Register now !    Login  
Main Menu
Who's Online
54 user(s) are online (49 user(s) are browsing Message Forum)

Members: 1
Guests: 53

caj11, more...

Browsing this Thread:   1 Anonymous Users

Jersey City is 'Exhibit A' why NJ tax bills high, services low by The Jersey Journal Sunda
Home away from home
Home away from home

Hide User information
2004/9/15 19:03
Last Login :
2020/8/25 18:25
Registered Users
Posts: 9097
Mulshine: Jersey City is 'Exhibit A' why NJ tax bills high, services low

by The Jersey Journal
Sunday April 19, 2009, 12:16 PM

The Star-Ledger's Paul Mulshine says in his column today that Jersey City is a perfect example of why taxes in the Garden State remain high while services remain low.

Mulshine says that he attended a meeting of the Senate Budget Committee on Wednesday where former Bayonne mayor and Department of Affairs Commissioner Joe Doria said the state plans to give Jersey City $5 million in special municipal aid -- this despite the fact Jersey City already receives well over $420 million in state aid for its public school system

Plus, as state Sen. Marcia Karrow, D-Hunterdon County, pointed out at the hearing, Jersey City has more than 400 employees who make more than $100,000 a year, according to Mulshine.

When Karrow asked why doesn't Jersey City slash some of its salaries, state Sen. Sandra Cunningham, D-Jersey City, accused Karrow of "not being a senator who cares for the community" -- "in classic Democratic demagoguery," Mulshine writes.

Jersey City received $8 million in special municipal aid last year, and according to Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy, is raking in $20.4 million in federal stimulus bucks, not including another $23.4 million earmarked for the city's public schools. .

Jersey's overtaxed all right, but not over-served

Posted by Paul Mulshine
The Star-Ledger April 14, 2009 5:46AM

I was in Pennsylvania visiting the in-laws for Easter. I recommend David Rousseau pay them a visit as well, and not just because my mother-in-law cooks up killer kielbasi.

The reason the state treasurer needs to make the trip stems from a statement he made before the Assembly Budget Committee last week. A Republican member of the committee had asked the treasurer whether he believed New Jerseyans are overtaxed. "No," he said.

The correct answer is "Yes" -- at least in an election year. After the Republicans pounced on him for that gaffe, Rousseau tried to extricate himself from the mess by telling the panel:

"I think that anybody, everybody up there believes that they would like to pay lower taxes," Rousseau told the panel. "But there's a choice between how we tax and what we provide. We also provide a lot more services than other states provide."

I have heard the same statement many times in Trenton, from Republicans as well as Democrats. But I have never heard anyone list the services the state government provides. That's why I would urge Rousseau to take a drive down Interstate 295 to the Philadelphia suburbs.

The first stop would be that beautiful, well-appointed rest area a few miles south of Trenton with the memorial display honoring the veterans in whose name the highway was dedicated.

Oops. Why are those barriers there blocking the off-ramp? Oh, I forgot. The Democrats closed that rest area in 2004. I have driven through most of the states in the union and I have never seen boarded-up bathrooms on a freeway. So I think we can safely conclude that Jersey does not set the standard for that one extremely essential service.

Once he gets to the Philadelphia suburb where my in-laws live, I invite the treasurer to try and find a service we have that they don't. The SEPTA mass transit system in the Philly suburbs is more extensive than NJ Transit in our suburbs and the service seems equally mediocre. Public schools are roughly equal, as are community colleges. The public universities are of about the same quality, but a lot cheaper.

Now let us discuss taxes. New Jersey has a lower gasoline tax but a much smaller highway network as well. Pennsylvanians have a top income tax rate of 3.07 percent. Our top rate is 8.97 percent -- and rising if Gov. Jon Corzine gets his way. Property taxes are also lower in Pennsylvania. The sales tax is lower as well. And if the treasurer feels like doing some tax-free shopping, he just has to go down the road to Delaware, which has no sales tax at all yet provides a level of service equal to ours.

Now let's ask the treasurer's boss just what extra service we Jerseyans get in return for the extra taxes. As it happens, Corzine held forth on that exact topic last week when he came in to meet with The Star-Ledger's editorial board. It was our schools that first inspired him to buy a home in the 'burbs here in Jersey.

"The reason we moved to New Jersey is that we have the best schools to raise kids," said the governor.

The town that he chose, Summit, does indeed have good schools. But the Summit schools have just a tiny fraction of their budget covered by state aid. The same is true of virtually every top school in the state. The state offers little more than a complex set of regulations that raises those taxes even higher. So just what town gets those state services the treasurer was describing?

I had a dream the other day in which I imagined life in such a place. I got up in the morning and dropped my daughter off at the sparkling new preschool complex in town. It doesn't cost me a cent. Then I figured I'd hit the town's indoor swimming-pool complex. That's free, too. I figured I need to swim some laps for I'll be in shape to use the town's beautiful outdoor swimming pool complex in summer. On the way home, I passed a school-bus driver who was punching a time clock as he looked at a small object in his hand.

Where was I? You guessed it: Union City, that Democratic stronghold in Hudson County where the workers get paid time-and-a-half to watch those little batteries on their cell-phone screens go from empty to full. But what I just described wasn't a dream. It was a nightmare. I'm paying for all that stuff in my income tax and sales tax. But in my neck of the woods, we have the same services we had when I was a kid in the 1960s, before the state had a sales or income tax.

Oh yeah, on the way back from Pennsylvania I strongly encourage Rousseau to check out the rest stop on the other side of I-295. It's boarded up as well. The Trenton crowd may have a lot of tax money to play around with, but we taxpayers don't have a . . . well, you know what we don't have.

Posted on: 2009/4/19 20:38

[Advanced Search]



Remember me

Lost Password?

Register now!

LicenseInformation | AboutUs | PrivacyPolicy | Faq | Contact

JERSEY CITY LIST - News & Reviews - Jersey City, NJ - Copyright 2004 - 2017