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Democrats taking care of the Middle Class in NJ

Governor Corzine to middle class: Drop Dead
Posted by Paul Mulshine/The Star-Ledger March 11, 2009 5:44AM

I've been reporting from the Statehouse for 33 years now and I've heard some nutty stuff. But this has to qualify as the nuttiest line I've ever heard:

"To help pay for the rebates, we have proposed eliminating the property tax deduction next year for everyone but seniors."
Gov. Jon Corzine said it Tuesday during his budget speech. I still can't believe I heard it.

Back in 1976, when I first started reporting on the antics in Trenton, the affable and smooth-talking Brendan Byrne sold the state on adopting an income tax by arguing that it would produce revenue for the property-tax rebates.

We've now reached the point where Byrne's Democratic successor is proposing to impose the income tax on the property tax to fund rebates. Worse, those rebates will now be cut off at a mere $75,000 in annual income.

You have to make more than that just to get by in the part of the state where this newspaper circulates. So unless you're a senior citizen, not only do you lose your rebates, but you're now being taxed to give someone else a rebate.

And you're being taxed at a very high rate. As it happens, the second-highest income tax bracket, 6.37 percent, kicks in at that $75,000 level. So every cent of this new-found "income" will be taxed at the top rate that most middle-class people pay.

Let's look at the effect on a $100,000-a-year family with an $8,000 annual property-tax bill. Last year, they could have gotten an $800 rebate check in the mail -- signed by the governor. This year, they'll get an additional income-tax bill of $510. But I'll bet Jon Corzine won't be putting his John Hancock on that one.

Actually, I bet he won't be putting his signature on much of anything after November. With this new budget, Corzine confesses publicly that the Democrats will never deliver property-tax relief to the middle class.

He's still delivering for the special interests, however. The public-employee unions may grumble at those proposed furloughs for state employees, but the bulk of public jobs are on the municipal, school district and county levels. Those union members escape unscathed from this budget for fiscal 2010, which begins July 1. The urban Democratic machines will also keep receiving their billions in state aid.

So Corzine can count on the votes of the two core constituencies of the Democratic Party. But I'm not sure he can survive the triple whammy on the taxpayer. In addition to cutting your rebates and taxing your taxes, Corzine's budget proposal also calls for a freeze on state aid to suburban school districts. He's not proposing a wage freeze for school workers, though, so your property-tax bill will be going up to cover their raises.

And he also threw in another sweetheart deal to keep the teachers' unions happy through the fall. He's increasing funding for existing preschools by $52 million and throwing in another $25 million to begin the expansion of preschool into about 80 more districts. If you think taxing your property tax is nutty, ponder for a minute the fact that this preschool expansion was part of the Democrats' 2007 property-tax reduction plan. That's right, I said "reduction." How do you reduce property taxes by adding an expensive new service? I've been pondering that for two years and still haven't figured it out.

Another thing I can't figure out is how Corzine plans to pay for yet another nutty promise. Yesterday, he reiterated that he plans to expand preschool to every school district in the state, presumably in his putative second term.

But how will he pay for it? After all, we're in "the rip tide of the economic tsunami" he told us yesterday. If I may further mix that metaphor, we're going down for the third time in a river of red ink. And that river runs through all four years of what will be Corzine's second term if he somehow manages to get this one past the public. The unfunded liabilities for the pension fund and retiree health benefits alone will consume any excess revenue that somehow magically appears after fiscal 2010. There is no conceivable scenario that would permit him to add a costly new service like universal preschool.

The man they once called "One-Term Byrne" was in the audience for this one and I think I saw him chuckling. That silver-tongued speaker easily outwitted the opposition in his re-election run by touting the property-tax relief his income tax had brought to the middle class. Satisfying the middle-class was a winning tactic in 1977 and I suspect it will be a winning tactic in 2009.

But not for Jon Corzine.

Paul Mulshine is a Star-Ledger columnist.
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Old 03-12-2009, 07:03 PM
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I bet he's a democrat.
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Old 03-12-2009, 07:11 PM
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Corzine? Oh yeah.
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Old 03-12-2009, 07:19 PM
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Hey Dave,

Was talking with my Dad. He's none too happy about the taxes this year.
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Old 03-12-2009, 09:26 PM
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No matter how you toss it, the middle class will be experiencing a lower standard of living across the country.

If the Rep's were in control the near term hurt would be same. Only difference is that neocon control knows they have to stimulate business to fund their big government projects. The Dem's just consider business issues just an issue they have to deal with as a pia. Business is not a Dem voting block.


maintaining some degree of holding on to personal wealth is today's issue imo.
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Old 03-12-2009, 10:49 PM
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this sux. I already pay over $5000 in property tax on an 800 sq ft house. I have my own well, my own septic, I use bottled propane, we have no street lights or sidewalks. $5000.
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Old 03-13-2009, 07:09 AM
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I pay over $8k now on a small house sitting on a 30'x60' lot and NY wants more RE, School, & utilities taxes.
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Old 03-13-2009, 07:14 AM
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All costs considered, it would pay me to sell the house and rent an apartment.
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Old 03-13-2009, 07:15 AM
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I'm ready to pack it in! This state is killing us.
Between Johnny boys plan, and my municipalities recent budget announcement, my property tax probably go up close to an additional $2000 a yr. Not counting the other taxes and "fees" he has tacked on to everyday things. DMV fees are going up. The cost to register my motorcycle will go up 300%. A "sin tax" is being put on alcohol and tobacco. I could go on but i dont have that much energy to list it all.

The sad thing is, the a**holes in this state will vote these people right back in come November.
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Old 03-13-2009, 07:19 AM
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is this thing on?
 
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All costs considered, it would pay me to sell the house and rent an apartment.
at least then you are guranteed homestead rebate ..they are talking 60-75% increase in my taxes and i already pay nearly 4000 on a 700 sq foot house
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Old 03-13-2009, 01:10 PM
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I just can't believe anyone puts up with those taxes. I shake my head. I grew up in NJ, but that place is overwith. It's a fascist police state with the worst gun laws and most confiscatory taxes. Where my folks live on LBI, they have signs bragging about being a police state, such as "Smile. You're on radar camera." or "Wanna meet our judge? Exceed 25mph." Unreal.
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Old 03-13-2009, 01:37 PM
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Rick,
Agree on the police state, but have to disagree on your take on the LBI signs. That's not bragging about a police state, that's just to give the jackass bennies something to think about in the summer. Narrow streets with a lot of kids on them ain't no place to be going over 25. Sounds like your parents live in Beach Haven judging by the verbage on the signs, which as you know are on quiet residential streets. The Boulevard is another story.
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Old 03-13-2009, 08:18 PM
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Rick, Ortley Beach recently had a reassesment. The majority of the residents there had their property taxes go up 3-400 %
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Old 03-14-2009, 06:30 AM
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I thought the coastal areas of NJ had something close to reasonable taxes because there are fewer schools there. When my folks lived in Hunterdon Co., the taxes were just eye-popping. But now they live in Harvey Cedars and I think they're much more reasonable. Still, their town has something like 12 police when there are only a few hundred residents there for most of the year. Their building code inspector uses a telescope from his home balcony to spy on folks. My friends and I called it New Germany.
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Old 03-14-2009, 07:10 AM
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We are doing an appeal on our house assessed value. It is overestimated about $40k according to the bank appraisal I just got for the refi.
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Old 03-14-2009, 08:41 AM
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We were lookin to do the tax appeal thing too. But so many people are doing it now that most are gonna be denied. I was talking to a Twp employee, the tax office is flooded with a ridiculous amount of appeals.
Especially now, Jersey towns want more money from you. No way they are going to drop your taxes.
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Old 03-14-2009, 11:13 AM
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Following the example of California I see...

As CA goes, so goes the country. Other states are starting to see that they can rape and pillage what's left of their middle classes to benefit themselves and buy the votes of the poor and uneducated by tossing them a few crumbs taken from "special interests" and "the wealthy" (who are perceived as enemies among the poor).

They're also starting to figure out (like CA) that it's actually okay to openly hate your constituencies, since nobody ever does anything about it.
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Old 03-14-2009, 11:57 AM
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http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-quinn-tax-hike-13mar13,0,7352846.story



Chicago Tribune: Illinois Income Tax Rate May Rise by 50%:
Gov. Pat Quinn today acknowledged he plans to raise income taxes in the wake of a Chicago Tribune story that he is considering a 50 percent increase on individuals. He declined to confirm details in the Tribune report, which said he is looking at raising the personal income tax from 3 percent to 4.5 percent as well as increasing personal exemptions.
"There will be some that will have a higher tax burden," Quinn told reporters today during an impromptu news conference at the James R. Thompson Center, adding it would be based on the ability to pay. Quinn said an increase would be part of a "fundamental reform" of the income tax system that would provide tax relief for many Illinoisans. He said that would come from more generous tax exemptions for working families who are suffering amid the nation's economic decline.



this s hilarious. move to a red state before they start building walls to keep you in.
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Old 03-14-2009, 01:22 PM
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is this thing on?
 
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Rick, Ortley Beach recently had a reassesment. The majority of the residents there had their property taxes go up 3-400 %
they are re assessing ours now....
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Old 03-14-2009, 04:29 PM
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