

The tax deal introduced a $3,000 tax deduction for veterans. The law defines veterans as those who are “honorable discharged or released under honorable circumstances from active duty in the Armed Forces of the United states, a reserve component thereof, or the National Guard of New Jersey in a federal active duty status.”

6. Opening birth certificates sealed at adoption

The state Health Department will begin fulfilling requests from adopted people to obtain their original birth certificates containing information about their parents.

Birth parents could have requested to have their named blacked-out if they filed a redaction form before Dec. 31. At any time, they may submit a contact preference form stating whether they wish to have no contact with their child, contact through an intermediary, or unfettered contact. Birth parents who request no contact must also must complete a family history form seeking medical, cultural and social history information about the birth parent.

More information about the law is available on the health department’s website, or by calling 866-649-8726.

7. Eliminating bail for some non-violent offenders

One in 12 defendants remains in jail because a bail of $2,500 is too high.

Starting in January, fewer people who commit minor offenses will be held on bail and detained. And if a person is held in jail, prosecutors will have 90 days to seek an indictment from a grand jury, and must bring a person to trial with 120 days.

8. Raising the minimum wage, nominally

New Jersey’s minimum wage will go up six cents on Jan. 1 to $8.44 an hour, according to the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

It will be New Jerseyans’ first increase since January 2015, when it rose from $8.25 an hour to the current $8.38. The minimum wage did not increase this year because there was no rise in the state’s cost of living.

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Ridgewood Tree and Shrub Planting Get The Facts

Code enforcement Ridgewood

July 30,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ , before you plant better get the facts Ridgewood has some strict controls over planting trees and shrubs near sidewalks and roadways, especially at intersections .

§ 260-1Responsibility of owner or tenant; notice.

A.
Pursuant to the authority contained in N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.26 et seq., the owner or tenant of any land or premises within the Village, wherever necessary and expedient for the preservation of the public safety, shall keep all brush, hedges and other plant life growing within 10 feet of any roadway and within 25 feet of the intersection of two roadways cut to a height of not more than 2 1/2 feet, within 10 days after written notice sent to the last known post office address of such owner or tenant, by registered mail, to cut the same.
B.
The aforesaid notice shall be sent by the Director of Department of Building and Inspections, his agent or deputy and shall require the cutting of all such brush, hedges or other plant life and shall set forth the reasons therefor and provide an opportunity to such owner or tenant, within five days of the receipt of such notice, to show cause before the officer sending such notice why the demands therein should not be complied with.

§ 260-2Failure to comply with notice.

A.
In case any owner or tenant fails or neglects to show cause why such cutting should not be done after proper notice as hereinabove set forth or cut the same within 10 days as therein provided, the Director of the Department of Building and Inspections, his agent or deputy may, on behalf of the Village, cause such brush, hedges and other plant life to be cut.
B.
In every case in which, by force of § 260-1 and this section, the cutting of the foregoing by reason of the refusal or neglect of the tenant or owner to cut the same is done under the direction of the Director of the Department of Building and Inspections, his agent or deputy, the cost thereof shall be certified to the Village Council, which Council shall examine the certificate of cost and, if found correct, shall cause the same, as shown thereon, to be charged against said lands or, in the event that such cost is excessive, shall cause the reasonable cost thereof to be charged against such lands, and the amount so charged shall forthwith become a lien upon such lands and shall be added to and become and form part of the taxes next to be assessed and levied upon such lands, the same to bear interest at the same rate as other taxes and to be collected and enforced by the same officers and in the same manner as taxes.

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Poll: NJ residents oppose state gas tax hike

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file photo

March 17, 2016

The Staff of the Ridgewood blog

New Rutgers-Eagleton poll found that 56 percent of New Jerseyians oppose a gas tax hike.

Ridgewood NJ, Chanel 12 news reports that a new poll conducted by Rutgers-Eagleton Poll found that more than half of New Jersey residents are opposed to a gas tax increase. However, many of New Jersey’s lawmakers say that raising the gas tax is likely to happen.

New Jersey’s transportation fund is set to run out of money in June and the state’s legislators have not yet introduced a way to replenish the fund. Many have mentioned a gas tax hike as a way to increase revenue.

According to lawmakers ,the transportation fund pays more than a billion dollars each year for maintenance and repairs. Lawmakers have until June 30 to renew the fund.

Many political experts say that introducing the hike would be a politically unpopular proposal.

Critics of the increase in the gas tax point to the high cost of New Jersey road construction , the fact the New Jersey already allocates one of the high amounts of funding in the nation to roads and bridges thru tolls and gas tax . To many it appears that Trenton has used the (TTF) as a political slush fund to finance other state business ie … the TTF has financed everything but roads.
Many suggest an audit for the Transportation trust fund (TTF ) , and any money in the fund be specifically related to transportation projects only.